I am pondering if it says something about the English that despite the richness of our vocabulary which allows us to draw shades of distinction unavailable to non-english speakers, I can find only a couple of words to express thank you. (For the record Eskimos have 50 words for types of snow and Italians have over 500 names for different types of mararoni!). And right now that doesn’t seem in any way enough for me to express my gratitude.
I cannot let 2011 get kicked into touch without thanking the army of people who have supported me with love, generosity of spirit, positivity and endless patience. This is a very dangerous post as there are so many people to thank so please blame my chemo brain if I have forgotten to mention you. I count myself very lucky to have all of you in my life and hope I am a little lower maintenance in 2012! So the biggest ‘thank you’ to:
My amazing Mum and Dad for being so resilient, strong, selfless and loving; for being there literally 24 hours a day; for keeping me well mentally and physically and being 2nd mum and dad to Joe and Lois, not to mention all the help around the house and many things too countless to mention.
Joseph and Lois for being the bravest and most thoughtful children ever.
Tim, for his calmness and presence when I was at my most scared, for the non-stop thankless task of looking after me and refusing to let me do anything! And for putting up with my ever changing and demanding diet and still serving up nutritious meals daily.
My brother David (and Lucie) –for being there from the very first second, sitting through all the consultations with me, for letting nothing be too much trouble, for endless love, energy, creativity, research and positive inspiration.
BF Jenny for being there when I needed her most and also being there for my mum as well as my boy Joe, for her daily funny cards which made me laugh and cry and for keeping me going day after day with bonkers texts, messages and gifts.
Pip for supporting Tim and me, plus keeping us laughing and Leanda, Matt and Ginny for their kind words.
My cousins Becca and Sharon for being more like my sisters, my Aunties and Uncles and more cousins for keeping my sense of humour and showing me how important and amazing my family are.
Adam and Holly, for stepping up their support and love for their bro and sis.
My truly special and long suffering friends; Jo for taking me away from it all with endless cups of teas and support, for a memorable trip to Eastboune and for looking after Lois and Joe at the drop of a hat; Lauren for her incredible support for me, Joe and Lois, for her uplifting messages, photography, videos and fundraising; Julie for being there for me but even more importantly Lois without question without asking and just knowing what to do; Andy B for meditation, wisdom, selfless support and keeping me amused with never ending supply of stories and good jokes; Alex for protecting me from stress at work, for lovely cards and letters and for the weekly round-up of news; Alison for massive support, motivation and creative buzz; Tina for reminding me I am still normal! Di for laughs and setting up the bum bandits club and food, food, food and more delicious food! Mary Y for being the first person to get my head straight on cancer and fix my mental attitude; Jane for being there for me and Lois and becoming a good pal; Kathy for a shoulder when I needed or was scared; Liz M for taking my mind of it! Bex for the craziness. And for Nick, Bruce, Nicole and Glen, Ronnie, Claire S, Tracey OB, Aileen and Burger Joe for just being wonderful and keeping my spirits up.
My colleagues who have become dear friends for their genuine support and kindess: Elice, Wendy, Simon C, Sally W, Sarah, David W, John P, John B, Siobhan, Chris S, Leah, Sona, Shelley, Anna, Liz, Dave C, Mark S, Simon A & Rachel and Cathy & Diane.
To Mindy and her mum for reassuring me when I get the wierd side effects and courage when I needed it.
And Beating Bowel Cancer for their forums and community support, Tom Van Kaenel for his support for Bananagiraffes and BBC and Mary Holloway (volunteer) for her weekly Reiki sessions.
I feel pretty humble and blessed looking at that list and just terribly sad for people going through this on their own, spare a thought or better still a visit for them this new year!