That’s it. Almost time to say farewell 2016, hello 2017.
Truth is, on Hogmanay 2015, I wasn’t really sure if I’d be around to write this blog a year later.
I’d like to think that the over-riding attitude that I’ve shown in the past 13 months has been positivity, under-pinned by a healthy dose of black humour, and a fair degree of stoicism.
But I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t have doubts.
And I wouldn’t be true to myself, and my family, if I didn’t at least consider the grim reality of fighting an incurable cancer.
They weren’t the kind of fears and doubts that would keep me awake at night; or drive me to alcoholic oblivion; or send me into the dark pit of depression and despair.
But they were always there, lurking in the background, keeping me grounded.
After all, I was putting my life, my future, into the hands of a crazy cocktail of toxic chemicals and my own body’s capacity to process this poison in a way that would kill off the cancer cells and not the good ones. The same defective body whose rogue cells had given me the disease in the first place…
There were stats-a-plenty if I wanted to consider them. Body rejects the chemo regime? Possible. Unable to harvest stem cells? It happens. Cancer spreads to vital organs? Not unheard of. Virus gets you when your immunity is zero? Bookies favourite!
But here I am, Hogmanay 2016 and with my cancer in remission. And I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to type this blog and hopefully many more to come.
But whilst I’m in reflective mode, I’ll also spend some time thinking about those who weren’t so fortunate in 2016.
Many of you reading this will have lost people very dear to you in this past year. Parents and grandparents; brothers and sisters; wives and husbands; close friends and work buddies.
This can be a very difficult time of year for many people, for many reasons.
I think we can sometimes put too much emphasis on celebration at New Year. Some folk, understandably, just want to say good riddance to 2016. Others will be facing 2017 with a fair degree of trepidation.
When you raise a glass at the Bells tonight, make sure they are in your thoughts as well.