Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas In Hospital. It's not great, but thank God for some people who make it better!

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It's a stark reality that many face over the next few weeks, while we get to celebrate. 2/3 of the last Christmas/New Years, I was in hospital. 

It sucked. I could see the celebration, the festive spirit, the joy of others on TV, Facebook, YouTube; everywhere. I felt like an outsider, sitting on the shores of a lake of joy, festivity and love, unable to drink it in, as everyone else drank and frolicked in its clear waters with ease. 

This period sucks for many who can't celebrate it. Even if we're not physically incapacitated... we feel isolated... an ungrateful soul because we're not as caught up in the celebration so much as recovering from what's often the worst periods of our life. The family gatherings and festivities, a thing to look forward to for most, become something to dread for those who have to explain their circumstance over and over, or else exposed to distant family and friends and their judgements of us for the first time in a long time. 

It's something a lot of us cancer survivors, and something that many sufferers of depression feel...

But there are some things that make it better.  

I talked about how I dealt with the tough "festive season" of Christmas and New Years on this Cancer Council Webinar (just enter your email and you can watch it for free --> It wasn't easy... but eventually, I took a step back and realised what was stopping me from having fun was the fear of judgement and others' thoughts about me. Taking that step back allowed me to see that that worry was coming from me, and all it was doing was stopping me from being happy with myself, and that's something that's helped me become more confident and happy with myself, to this day. 
I think it's awesome that the Cancer Council cares not only for the research, and treatment of patients, but also for their wellbeing. Indeed, I believe that contributes equally to a patient's health as their treatment does!

But the fact that I was missing out on some of the best bits of the year... that was harder to get past. But after a while, and after taking a step back and looking at things from another perspective, I realised that in the end, this was all happening to allow me to enjoy many more Christmases and other occasions in the future. So why worry?

That in itself was something to celebrate, I realised. 

But it also helped that I had some amazing nurses, doctors and family to help me feel like I wasn't missing out at all. 

And you know what, when I went in to visit my nurses and doctors, my second mothers and fathers, like every other year, they were doing their best to make sure those under their care didn't feel like they were missing out. 

And this year - they'd outdone themselves! 

They won the best decorated ward in Liverpool Hospital this year. And with this amazing Frozen themed Christmas decorations, I don't see why they wouldn't win the best Christmas decorations in the STATE award. 

 The Snowman from Frozen! Made entirely of foam cups!

 One of my favourite ladies - who you may know as Mary Johnson (click here to read that story) posing with this hot devil.
 Christmas trees in hospital? Say what???
 I saw her wearing this hair-pin and couldn't resist.
A little photobooth they created for patients, staff and their families.

They weren't the only ones who brightened up the mood. I remember every time I was in hospital during the tough times, I wanted to go out and see the world. I love Christmas. It's a time where everyone gets together and everyone seems happy! 
What I loved most were the lights. And at the end of 2012/13, when I, and my family, were going through the worst period of my treatment, where I was having seizures, and my mind was plagued with very real hallucinations, I used to LOVE going out, every time I managed to get gate-leave from my doctors, to see this amazing light and music display that was outside 2 homes in a Suburb, not too far from home and the Hospital. 

I don't have the video just yet - but it's on again this year, and by this time tomorrow, I'll guarantee you I'll have it up!


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