I told my brothers as soon as I had the diagnosis. As I said to my husband, for the next 10 years and more – I’m aiming for at least 20 – we are going to spend time with those we love, build beautiful memories and live life to the full! We will travel – bugger COVID – as much as we can in New Zealand to be with family and friends. We would have been in the UK this year to see family but that’s not possible. But as soon as the ‘travel bubble’ is open to Aussie we will be on that plane to Melbourne. We are going to Russell to see my brother and sister-in-law in March and we will pack in lots of fun and Parkies will not stop me. I am going to swim with dolphins in March too, all to celebrate a ‘significant’ birthday. These things fill me with joy, especially when shared with the people I love. I will grab each experience and then bore everyone with the detail! The focus is on fun, finding the moments and not overthinking what the future may hold, but living in the now!
There will always be the challenge for all of us of remaining positive and overthinking what the future will possibly hold. I am guilty of this myself – isn’t everyone? On a trip to Oamaru, which has lots of lovely shops and galleries, many upstairs, the thought intruded, “One day this may be difficult”. A natural thought, I guess, but I managed to push it to the back of my mind and enjoy the experience. I don’t want to give the impression I never have less than positive days, because I do! I want this blog to be helpful but also honest. People have commented that I am very brave. Yes, I am apart from when I’m not! If I don’t acknowledge that this can be tough, will others think they ‘should do better’? I hope not! So, I will continue be real with those that surround me, feel what I feel and not beat myself up if I have moments of sadness or anger, of ‘why me?’. I fully intend to extract all the joy I can from life but be honest and acknowledge the tough bits but try not to dwell on them and make magical memories along the way.