Something To Look Forward To

When going through cancer treatment it seems like the days merge into one and the long process sometimes feels like its never going to end. Obviously it will... at some point.

Yes we remain hopeful because we don't really have another choice, and yes we have a plan for treatment but drags a lot of the the time like a dirty plastic bag, stuck under a car and as things can change so quickly, we can never be fully prepared for it. As one of my instagram friends quite rightly put it, this journey is anything but predictable, you just have to hold on tight!

So it was the end of my chemo on 14th November, and I had my Lumpectomy and auxiliary node clearance on the 7th December. I really needed to get away and forget about hospital appointments and watching Jeremy shiteing Kyle for a hot minute otherwise I'd likely go insane, but where to go?!
My immune system still being low and my body still recovering, flying abroad was not an option. Annoyed!

Cottage Find

I was on Instagram...again, and I was browsing away and came across a post by 'SomethingToLookForwardTo', a charity for cancer sufferers who posted a beaufial picture of a cute little cottage somewhere in the UK. They were looking for couples or families with up to 2 dogs for a January stay. I commented and said something like  'This is exactly what I need before started radiotherapy in February.' The charity commented back saying 'well why don't you go ahead and apply!:)'

I started to imagine myself being there, enjoying the thought of getting lost in the forest, then I thought, 'you know what, I think I might'. I have tried to use Ellies Friends before, right at the start of the treatment but didn't get selected for anything, so I just thought its going to be the same, hit and hope kinda thang.
I went on their website anyway, registered my details and excitedly hit the 'apply' button.

A few days later, forgetting about the application, I got an email asking when in January I could go!? 
I quickly messaged a few friends and emailed back stating the days we were available, and before I knew it, we had a cottage stay booked for 6 of us AND our dogs :) #WINNING no more January blues.

My friends messaged me asking where it was, and I genuinely didn't have a clue lol I didn't even look it up! All I remember was seeing a pretty cottage in a photograph and longing to be there.
We did look it up and it happened to be close by to one of my friends parents houses! He was excited to be 'killing 2 birds with one stone' as it was his Grandmothers birthday that weekend too! how random was that!

We arranged a hire car big enough for 6 of us and dogs - and set off on our way. Whoop whoop!

It was dark when we arrived and a steep set of steps with a sign 'Blue Bell Cottage' led us to the location. We had found our home for the weekend.

We excitedly entered the house and immediately scattered around checking the place out like we had just bought a country home. Screams of excitement and the dogs going crazy, we still couldn't believe that we were here, all together, in the middle of the countryside.

I immediately headed to the fireplace where I attempted to start the fire. Ive always wanted a fireplace in my house, and this just confirmed in my head that over the next few years I would make it my mission to work hard enough to get me one! So relaxing, so romantic, so cozy. My bedroom at the cottage also had one, but you couldn't light a fire.
I don't know what it is about fireplaces, maybe its the 'back to basics'  vibe and warm comforting feeling that I really wanted. Lighting a fire whilst its snowing outside. Doesn't that thought make you smile?!
Since starting chemo I tried to be as natural as possible i.e not using microwaves etc. Its flipping hard don't get me wrong, but if I can irradiate certain things and bring it back to 'old skool', Im content. I need a fireplace or log burner!

We got the dinner going, got the fire going, cracked open a bottle of wine and literally wined down.

I was so happy to have my band mates with me, it seemed like the months of not doing a gig together due to shitty cancer somehow bought us together but also slowed us down in terms of productivity, so it only seemed right to spend time with my boys as not only a thank you for 'not ditching me', but time away together where we could clear our minds and re start the process of becoming a band again. Ive been on fight mode for so long, trying to be creative is hard! It used to come so naturally to me, writing a song, but since being diagnosed its like my head has just switched off. My therapist did say it was normal, so long as its normal things can slowly get back to the old ways in no time....

Country walks, being together and breathing in fresh country air was everything I needed that weekend. So what are you waiting for? Just because your having treatment downs mean you can't enjoy the beautiful countryside? It doesn't require much energy and the peace and quite will do you a world of good.

If you would like to see what else the charity Something to Look Forward To has to offer , or if you are someone who has a gift to donate, contact these guys. Its amazing what acts of kindness like this can do for the soul.

Here are some of the pictures from our stay



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