As lovely as it has been, I'm not going to pretend otherwise, Christmas has been tough this year emotionally. I have felt at times like both myself and Mark have had to put on a smile when really we are both struggling to accept what's going on. While people say I'm brave, quite often I don't feel it; I'm just trying to deal with something, without any choice but to remain positive.

This year has been full of ups and downs, from Mark severely breaking his leg, loosing my Grandad to Alzheimer's, to then finding out my cancer had returned; we finally welcomed some great news as Mark and I got engaged! ❤️

One thing I have realised this year is the positive and negative emotions caused by those around you. I am very lucky to have a loving support network around me, from Mark to our family, a handful of fantastic friends and nurses, they (especially Mark) are who make me strong and keep me going. They get me and even if they don't really understand at times, they try to pretend like they do, which is just as comforting

I have always been very conscious that my having cancer doesn't overshadow the issues that my loved ones face, I always try to ensure that they know I'm here for them whether the upset is big or small. I have never advertised my struggles, I barely even promote this blog for fear I'll come across 'self indulgent' or like I'm moaning myself.

I think the thing I've realised is that until someone is in your shoes, they never really, truly understand the torment you face when dealing with a life threatening illness. I now understand I can't make people feel things they don't feel, or look at the world the way I do now.

'Live in the moment'

'Don't take things for granted'

'Appreciate what you have'

I'll be the first to admit it, it's exhausting when really it should be so simple. It is simple, but only when you know all you have could be taken away from you in a second. Cancer and other life threatening conditions can take the people you love away from you in seconds. I have watched several close people loose loved ones to cancer and other illnesses, as they watch their worlds get turned upside down, they still come out the other end so gracefully. 

To help myself deal with this emotion I have made a conscious decision to surround myself with those that make the effort to at least try and see things the way I do. If they try that's all I can ask and I am so grateful for it.

It's called empathy.

I will be surrounding myself with those that embrace what they have, I'm beginning to feel I cannot cope with being around those who do not appreciate what they do have.

We all have bad days, stress and huge worries, I'm not implying my problems are worse than those of others, but my tolerance of such negative attitudes is getting worse.

It's hard to watch yourself, your partner and others desperately try to fight against diseases that kill, while others expect to live life like its owed to them. I'll tell you now, It's not. I live my life weeks maybe months at a time, while Mark & I discuss years ahead with optimism- my head is in the now, where I can see things, expect things and know these things will happen.

I try to take a few good things from each day, the rougher things get the more simple this becomes. The sun on your face, your favourite song in the car, little things. However cliché this sounds it's the truth. I drive to work everyday thankful I'm well enough to even go to work, even if I do hurt and my career has had to take a side step because of my illness.

As I get home I look forward to seeing Mark and Mills (our beagle) in our home, I feel content, like I've achieved something with my day. It really is that simple, why do we all put so much pressure on ourselves to be anything more than that?

Just embrace what you do have, I intend to.