After a few rather downbeat posts, it’s time to reinvigorate my blog, my attitude, my faithful followers and not least of all, myself!
As previous readers will know, I have created a List for Living. I keep it updated, but to celebrate 17 months post-transplant today – yes, it really has been that long – I wanted to review it, share my progress and hopefully re-inspire myself.
When I made the list, I was staring the possibility of dying in the face and wanting to blow it a big fat raspberry. So writing this list, which was inspired by a woman with a terminal diagnosis, seemed urgent and exciting, not to mention actually doing the things on the list.
Now that urgency is lessened, but the possibility of a relapse is always hovering nearby, so it feels just as important to do the things on my list. Somehow though it feels harder to justify now that I’m in good health, as though I need a terminal diagnosis to validate following through on this wish list. But I remind myself of something a friend told me from a woman who was going through her third line of treatment, after relapsing a second time… that she wished she’d made more of her second remission.
So often I hear people saying “ooh Jet, you’re so busy… ooh Jet, you’re such a jet-setter!” I need to find a way not to take those words as criticism or envy, to which I respond defensively or self- justifyingly, but just as observations that I can acknowledge with a big smile and a big “Yes!” I don’t need to feel guilty… I’ve earned that right at least by having myeloma!
This is just a quick peek, a teaser if you like. Those that are Done! Ongoing! or In Progress! I will write about in more detail in separate posts… I promise.
1. Go to Paris for lunch
Done! If you missed it, I wrote about it here.
6. Spend time with my young nephew in New York
Done! And to be done again if I can… and often!
8. Drive through Italy on my very own ‘Room with a View’ tour of stunning Italian cities (Venice, Rome, Siena, Florence, Naples)
Done! (apart from Naples). Long overdue post to be written soon.
10. Train as a Playback Theatre practitioner and
11. Set up a Playback Theatre group to perform for/to groups of people affected by cancer
Both in progress!
12. Volunteer with R&BE to raise awareness of blood, stem cell and organ donation
13. Drive along the Côte d’Azur in an open-top sports car
I had un petit avant-goût (a little taster) as part of my Italian trip.
Ride a horse in Central Park, New York
Sadly, this is no longer possible as horses are no longer permitted in Central Park. Read more in my New York post.
22. Foster a dog
23. Meet online cancer friend: Deborah, from Hertfordshire, UK
Done! For those who missed it, I wrote about it here.
23b. Meet online cancer friend: Rebecca, from USA
Read more in my New York post.
26. Go barefoot walking
31. Bake a cake for an elderly neighbour
Done! I actually baked two lemon drizzle cakes, for two elderly neighbours. It may be time to do it again, but maybe a different cake?
32. See a Blue Man group show
Done! Read more in my New York post.
39a. Write a regular newspaper column
40. Watch an opera in Verona
Read more in my Grand Italian Tour post.
Learn to play tennisCancelled! I realised that I don’t have the energy or sufficient desire to do this.
46. Re-learn to knit and complete a knitting project
Ongoing! I’ve recently re-learnt to cast on and cast off and reminded myself how to knit and purl. What more do I need? Only to actually complete a project!
48. Do a long distance cycle ride
I had the chance to join some friends in September, cycling the Devon Coast-to-Coast route. I wasn’t quite ready, physically, logistically or with my confidence, so this remains on the list.
52. Take a flight in a two-seater airplane
In planning! I wrote about how this came to appear on my list here.
52a. Take a flight in a glider
Whew! No wonder I suffer with fatigue. Maybe I’m aiming to do too much at once? I feel driven and sometimes overwhelmed. Perhaps I need to add doing nothing and staying calm to my list? But first, I need to get on and write these blog posts I’ve promised…!