I have always loved the number 44. It’s a bit out of character for me really as it’s just a number, how can you ‘love’ a number? No idea why, I just have a thing for the number 44. So, as we welcomed the New Year in this year I can remember thinking, “this is it, this is going to be the year for me”. I had no idea why it would be remarkable, I just knew it would be. Jeez, it certainly has been that.
As my birthday drew closer, it became apparent that not only would I be celebrating another year older but also the last of my son’s IV chemotherapy. Like all special occasions that we look forward to, it felt like it would never arrive. The run up to it was unbearable, my emotions were all over the place. As a distraction, I dedicated my thoughts and feelings to Rio 2016; on reflection not the best idea. Whilst I’ve always been quite at ease with getting older, the utter brilliance of the athletes in Rio certainly confirmed my entry into middle age. Their youth, energy and athleticism couldn’t be further from my current mental and physical state. So as my birthday approached, I was also accepting that, at last, my days of youth were long gone. This feeling combined with relief that this intense phase of treatment was coming to end didn’t mix well. Throw in the excitement of putting the house on the market and worry about returning to work, the result was a mixture of grumpy and feisty, argumentative and tearful, ecstatic and pensive. I was either snapping at everything anyone said or crying over the chopping board whilst making lunch. I was an emotional mess!
So, at last, the day finally came. I turned 44 and Felix had his last IV chemotherapy. The day started with the usual family gathering in bed with breakfast, cards and a bin bag full of wrapping paper. I was thoroughly spoilt by all. The celebrations continued in hospital with the chemo being administered in a party atmosphere with, of course, doughnuts. The interludes in the day included visits from family and friends, a cheeky pub lunch and a perfect evening out with friends at a local pub. It really was a day of fun and laughter for so many different reasons.
I woke up this morning a very happy and content 44-year-old. The mixture of emotions which had dominated the week had dissipated completely. The love and kindness which was directed towards us felt like a huge soft and warm blanket which enveloped us and symbolised that all is good. It confirmed that 44 is going to a great year and I now know the reason why; with family and friends far and wide, anything will be possible.
Thank you to everyone who took their time to be with us yesterday, whether in person or in words. Each card, message and conversation meant the world. You all make this journey with leukaemia and getting older a whole lot easier! I Thank you 😘