Now that my cancer treatment is over it’s time to start celebrating.
One of my friends organised a picnic in Hyde Park in London yesterday evening. Hot sunshine turned into a beautiful sunset as we drank champagne. Then Kylie Minogue sang for us.
It was just a group of friends and Kylie. Oh and tens of thousands of other people.
Okay this was Proms in the Park and we were actually celebrating my friend Louise’s birthday.
It very much reminded me of going to the Olympics. There were plenty of union jacks in the park. Plus this was something I wanted to go to but wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it, coming so soon after having chemotherapy.
Birthday girl Louise is on the left
Louise had invited me along months ago. I was determined that by this weekend I’d be feeling well enough to go. It was good having such a lovely deadline to aim for. Even so we both wondered if the build-up of the toxic chemical cocktails would beat me.
The day before the event I spent about 15 hours in bed to ensure I wouldn’t be exhausted. One of the girls brought a canvas chair for me and I sat for most of the concert.
It was inspiring watching Kylie on stage. She looked stunning as she performed live in front of so many people. As a fellow cancer fighter, she’s been through something similar to me and has come out the other side in style.
However the most important thing was being able to take part in my friend’s birthday celebrations. If it had been just a picnic in the park it would have still been brilliant.
It’s not a proper picnic without some patriotic cakes!
My celebrations actually started a few days ago.
Another of my friends popped over with pink champagne. Well maybe not quite popped over as she lives abroad and has a high powered job which keeps her very busy. While I was going through the cancer nightmare she helped to keep me entertained by texting with amusing tales about that stressful yet very successful life of hers.
And she wasn’t the only one. I had so many – just thinking about you, hope you’re not feeling too bad – messages which often included a random slice of life. Friends who were up mountains or had just burnt their kid’s cauliflower cheese or were stood outside a petrol station waiting to go live on the BBC news.
Of course, there have been more colourful ones too. Some friends have kept me right up-to-date with their…err…more outrageous exploits!
I’ve loved all of the messages. I may have been incredibly ill for half a year but at least I was able to live vicariously through my friends. Everything was on hold while I focused on killing the cancer. It seemed like I was an outsider, only able to watch what was going on around me but not join in.
I made it!
My friend’s birthday do was the first social thing I’ve been to since my chemo ended. I was completely shattered after last night but glad I made it. After so long on the side lines it’s amazing to finally feel part of normal life again.