Perfectly Frank: Looking ahead as changes occur

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There is no better way to beat the January blues than jetting off to Belfast with friends for the weekend.

It was a triple celebration; my friend Emma recently got engaged, it was Rachel’s birthday weekend and I ticked off another bucket list trip.

Emma and I have known each other since we were weeks old and I have been friends with Rachel for 14 years – we met at high school.

We don’t all see each other every week but when we meet up it feels like we have never been apart.

What a fun weekend we had – we never stopped laughing from the minute we arrived until we returned home.

In a nutshell our trip began with wine at the airport then more wine in an Irish bar while waiting to go on our black cab tour, which was the highlight of the weekend.

The political murals of the Falls and the Shankill tell their own graphic story of the “Troubles” in Ireland’s recent history.

It was nice to finish the cab tour at the peace wall, the infamous wall built to keep Nationalists and Loyalists apart which, in the process, divided the communities.

We all signed our names on the wall writing our own special message. Tom our driver made the tour fun and relaxed and even allowed us to have a wine or two in the cab.

Then off we went to a typical Irish pub where live bands were playing.

The remainder of our trip consisted of shopping, visiting the Crumlin Road Jail, the Titanic museum and dining in nice restaurants. We also passed by the Crown Liquor Saloon, which is the oldest pub in Belfast, and the Europa hotel – the most bombed hotel in Belfast. The history of Belfast is astonishing.

The Irish people are a pleasure to be around – likewise are my friends.

The reality of living with cancer has well and truly kicked in as I received news that I will now be getting treated at the Beatson in Glasgow rather than Forth Valley.

You know your own body better than anyone and I am not surprised to hear the news that the tumour on my sternum bone is continuing to misbehave.

I am meeting a new oncologist through the week to discuss starting a new trial which apparently is going to be the ‘future’ in the medical world.

It is disappointing that the cancer is moving slightly but I am appreciative that I do have options and look forward to learning more about the trial and I am eager to get back to being 100 per cent stable again.

I have positive vibes about this treatment and to think in the process I am helping other people by playing a part is a bonus.

In the meantime, I am ensuring I carry on enjoying my busy as ever social life with very special people.

February is already shaping up to be a good one, with the diary filled with days out, pampering and training sessions.