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A woman on the phone remembering her previous cancerversaries

12 Years

Well, I can’t really believe it. The 19th of January marked 12 years since my diagnosis. 12 years since I got *that* phone call. 12 years since my life was never going to be what I thought it might be. 12 years. That’s a lot of your life when you are 34.

Celebrating my cancerversary

It’s also been the first year when I haven’t been emotional and teary around it. I often get very reflective over Christmas and during January in the lead up to my cancerversary. Just remembering what happened. It all comes back with such clarity. But this year, it’s been different. I almost forgot it was happening! I didn’t get as upset around it as normal. I almost, at one point, didn’t do anything to mark the day.

Since my day of diagnosis, I decided that I would always do something fun on the 19th of January and surround myself with my friends and family, to laugh and enjoy myself and to remember all the good. I am so lucky to be shown each year how much I am loved whilst still being alive. Most only get told after they are dead, so it’s only the remaining friends and family that hear it; not the person.

Supportive friends and family

I am eternally grateful to my friends and family for all they have done for me over the last 12 years, so I also organize something nice for them to enjoy as well. Thinking about that after writing it, I hope they enjoy it too!!  It's probably a much harder day for them in a way than it is for me. And when I say I organize something nice, it’s always a meal out because that’s easy and I love food.

On my first cancerversary, when I still drank, I had friends over for drinks and then went out. And every single friend turned up with a bottle of champagne. Ha ha ha.  It’s a bit different now, there are only so many ginger beers I can drink...

Pub lunch and happier times

This year, we went to my favorite pub, which also happens to be 2 doors down from where I live, and had delicious food, lots of laughs, and generally had a good time. I was then able to go for a long walk afterward with a couple of friends, which in all honesty was the best part. This was the first cancerversary since the first one (when I was a student and could spend all day in bed) that I could do both. Sit, have lunch, and use energy concentrating on conversation for a few hours and then go for a walk!  Last year, having lunch and talking to people constantly would have wiped me out for the rest of the day.  It’s amazing how much energy is used listening to what people have to say and talking back to them.

So in a way, it’s a bit of a shame that I wasn’t that bothered about it, but on the plus side, it shows how much happier I am.

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