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Christmas with cancer
6:25pm Thursday 29th December 2011 in Melanie O'Neill
The build up to Christmas is always a hectic one for anyone, with or without cancer, work, kid’s activities, present buying and wrapping, and putting up the decorations. My biggest challenge was holding it together on Christmas day when both sets of parents were sharing the day with us, I didn’t want to become over emotional with every present I unwrapped or Christmas song that came on the radio.
With only two weeks till the 25th I discovered a red patch of skin next to my scar and right on the spot where the cancer first appeared. With stabbing pains and a prickling sensation I was convinced the cancer had returned in my skin, so I made an appointment to see my surgeon the very next day. After a thorough examination I was told it was merely a skin irritation and nothing he was remotely concerned about. I could have kissed him. That was the best Christmas present ever.
Now feeling 100% better, I left the hospital no longer weepy and dreading Christmas but back on the up and with the help of my homeopath I was emotionally balanced again by the following day. This, I was determined, to make the best Christmas ever. There is no use in worrying about what may be, what might happen and what is about to happen because it’s just not happened yet. Everything in the future is currently all in the mind at this present moment and it can change according to what’s going on in your mind. There’s a lot to be said for positive thinking. But with that said Christmas brings a whole bundle of things to tug on your heart strings. Dividing yourself between loved ones, pleasing everyone involved, missing loved ones who are no longer with you, and for those who knowingly won’t be here to see next Christmas, how do they get through it? At least I’m being treated and still have hope of a speedy recovery and many more Christmas’ to come and even if that hope does wander off occasionally I find myself doing whatever I can to recoup it back. Like a song I love says “Every other season comes along and I’m alright, but then I miss you most at Christmas time.” So true that Christmas can be terribly sad or amazingly fab. And mine? Amazingly fab!
Let’s not include the minor blip on Christmas Eve when I went into the salon to see my wonderful clients and staff and to share presents when Carl gave a heart-warming, sincere and honest speech from the heart to thank everyone and talked about the year gone by. I cried like a baby hiding my face behind a large Christmas gift bag on the table in from of me. It was so true of what he said though. We see more of our staff and them of us than we do our own families and therefore they become like family to us especially as we’ve worked with most of them for many years. God I blubbed and sniffled through every word but it’s kind of common place for me to do this as I get so emotional when giving thanks especially at Christmas.
So Christmas was almost blub free apart from the staff speech and a minor outburst at the dinner table when Carl gave me a surprise present which I was not expecting. A beautiful Swarovski crystal ring to match a set I have. Totally unexpected and equally wonderful to be so surprised. Along with the amazing food, great company and a giggle or ten at the Christmas cracker jokes and charades we played after dinner, a great day was had by all.
I am now looking forward to not only New Year’s Eve, but the whole year ahead.
I want this red patch on my skin that the surgeon insists is a mere irritation, to disappear instead of spreading. I want to plan nice things for 2012 leaving my treatment days behind me. I want holidays and nights out with friends, kids’ activities and family days out. I crave the day I can flick through a hairstyles magazine and choose a style that will suit me. I want to paint my nails again, get back to the gym, swim in the sea, and play in the sand. All the above and so much more on my to do list and hopefully with a life time of many more years to fit it all in.