It’s the last day of the year. I always get a bit contemplative around New Year – I am fairly sure everyone does – and the last couple of years I have been a tad teary at the stroke of midnight. This isn’t because I get terribly sad, more due to the huge flood of emotions which seem to envelope me as a year’s worth of experiences, memories and feelings sweep by in seconds, accompanied by a mixture of excitement, trepidation and fear at what lies ahead.
This time last year I was getting very nervous indeed. I had lots to celebrate and look back on happily but was glad to be leaving behind the terribly difficult few months in hospital in the summer which had frightened me more than anything ever before. I was looking forward to a new year, but was saddened by the thought that it could well be my last. This year of course is practically identical, with perhaps each emotion slightly heightened. After all if I were to concentrate on statistics and predictions, I officially run out of time in February. However if the last two years have taught me anything it is that a)whilst there is uncertainty there is hope and b)if I can possibly do what I am not medically supposed to, be it good or bad, you can be damn sure I will try and be that anomaly.
I think I have a better focus this year, as last year I was fairly convinced that I would either have received my transplant by Christmas 2006 or would not be here at all, which thankfully has turned out to be untrue. This year I am trying to go into it with much less contemplation about what the year holds, as I know from 2006 that both the highs and the lows can go to new levels you never imagined possible. I have had innumerable experiences this year which I would never have imagined possible at this stage of my health, from launching the Live Life Then Give Life campaign, to going clubbing with my oxygen on, from giving a speech at the House of Lords, to 2 weeks later being told I was dying and nothing more could be done, then walking 500metres and across that finish line (dressed in more pink than you could possibly visualize) 6 weeks after that.
Who knows what the New Year will bring, and not just in the way of health. But I think you can be fairly certain there will be highs and lows, and so the best thing to do is to look forward to all the new opportunities and exciting possibilities which are about to open up, and when the more testing moments come, charge at them whooping loudly in an act of intimidation and tackle them head on. What I do know is that I have had an amazing Christmas and am going to go forward and live and love 2007 to the best of my ability.
Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year.
This is my life and I choose to love it.