Family was my best Christmas present

FIONA Welsh on her battle against breast cancer

I AM pleased to say I got exactly what I wanted for Christmas.

It wasn’t a long list – material things are not as important to me now. Top of my list was to be well enough to be with my immediate family.

Secondly was to enjoy the celebrations and to enjoy eating my Christmas dinner. Thirdly was for new socks as I seem to have a shortage for some reason.

I have managed to keep pretty well since my last chemotherapy session and was the most organised for Christmas I have ever been – though admittedly I didn’t have to do anything.

My Christmas “cooking” consisted of making a fresh fruit salad for my dessert, but nonetheless I managed it. My mum took on the task of cooking this year and 11 of us sat down to a great Christmas dinner.

My brother and his family had come home from the Isle of Wight, and my three-year-old niece kept us all entertained. I was even well enough to help mum, but I did take a few moments to just look around me, look at those I love and be grateful for it all, as times like these are so precious to me now.

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Having my little niece around is great, she is such a sweetie and a real character. She totally takes after her Auntie Fiona. I had taken my wig off to help in the kitchen and forgot to put it back on at the dinner table.

Even though my niece has seen me without hair, I do normally wear my little caps. She piped up during dinner and said “Auntie Fiona, where is your hair?” I never say it is because I am ill, as she may then worry about getting ill, nor do I want to say it’s medicine that caused it, as again she may be worried about taking any medicine, so I just say it’s left my head for a while but will come back again one day!

She then told me off for not having my paper hat on from my Christmas cracker. I soon popped one on, only to have my mum laugh saying that I looked liked Humpty Dumpty with his crown on his egg head.

Another thing that made me laugh was a present of an onesie, an all in one suit worn for lounging around in, or as pyjamas. I popped on my onesie on Boxing Day just to relax in but as comfortable and warm as it is, I do have to be careful I cover my bald hair while wearing it because if not I look like a very large baby in a baby-grow!

I am wondering what this New Year may bring. I hope it is filled with lots of fun and laughter again. I have such a different outlook on my life since cancer joined it, and whatever the New Year brings, I know I will be all right.

I know I am loved, supported and cared about as this last year has well and truly shown me that.