I love my kids, I do but there has to be times when you take advantage of a ‘childless’ weekend and go back to being, well an adult again.
Finally the day had arrived of my best friend’s wedding, so we packed the kids off to grandma’s and headed off to celebrate our friend’s big day.
It was just what was needed to take my mind off the coming week of treatment.
The wedding had been planned for months. It was on the calendar – the invite pride of place on the fridge and the dress I had bought myself (pre weight gain) had been hanging on the back of our bedroom door for months as a reminder of something to look forward to.
I had ashamedly missed the hen do, a thing I would never even consider normally – but unfortunately it followed a week of treatment and I just knew that my body just wouldn’t handle it (even with the promise of endless amounts of Prosecco).
Luckily the wedding itself fell at the end of my ‘good week’ before the final chemo session, so all things being equal I should have been on top form.
Having said that, there are many things that are tough to handle when going through the recovery of breast cancer, and anxiety is one of them.
In truth, as the week progressed leading up to the wedding I became more and more anxious about actually going out ‘publicly’. The thought of questions or looks or even hugs (threatening to turn me into an emotional wreck) all became a little overwhelming. I was determined to ignore these ever- growing feelings though, and even more determined to celebrate my friend’s day.
The ceremony itself was beautiful.
Held in a nearby church, our friends were glowing with happiness. Afterwards we all made our way to the reception which was held in a Tipi – very original and unique. As we walked towards the tent my nerves faded as we were greeted with the sound of music, laughter and such a relaxed atmosphere. Old friends greeted us with smiles and hugs and the sunshine came out from behind the grey clouds.
We all sat on the hay bales outside the tent and chatted through the afternoon. The husbands became more and more rowdy, and the photos recorded all of the typical wedding shenanigans you would expect. At one stage the need to say ‘sod it’ and grab a large glass of white wine was getting stronger (the need to be finally normal again) – but I also knew my limits on that day. I was happy to just be a part of it all.
Going to weddings and not drinking are very different experiences to alcohol fuelled ones there’s no doubt – but you also get to notice more of the important parts of the day too.
That day was about two people and two people only. They smiled and danced and kissed and they were truly in love. It reminded me of our wedding day and the happiness we shared together all those years ago with the same friends.
As the evening set in and the dancing got underway it was time for us to leave. My husband had fallen asleep in a corner somewhere (a normal occurence for those who know us) and so we said our goodbyes to our hosts and made our way home.
It was a perfect day, and in the end even the tears in the eyes of my friends upon us leaving didn’t upset me as much as I’d thought they would.
Driving home I realised that it was days like that which would make me stronger.
I had a tough week of treatment ahead, but that day was exactly what I needed to help me focus on the life that I could have again – a life beyond breast cancer.