01480 416410 aburridge@nhs.net

Nearly Christmas – how are you feeling? That usual mix of excitement bordering on panic? Or maybe you feel a bit flat, like its all too much and who cares anyway? Do you oscillate between being glad to be alive and petrified that you might not be here next Christmas?

We have lived many Christmases thinking it might be our last together, (my husband has stage four melanoma) but we are still here. We could have wasted years worrying about what might happen. Can I offer a few tips?

We only have today. Every single one of us only has today. As far as I know I don’t have cancer but that doesn’t mean that tomorrow is guaranteed. There are any number of health things that I don’t know about that could happen to me. I could have a heart attack when I finish writing this – but worrying about it won’t make any difference. I have a reasonably healthy lifestyle and then hope for the best. I could be run over on the way home, who knows? So I am going to enjoy today for what it is. A day in my life to be grabbed and made the most of.

My husband’s tumour might start to grow again. No one knows. But me sitting around worrying about it won’t make a scrap of difference. He also lives as healthily as he can, getting exercise and good food. He takes each day as it comes. For us, there is no other way.

I stress less and sleep more. Constantly thinking about what might go wrong wasn’t helping me. All it was doing was making me feel anxious. Yes, we might lose an important contract, but we might gain another one. So I have made a decision to be realistic and not to think myself into a corner. So your cancer might come back but sitting there fretting won’t stop it. I am not trivialising the threat but suggesting ways of letting the worry go.

How about enjoying what we do have; go for a walk, really look at what beauty there is in nature. Watch the skies, listen to the birds. This won’t alter anything but you might just enjoy what you do have a bit more. Chat to friends, enjoy your family, eat something different and watch something fun on TV. Read that book and listen to that music. Enjoy today and Christmas Day, deal with tomorrow when it comes. Grab today and live it to the full.