A moment frozen in time .
We all have memories from everything we do or did or participated in, millions of them during the course of a lifetime.
In the new brave world of social media, those memories are backed up with images. We use those images to construct aspects of our life we want the outside world to participate in.
Putting a post up on a media platform , is a great way to convey how you are feeling , if you want to engage with friends for a particular reason.
Prior to diagnosis I didn’t use any form of social media at all.
Ironically once my family, friends and work colleagues got wind of my illness my phone was constantly in use. Either calls to my voice mail or more frequently receiving text messages asking as to my situation.
On request, I decided to set up a WhatsApp group called Updates, it was a great way of conveying essentially the same information to a large number of people without sending individual messages or sitting making long repetitive phone calls.
Inevitably the next stage to that process was to start using a more user friendly platform, which is where Facebook has become my tool of choice in the conveying of progress as I have worked through my treatment and indeed through life itself.
As time has gone on the need for reflection on my life’s images has become more acute , the need I guess to make sense of what’s happened over the last three or so years.
Before the spectre of Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia loomed large in my life ,I rarely took anytime at all to reflect. Being in a fast paced here and now existence allowed very little time for anything but the immediacy of the work /life situation.
I did reflect on my journey as a ten year old football obsessive at various times, following the great Nottingham Forest team to Wembley to see them win a trophy in 1979 was without doubt the best day of my life up to that point.
I remember taking a camera and using up the whole roll during the day .. Then waiting two weeks to get the grainy images back to review at leisure over the proceeding years.
Those images, frozen in time, take me right back to that day, memories of the match come in flashes of brilliance in my minds eye on looking at the photos.. My favourite, and only, as it goes Uncle, John who took me along to enjoy a spectacle the like of which I’ve never been involved in before or since.
Over the years watching football did ebb and flow , go up and down on my life priority list. It became more about the consumption than the quality, as my teams fortunes ebbed and flowed in the same fashion.
To go from watching them dominate all around them in the European arena, to standing on a foggy terrace on a bitterly cold afternoon seeing Wrexham put three goals past our world class keeper to knock us out of the FA cup are memories that endure.
I remember leaving the ground after the Wrexham match thinking that things would never be the same again.. it must have been a wonderful piece of incite into a future world , because nearly forty years on since that match they never have!
In the modern era obviously we have thousands of images that freeze frame our life.. I always use those pictures that convey things in a positive light, not in a deceitful or misleading way, but in a genuine attempt to express just how joyful an experience being in remission for over a year actually is.
Reflection of my journey through illness over the last three and a bit years might seem like a self indulgent waste of time, but I feel in many ways it is an integral part of the distance traveled, a way to make sense of what has happened to my life in that time.
When I put a post up and get positive feedback and comments it does inspire me to do more, when such a seemingly negative personal experience can actually energise another human being to reflect on their own situation and perhaps prompt them to make changes to how they do things, I feel it’s getting something really worthwhile out of a bad situation.
I doubt that time ,when you are sat on the verander in your rocking chair with a tartan blanket on your knees, ever really happens for real, that time to make the ultimate reflection on how your life choices and things that have happened to you have gone . Those moments frozen in time will certainly be more instantly considered in far more detail than for anyone from the pre social media age.
I would like to think that if I’m around long enough to indulge in that type of reflection that the decisions I’m making now will be viewed by the people closest to me as significantly positive enough to have made a difference to their lives too.
Diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
Treatment : Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and Bone marrow transplant.
In remission August 2016.
Relapsed February 2018.
Went to UCLH for CAR T-Cell therapy trial as only 9th Uk patient..
In remission since July 2018.
The journey continues...
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