By Laura Anne Boyd, Glasgow.
For the past five years, I feel like I have been living in a bubble. I was diagnosed with leukaemia in September 2009 and I know it sounds cliché, but my life truly did change forever that day.
There have been tears and terrible times but there has also been laughter – a lot of it – and having cancer has, if this doesn’t sound too bizarre, actually enriched my life.
I appreciate every moment, even the not-so-fun ones. Hey, at least I’m still here. It has also led me to meet the most incredible group of people, through charity work and fellow patients I have met through blogging about my experience, who I can now call friends.
I have taken part and organised numerous charity ventures, which have not only raised thousands of pounds for cancer charities, but have also given me a focus, real goals to work towards. From climbing Ben Nevis to cycling 47 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh – these are things I never thought I would be able to do.
I have a new lust for life and having things to focus on, that I know will genuinely help people, has really helped me through the darkest of times.
Friends say I should slow down and I know what they mean but I can’t. I know more than many, if you don’t do it now, you might not get the chance.
Being on top of Ben Nevis will fellow cancer sufferer / survivor John Hartson was a pretty incredible moment, but I don’t think anything felt as good as the last time I was at hospital, three months ago, and I was told I had achieved my best results yet and that the cancer was well and truly under control with my new drugs.
After a blip in my results at the start of the year, it truly felt like I had been given my life back. A sense of calm washed over me and for the first time in as long as I can remember, I managed to have an undisturbed sleep, safe in the knowledge that for that night, at least, I was going to be ok.
My mum treated me to a celebratory lunch after the appointment and it was lovely, but so strange, hearing such good news was hard to take in.
That was a day I truly felt amazing and literally, good to be alive – because I was!
I am not out of the woods yet and I return to hospital soon, for the next lot of test results, exactly to the day five years on since I was first diagnosed.
If everything is still on track, that will truly be a magical moment, I am keeping everything crossed that that is the case.
Regardless, just after, I am having a massive party for family and friends to thank them for supporting me through this time. 3-5 years was the prognosis for leukaemia patients not too long ago.
Five years on, I’m still here and feeling more alive than ever. If that isn’t a reason to celebrate, I’m not sure what is.
Laura posted this on Facebook on Tuesday 16 September :
5 yrs ago on this very day, my doctor told me I had cancer and used the lovely phrase ‘we all die, dear’. I’ve been for my latest round of tests today and I’m doing better than ever, largely thanks to this lovely lady, Professor Holyoake, and her incredible team. Today is a strange day of mixed emotions but after this, I will be more ready to party than ever. Thank you everyone for keeping me going, putting up with my cheek and generally being amazing during this time xxx
Laura Boyd @stvlaura