I hope everyone had as nice a Christmas as we did - we were at Matt's parents and ate constantly. I didn't drink that much booze as kept falling asleep any way! My contribution was making the Christmas cake and pudding before my op. I'm not quite Nigella but both were well received. We also got some wonderful gifts and felt very spoilt. We'll spend NY with Jayne and Joss and the Graham clan in the country which will be nice.
I have had so much time to reflect over the last few weeks/months. This year has been an extraordinary one for so many people - there has been so much illness and disaster. Yet at the same time there's been immense joy at times.
In their Christmas letter Ann and Jon used the quote from the Tale of Two Cities about the best of times and the worst of times and it's so appropriate. Ann has had pretty evil treatment (I think I've got off lightly in some ways) but like me has seen how much love and kindness there is in this world. Cancer is a strange blessing - it opens more doors than it closes I think. For me, I know that things will never be the same. Many things will be better although some feel quite final. But it has certainly strengthened many old friendships and created new ones. I think it's also created a much stronger bond in my "patchwork" family - the wedding brought people closer together in both mine and Matt's families, but this experience has cemented it.
A word that plays in my mid a lot is faith. Not religous Faith necessarily, but I've had to put a lot of faith and trust into other people which is not something that has ever been easy to me. With cancer, you need more than hope, hope is the desire and expecation of getting well. Faith is the complete trust that you WILL get well, that your mind and body will cope, that the doctors will do their job and that your friends and family will support you - plus there is the faith that there is something out there that guides you. I understand religous faith now, more than ever although for me it's not about Gods or Angels but about the spirit inside.
That's all got quite heavy, and please excuse my whitterings on, but I guess I'm spending too much time alone! However, I found some quotes that touched me a little and have made me think and I'd like to share them:
We have not lost faith, but we have transferred it from God to the medical profession.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.
PEARL S. BUCK
Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
Therefore, we are saved by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
Therefore, we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore, we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite a virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own;
Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.
The only resolution I have this new year is to get better - I can't think further than that at the moment. I really hope that this year is a better one for all.
Happy New Year everyone.