So, this year, paper cards have been purchased, but I don’t have the energy to write/send, and I like making an e-card. Last year, I was stuck at home, having had my second chemo, and enjoyed snuggling up watching TV, and Facetiming a few friends. This year, I expect to actually make it to my parents for a few days (and to people saying this out loud is problematic for insurance – my neighbours keep an eye on my place!), although whether Christmas is going to be a gentle celebration, or a time of getting my head round more cancer treatment (you can read all the blogs on cancer if you truly desire), who knows yet…
I want to thank so many friends and family, including my work colleagues, who have kept me going, physically and psychologically this year (including persuading me it was worth spending inheritance money on new kitchen!). When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I, and many of you, thought it would be, get the treatment done, and get on with life, but it very much feels like an unending series of tests, scanxiety, and fatigue .. and the possibility of metastasised cancer feels scary, although cancer medication is improving all the time, it’s treated more like a chronic disease. Of course, the one thing we’re all promised, is that we will all die once… although so many of us are scared to talk about it – not the #YouMeBigC ladies though, and the Methodist Church has many helpful resources!
Hopefully I’ll be making terrible e-cards for many more years though, but it does really make you think about what you want out of life (research that makes a difference to people’s lives, students who are given good opportunities, friends who feel valued, etc).
I would like to bless you all with this lovely collection of carols from Westminster Theological College:
I know a lot of people are finding Christmas (and the pressure to be cheerful/positive) a challenge, so, also enjoy this:
and another post that’s been circulating (not forgetting Martin Lewis’s tips for a money-saving Christmas):
It’s that time of year where it all gets too much for some. Christmas is a lot of pressure to be perfect, happy gorgeous families in matching pj’s. No one is having a drunken row or feeling lonely on the adverts.
The Samaritans have a free number – 116 123 (UK). Feel free to copy and paste. Thank you
And one of my all time favourite nativities:
— The Scotsman (@TheScotsman) December 9, 2014
and don’t forget the opportunity to #FollowTheStar this Christmas.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.