January has seemed like a very long month! It’s been quite a quiet one for me, with no big trips. I’ve mostly been planning the rest of the year, or the next few months of it at least. Trying to put a positive spin on things means I’m attempting (and sometimes failing) to see everything I can do as a bonus and an achievement, and I’m trying not to get too upset by the things I’m inevitably having to miss out on. Where possible people have been really accommodating, in my experience – for example, the GMS conference was one of my highlights of 2017, and in 2018 I obviously couldn’t go – but people were live tweeting and I was able to follow along from home. Of course there were elements I missed out on, but I got to think about some of the ideas and research that was being talked about. I’ve said it before but thank you to people who use social media like this – it’s so invaluable for those of us who can’t be there in person! (Whether that’s because of schedule clashes, disability, financial constraints or anything else!)

I have also managed to do a few things though! I managed to see the New Year in, and we have been out for food a couple of times (including for my brother’s 24th birthday!) – I don’t feel old enough to have a 24 year old younger brother, but we had a lovely meal. My dad’s looked particularly impressive!

(Photo of Dad’s meal for David’s 24th birthday, because it just looked so impressive!)

I also had a very successful physio appointment (and have another one this week which will hopefully be as helpful!), got a new mobility aid which I’m beginning to get used to and finally got around to applying for a blue badge. When we’d actually sent it off, it arrived very quickly so that should make parking much easier – I can’t drive, and wouldn’t be allowed to even if I could, but both of my parents can. We’ve only used it once so far since it arrived last week but I think it will be useful! If people would find it useful, I can talk a little bit about the process but I think it does vary depending on your council and their rules and requirements – it also took me a very long time to actually get round to doing it, for which I’m sticking with the excuse that the website was a nightmare to navigate.

I’ve just had a visit from a great friend who came all the way down from Glasgow! Last time I saw her was at the beginning of December for her wedding, which was lovely, but it was so nice to get to spend proper time together. Brilliant as my parents are, and lovely as Arya-kitten is, it’s always nice to just have a catch up with a friend.

Arya remains as cute as ever – she had a wee operation last week and so is having to wear a cone, which she really doesn’t like but looks adorable in it, if a little bit sad. She’s learning how to navigate space while wearing it, and it’ll hopefully come off after ten days, which depending on when I actually post this will be about five days time!

(Arya and her ‘cone of glory’)

I’ve got February planned as a much busier month, and there’s still stuff to officially schedule! I’m not sure how much of it I’ll actually be able to do but I’m hoping for as much as possible. I’ve got a few more visits from various friends planned, from Glasgow and elsewhere. I’m hoping to have a few trips – to Oxford and also one that is currently mostly remaining secret until it’s happened (intriguing, isn’t it?). There’ll be the usual doctors appointments and five days of tablet chemo, but that’s becoming so much a part of my daily routine that it’s almost ceased to count. I’ve avoided being hospitalised in 2018 (so far, I know we’ve only had a month of it!) so that’s a part of the routine I’m glad to be seemingly rid of for now.

On Shrove Tuesday, the 13th February, I’m hoping to go and see Iron and Wine at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham with my dad and one of my brothers – I’ve wanted to see him live for a few years now and so am jumping (metaphorically, of course!) at the opportunity. I haven’t been to any gigs since early July when Nathan and I were at TRNSMT festival in Glasgow, and so if we do manage to get tickets, it’ll be a really special thing. (And I’ll just have to have pancakes some other time!)

(Nathan and I at TRNSMT festival last July, just before Italy happened and one of the few sibling selfies I’ve managed to persuade him to take!)

I’m hoping for a couple of cinema trips too, especially with the Oscars and the BAFTAs coming up – I like being able to play along and have favourites among the films nominated, but I just haven’t seen enough of them yet! The last film I saw at the cinema was the Last Jedi, which I obviously very much enjoyed. I missed quite a few though, so there’s some I need to catch up with on DVD (less exciting, but involves less energy and effort.)

(Obviously, this was what I wore to see the Last Jedi. Not that I’m a cliché at all)

On the 4th February, it’ll be World Cancer Day, and I’m hoping to blog a few of my thoughts about that. I’ve bought a Unity Band from Macmillan (if you want to get one too, you can buy them online or in Cancer Research shops – https://shop.cancerresearchuk.org/product/unity-band?_ga=2.10806199.228895899.1517226259-amp-vyCE5AeUV1HUGafBQj15Lg) for the day but haven’t so far done anything else. I intend to blog and tweet about it and my, at this point, slightly mixed feelings about the day. I just have to work out what they are first…

So that’s quite a lot of plans, and hopefully there’ll be other things happening too – I’m trying not to overplan, though, because I don’t want to tire myself out too much and not be able to do things I’ve committed to, especially things which involve booking in advance or other people, or both.

So, bring on February – may it be as exciting a month as it is shaping up to be!

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