Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The Joy of Being Average...

It's Christmas night. The toddler (who is fast turning into a highly spirited pre-schooler) is fast asleep, clutching a toy dragon and recovering from an over-stimulation of chocolate, wrapping paper and an abundance of interactive toys. His father and grandmother are asleep too. I'm slumped in front of the TV, watching yet another re-run of Love Actually (can they really not find anything else put on at this time of year ?), having stuffed myself with a huge christmas dinner, followed by a few glasses of prosecco and a handful of chocs. A few phone-calls have been made to distant, but close family members. We've even managed to skype my sister all the way in L.A. The fairy lights twinkle on the small tree which sits comfortably on the lounge table. It's just another average Christmas in a very average household, and one that will be echoed the world over. Some might call it boring and yearn for a change in routine. Me ? I've loved every minute of it. It's been an average Christmas that hasn't included having to take an abundance of drugs, or make trips to A & E in the early hours of the morn, or self-adminster injections to myself. The most pressing worry that I've had all day is the excessive amount of money that I've ended up spending on the finer things in life (like the delicacies in the local Sainsbury's) after hearing that my very refined sister and her equally refined husband were due to make an appearance at chez moi on the most stressful day in the culinary world. After filling my trolley with some of the most sumptuously fatty and sugary items that would scarcely make it past my front door even during one of my weaker moments, I set about trying hard to think of a menu that could incorporate my strict abstinence of everything but the bare nutritional necessities of the modern diet - namely fruit, veg, a few carbs and the odd bit of oily fish. It wasn't easy. I soon realised that not 'doing' dairy or sugar pretty much wipes out most of the average yuletide menu, and allowing yourself nothing but 85% dark chocolate and a few cashew nuts doesn't feel like much of a treat when everyone else is tucking into lemon tart and christmas pudding.

As it happened, my sister and her husband couldn't make it in the end. Something to do with having a heavy cold and needing to check up on an elderly in-law. Of course I was disappointed. It's not every day that I spend the equivalent of a month's shopping in one go (and to be honest, being something of a frugal spender when it comes to normal supermarket visits, I'm not sure that I really want to relive the experience again). The old pre-cancer me might well having ranted and raged about the injustice of having wasted so much money on food that I really had no intention of ever eating, the current me ? (I'd love to use the word 'post-cancer' in this instance, but being of superstitious extraction, I'm afraid that I might well jinx myself in the not-so-distant future). Let's just say that I took it with a pinch of salt turmeric, and instead was more than thankful that I had the luxury of being able to cook a meal without wondering whether my tastebuds would catch-up and be able to actually savour the flavours (anyone who's ever been on chemo will know what I'm talking about). Having been able to avoid chemo for a whole year has been fantastic, but having been cancer-free and in remission (otherwise known as the much coveted long-term fling with the beloved NED) for 365 days has well and truly been the icing on the cake.

Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you. Here's to many more average Christmases to come...


  1. So happy to read your beautiful post and see all is well. Wishing you an abundant and healthy 2014!

    1. Thanks Laurie - always great to hear from you and sending all those 2014 wishes straight back to you ! Cx

  2. Sure early detection can save your life