Back in April 2014, whilst I was recovering from my bilateral mastectomy and Axillary node clearance, I decided to write a bucket list. I didn’t call it a Bucket List, it was a “To do list”. Whatever I called it, this is what was on the list:
- Sort the garden - I'm not sure what I meant by this, but the garden is now a lot tidier than it was. tick!
- Stain/paint some furniture - I've painted three bedside tables and a chest of drawers. tick!
- Run a 10k - I ran the Standalone 10km in October 2014 with Michelle. tick!
- Race for Life Pretty Muddy - A hardy bunch of Gin Clubbers helped me get round a Muddy 5km in June 2015. tick!
- do a triathlon - I'll come back to this in another blog post in the future...there is a plan...sort of!
There’s one thing that I didn’t have written down, but was on the list in my head. This was to join a choir and start singing again. I love singing, but for some reason, I lost my confidence and I stopped singing in public when I was about 16. Prior to that, I’d been in the school choir, school session group, I’d sang as the performing part of my music GCSE (I got a B by the way), my friend, Jenny, and I wrote and performed a song in a local songwriting competition, (we didn’t win, but we had fun). I’d sung solos in charity concerts, I even sang some big show tunes at a family friend’s wedding - accompanied by my Grandad on the piano. But something changed in my head, I thought I had an awful voice and no one would want to hear it.
In May 2014, whilst still having Herceptin, with a chemo crew cut, and no boobs, I pulled up my Big Girl Pants and I joined a choir. On the evening I decided to join Singing Aloud at Baldock Town Hall, I didn’t know if I’d know anyone there. I walked in and was enveloped in warmth and kindness and I sang again. It was lovely. As it happened, I did know a couple of people. Tash - I knew from when our boys were a nursery together. Kerry - a mum from rugby. It was going to be fine. I was going to be fine.
I’ve tried to get to choir as much as I can. I enjoyed the practice and I enjoyed the concerts. I felt like I belonged in the group, and I wasn’t a bad X-Factor audition.
This year I haven’t been able to go as often as I would have liked, although I did manage to practice enough so that I could take part in a performance at the Baldock Beer Festival with my friends and family watching. I have started to gauge how well I am, based on if I can go to choir practice or not. Last Wednesday, I made it for the first time since May. Once again, I was enveloped in the warmth and kindness and I sang. It was lovely. Unfortunately, I missed it again last night. Ross is away in New York, and I’m flying solo with the kids. It’s really stretching my energy levels. But I’m hoping to be there again soon…it’s a measure of my health.
p.s. Last week I had a message from someone who reads the blog. She was very kind telling me how much she enjoys the blog and how informative she finds it. It was a lovely and unexpected message and really brightened my day. There are two reasons I write the blog. The first is as it’s cathartic for me to write down the thoughts to get them out of my head and stop them swirling around getting in the way of me doing other things. The second is to keep my family and friends up to date with me and my treatment. If anyone else reads it and finds it helpful, then that’s brilliant. The more the merrier. Thank you for your message Joe. It spurred me into writing a couple more posts. xxShare