2019 has been a long and emotional year. My medical team predicted I’d be dead by now, so this #BusyLivingWithMets blog post is to celebrate some of the wonderful things that have happened to me in 2019. It’s also to say fuck you cancer I’m not dead yet! I would say my cancer should try harder in 2020, but that seems rather a stupid thing for me to say!
But enough waffling! Here is my 2019 alphabet of life as I stay #BusyLivingWithMets and sticking my tongue out at my incurable but currently treatable secondary breast cancer. Enjoy!
The #BusyLivingWithMets alphabet
A is for AFCRD aka AFC Rushden and Diamonds. I love that club! The support I’ve had from people there has been incredible and sums up what a fan owned community club is all about. 💎
B is for blogging. I’ve loved blogging this year and have been very grateful for all of the support I’ve had. I even won blogger of the year at work! 🎉🏆
C is for campaigning as part of METUP UK. The ladies of METUP UK are fantastic and have been a never ending source of support, information and friendship in 2019. Check out the web page!
D is for Disney movies. I’ve seen several brilliant Disney movies this year, particularly Aladdin and Star Wars Episode 9.
E is for Episode 9. Seriously it was well worth waiting for! After my diagnosis when I was given 6 months at most I never expected to see that movie.
F is for fantastic friends and colleagues. I couldn’t have got through 2019 without them. That includes my wonderful friends and followers on social media who are always willing to help me, cheer me up and reassure me when I get scared over the waking nightmare that is life with secondary breast cancer.
G is for Gloucester History Festival. Thanks to this awesome festival I’ve met some of my idols this year including Kate Adie! That was a dream come true!
H is for handfeeding animals! This year I’ve been lucky enough to handfeed lots of animals including alpacas, lorikeets, deer, lemurs, owls, eagles, goats, hens, geese, meerkats, a komodo dragon, cats, dogs, giraffe and rhinos! As a bonus I still have all my fingers and thumbs!
I is for Invisible Women by the jaw droppingly brilliant Caroline Criado Perez. The book which details her research into how women are ignored by a lot of policy makers is a life changing read. Once you’ve read it, you will never see the world the same way again.
J is for jigsaws. When we go to Norfolk my husband and I take jigsaws with us and have great fun completing them. We even had a photo of us feeding a giant Galapagos Tortoise turned into a jigsaw!
K is for kindness. The kindness of friends and strangers this year has overwhelmed me. Kindness should rule the world!
L is for living. Against all odds I’m still alive and loving my life. I plan to stay that way!
M is for my medal. I got a very special medal this year which was incredible! I still can’t believe I have one! It’s my pride and joy.
N is for Norfolk. I love Norfolk! I’ve spent over 2 months there this year and loved every second, especially my beloved Stiffkey.
O is for Outlander. I fell head over heels for the show and the books this year. Outlander is phenomenal. If you haven’t seen it or read the books, do it now.
P is for Phil who is my wonderful and incomparable husband. He is my light in the darkness. I could write whole blogs on him and not even begin to cover how much I love him. He is my world.
Q is for the Queens of Six The Musical. I saw this show in June in London. It is amazing, feminist, funny and generally fantastic! I’ve booked tickets for the tour in Cheltenham and I can’t wait to see it again.
R is for Redwings Horse Sanctuaries. I love going to Redwings. There is always a horse or donkey after cuddles and fuss. If you haven’t visited one then go now! 🐎
S is for Stiffkey. Stiffkey = heaven on earth. Stiffkey = pure happiness. Simples 😍
T is for trekking! I’ve been lucky enough to go trekking with alpacas several times in my beloved Stiffkey in Norfolk. Walking with alpacas along the Norfolk Coastal Path is the most relaxing feeling in the world.
U is for useful. When I was first diagnosed with terminal cancer I felt terrified of being a useless burden. But in 2019 I’ve still felt useful and that is a special feeling. What’s even better is that with the help of my awesome counsellor at work, I’m starting to realise that I don’t have to be useful for people to care about me. My real friends and family will care about me regardless of how “useful” I am.
V is for Vicky Hutton my inspirational and wonderful personal trainer. She taught me to love exercise and without her I doubt I’d have been fit enough to make it through 2019 💪. She has advanced lung cancer and is defying expectations as she lives an incredibly active life doing long runs for fun.
W is for work. When I was first diagnosed with terminal cancer I was ordered by multiple doctors to quit work. 2 years later I’m still working full time and loving it!
X is for X. I got to vote in a general election this year. The result wasn’t what I wanted, but I’ll always celebrate getting to vote. There are millions of people worldwide who are still fighting and dying for the chance to put an X on a ballot paper.
Y is for yes. I always used to let my fears and worries rule me. Now I just don’t have time for regrets, so I say yes to as much as I possibly can!
Z is for zoos. I’ve visited lots of zoos and animal sanctuaries in 2019. I love animals. Visiting a well run zoo or safari park is one of my favourite activities. I’ve cuddled rabbits at Cotswold Farm Park and held snakes at West Midlands Safari Park. I’ve smiled at the Patagonia Mara of Amazona Zoo and held a baby alligator at Crocodiles of The World. I love zoos!
This blog is dedicated to the 11,000+ British people who were killed by breast cancer this year. Breast cancer is not pink or easy. It kills more Brits than gun violence, domestic violence and terrorism combined.
Thank you so much for reading this blog. Seriously thank you. This A-Z has been a snapshot of the highlights of the last year. It doesn’t cover everything, but hopefully it shows that I’m #BusyLivingWithMets and desperate to live so that I can keep making wonderful memories. The only way that can happen is with drug access. The problem is that as the ICR outlined during 2019, drug access is still rubbish in the UK. In other countries I’d still have options before chemo. In the UK I can’t even get on a clinical trial. That’s why METUP UK is demanding change. So that 35 year olds don’t have to try and cram a lifetime of living into months.
I hope that I’ll be able to do a blog like this at the end of 2020, but who knows what will happen before then. All I know is that I adore my life, but that I’m running out of time.
Thank you again for reading and Happy New Year.