I know I'm a bit late with the New Years wishes and I hope you forgive and take my thoughts and wishes regardless of my lateness?!
I've been enjoying a two week break over Christmas and New Year, a much needed time for both me and Paul to chill out, spend time with our friends and family and try and get our new flat a bit more organised!
Christmas was quite low key and chilled out for both of us but it was just what I needed, I know some of my family wanted to make it a 'big thing' for me considering my circumstances this year but it wasn't something I wanted so we spent Christmas Day in Scotland with Paul's family, once again winning the annual game of Trivial Pursuit with the usual bickering and calls of cheating involved!
We then travelled down to England to spend Boxing Day to New Years Eve Eve (is there another name for the day before New Years Eve?!) with my family.
This was made even better by the fact that we ended up having two Christmas dinners because my brother and his fiance didn't go to my parent's house until Boxing Day either so my Mum and Dad saved making Christmas dinner until then!
It's by far my favourite meal of the year, I love a good Sunday roast and Christmas dinner is like a Sunday roast on speed!
Also due to the wonders of chemo, I was able to eat everything everyone else could eat!! A few months ago I had Sunday lunch at my parents house and had to eat mashed potato and gravy while watching everyone else tuck in to the full meat and roast potatoes and vegetables!!
Christmas also came a bit earlier in our flat too because on Christmas Eve I received a letter in the post from my doctor.
I have been declared operable!! My little friend is suitably tiny and contained enough for him to be cut out of me and sent on his way into the big bad world!!
So this time next week I will be getting ready to go into hospital for the biggest single event in my life so far.
The operation is massive (or so I keep being told) a full 10 / 11 hours in surgery resulting in a massive scar across the full width of my chest and another one down my side, broken ribs to get into my chest, a lung collapsed to gain access to my oesophagus and stomach and approximately 1/3 of my oesophagus and 1/2 of my stomach being removed to make sure the full tumour is removed.
I'll then be in hospital for about two weeks and recovering at home for months.
On the plus side the operation is affectionately known as the shark bite op due to the shape of the scar on my chest so I'm hoping to come up with some appropriately amazing 'stories' to go along with my new body art!!
To be quite honest I'm terrified but there is no other way around this.
My little hitch-hiker is too fond of my body to be removed by chemo alone and therefore needs a surgeon's push to leave me alone!
I have the advantage of being a lot younger and fitter then the 'typical' patient for this type of cancer and I figure if a 60 something man who has smoked and drank all his life can get through this op and the recovery then I can.
I mean I did swim two miles in freezing cold open water with cancer!!
(I didn't know I had cancer at that point of course but from what the doctor has said regarding how long the tumour has probably been there I worked out that I technically had cancer when I completed my swim!!)
So I'm hoping 2013 is going to be my year - I will get through this and I'm determined to be stronger and fitter than I was when I went in to this horrible disease.
I feel gradually able to start making plans once again.
Now when I look further than a few weeks ahead there is a hazy grey instead of the solid black which is all I could see for weeks.
Now more than ever, I don't want to wish my life away but my resolution for 2013 is simply to see 2014!!
I will have goals in between that, I'm starting to think of the ways I can repay the many people who have helped me along this journey and lend a hand to those going through this too but first I need to get myself healthy - I have to get through this operation and then another 9 gruelling weeks of chemo but then I'm hoping to get good results in my end scan that all the tumour is gone and I can start making real plans once again!!
I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and that you have some great goals to meet for 2013 - lets make it the best year yet!!
I'm thinking 13 isn't going to be so unlucky for me after all!!