Today, I stuck too firm fingers up to my chemotherapy treatment and its, frankly sadistic side effects, and ventured out of my bed for some Christmas joy.
I love London at Christmas, even in the rain. My journey from East to West at the start of my evening, was a stark reminder of how much My Myeloma has made me miss out on this festive season. Sure, people have come to me, but I have not been able to walk along the Southbank finishing my journey by crossing the Millennium Bridge to reveal the Christmas Tree at St Paul’s Cathedral, I have not been able to see the commercialism of the Oxford Street Christmas lights and I have not been able to do my Christmas shopping in an actual shop. Simple pleasures, but things I have missed and things I long for. More simply, I want to sit outside the British Film Institute, drinking a mulled wine whilst smoking a cigarette, and just watch the festive fun walk before my eyes. Alas, there is always 2013. The closest I had gotten to a Central London Christmas, until 18:30hrs this evening, was the photograph below from my taxi.
For those of you unfamiliar with the sights of London, that is the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree. It is normally impressive when not viewed through a car window in the rain. Oh, Bethlehem!
As with most things in life, I will not permit myself to be all doom and gloom for long, for this evening, once that melancholia was out the way, my body held out just long enough for me to attend a carol service in Westminster Abbey.* Middlesborough once again came up top trumps with two tickets to the Civil Service Evening of Fun and Flirting With Faith. The tickets were obtained through fair and open competition and at no time was my illness mentioned. No way, Housana.
Now, if you are a fan of the Christmas Carols, you have never really experienced them until you have sat in Westminster Abbey accompanied by the Abbey’s Choir and the Grenadier Guards. You really haven’t. For a whole hour, bar approximately five minutes if I am being honest, my arms were goose pimpled and I was festive. It was, quite simply, majestic, even if my singing was not. High notes and me are not friends as I am sure Housemate would testify when my iPod is on.
The blessings however, did bring my current ailment home to me. My Myeloma is never far from my mind, but in times like these and one is exposed to faith and prayer towards the sick and infirm, you have to ask, why me? If there is an omnibenevolent God, where is the love in whacking me with this big shit covered stick of cancer? I am sure most the congregation did not ask themselves this when the words were spoken. Most of them were believers and were there for the hymns and the hymns alone.
It cannot however hurt to ask oneself occasionally whether you have faith and then, as I do, ask the question above and realise that there is no rhyme nor reason to life’s turbulence. It is what it is, and it is happening because it is happening. I have no intention of ‘giving myself to God’ as somebody suggested earlier in the week. I just ask that those who do believe pray for me. Just so I am covering all the bases. Just in case. All I know, and do not not know a lot as my basic knowledge of theology demonstrates, is that I am just bloody fortunate that their are people in my life who take me to Westminster Abbey at Christmas. And that is something to be thankful for this Christmas Time, Mistletoe and Wine.
So there you have it. I have seen the last of what London has to offer this Christmas. The chemotherapy has now won out, I am sick and my body is not going to wake up again properly until Christmas Day. At least I got a few hours. I was faithful to my body, and now I am joyful and triumphant.
God Bless Us, Everyone.
* For future reference, private photography is strictly prohibited in the Abbey, despite the Abbey once transmitting images of Elton John’s eyebrows slow dancing in there across the globe. Life can be unfair sometimes. Sure.