20 May 2017
Tomorrow is my sixth wedding anniversary. In celebration, for the month of MAY, I'm STILL happily matching your donations of up to £50, around $65 US dollars...all currencies are accepted and if you cannot donate to the charity to support my walk/run, I only ask you to consider sharing my link. I know, most of us hate being asked for money, or to share a post. In this case, its personal and your help is appreciated greatly.
Thank you to those who have sacrificed, the smallest donations touch my heart deeply because I know for some, it is a sincerely great gift and I genuinely love you for it.
Race Day is coming!!! I might not make my goal, but let's get as close as we can and put and end to cancer related grief!!
Love, love, love....
20 March 2017
I'm humbled by the friends who have donated, especially those who come out and support me when they don't have to.
Love you all...
Hi there...thanks for stopping by...
Cancer first came into my life in September 1976 when my paternal grandfather, "Papa", passed away from bowel cancer. It started with a symptom many people experience and before I knew it, I was a little girl without the only grandfather she'd ever known and my dad without his father.
Just a bit over 40 years later and cancer is still bad news. I have seen people I care for lose their battle and I have seen some win. Sadly, the number of loved ones that have lost still greatly surpasses the number that have won.
Because of the connotations when we hear the word "cancer", (and because I'm a bit of a sappy baby) I was a "bit" upset to hear my dad tell me and my husband he had this long named thing; Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL). It took a lot of reassuring to convince me that his form of cancer was not a threat. Still, with all I know, I worry about my dad. A bit of what one of my professors called, "cultural conditioning".
Cancer didn't stop with my grandfather's passing or my dad's more "benign" diagnosis. In 2002, I lost my maternal grandmother to kidney cancer. Treatment was not an "option". In 2005, a friend of mine went through hell and back fighting the same strain of breast cancer that took the lives of her mother, grandmother and two aunts. As a mom, she was absolutely petrified of leaving her girls without their mother and more afraid they'd develop this family "curse". At the advice of her oncologist, her girls would have to have preventative mastectomies AND hysterectomies after reaching each of their 18th birthdays. Neither will have their own babies. Who knew breast cancer would affect a woman's fertility? You know now.
But cancer would not be silenced. In the autumn of 2014 on a trip to California to visit my family and friends, I was shocked to hear that my sister in law's father, nicknamed "Dutch" because he was originally from the Netherlands, had been diagnosed with cancer. Dutch was an active man and a devoted dad and grandpa. He spent many happy days in his garden and had close ties to his church. It hadn't been very long since I'd seen him and I recall thinking, yet again, that life can change quickly. My sister in law feared the worst, crying when she told me about his diagnosis. Like myself, she'd lost her mother years before and her dad was very important to her as well as to my little nephews.
A week later, back from the States, my husband told me that a close family friend, Ken, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It was November 2014 and each weekend my husband spent time with Ken, on good days I would join him and soon I got to know Ken. His humour and his stories about life made me laugh. On visit days whether in the hospital or at his home, if I didn't accompany my husband Ken would send him home with a note to me, thanking me for the "loan" of "the husband" and there'd be a little doodle on the page which reminded me in many ways of my grandfather. When Ken was tired and needed to be alone, he'd say "piss off" or "get out". This was classic Ken humour. :) Like many pancreatic cancer patients, because of its high mortality rate, Ken opted out of chemotherapy and other treatments. He knew his remaining time would be better spent without chemo.
One weekend in February Ken asked my husband where I was. I had only a day or so earlier lost my grandma to Alzheimer's and felt I should stay home and when my husband told him this; Ken got out his trusty note pad and pen and wrote me a sympathy letter, something I still cherish.
Ken told me once as he was looking out his window, I'll be happy to see one more Scottish summer. You'd have to know Scotland to know, he kind of got his wish. Ken passed away at the end of May, 2015. Ken had some wishes when it came to his funeral/memorial; no getting dressed up, no suits allowed. The "playlist" for his memorial included Philip Glass as well as Pink Floyd and it was wished that instead of sending flowers, could people just make donations...I'm workin' on it Ken, I'm workin' on it. ;)
It all came a bit full circle for me in September 2015 when my sister in law's father passed away. I could only imagine her pain but what drove it home for me, was that my little nephews were experiencing the loss of their very loved grandpa, their first experience having someone close to them die and I remember thinking that my older nephew was just around the same age as I was when I lost my Papa. It hurt to think of "my boys" having to learn about grief at such an early age, cancer doesn't care.
I learned of both Dutch and Ken's diagnoses in the autumn of 2014. For my New Year's Resolution, I decided to spend time doing more than talking about how things affected me. That was no longer enough, I needed to "walk the talk" meaning that I would get out there and take part in positive activity to benefit causes important to me.
I'm a painfully introverted person but I had to get over that. I did my first Race for Life event in June 2015. It was a beautiful day as we all began the charge down by the beach in Aberdeen. A sea of ladies in pink; little girls, older ladies, ladies on crutches and in wheelchairs, quite a few dogs and the bravest of the brave, women going through cancer treatment at the time.
I haven't stopped my fight. I donate, participate and hopefully activate similar goals in others. I've just finished "Sugar Free February" for Cancer Research UK and I thank those that donated to my sugar sacrifice ;) ! Now, I'm continuing my support of Cancer Research UK by once again participating in their annual RACE FOR LIFE event at Aberdeen Beach.
As a GP's wife, cancer is a common term in my life. I don't know my husband's patients nor their families, but every time he works late to do a bereavement visit or to help with a patient who is having a bad day, it makes me think. For the patient, I hope he was able to take away some of their pain; for the family members, it's one of the worst days of their lives when they meet him. Perhaps he's been a source of compassion and assistance; maybe he's been an emotional punching bag for their frustration, worry, and grief. Are there children who have suffered their first loss, is it a spouse at a loss for how to move on alone. I often think, I can do more. So that's what I am doing; more.
Please help me raise funds in an endeavour to eradicate cancer and avoid the suffering and potential loss of those we love most.
You don't have to live in the UK to donate. A dollar, a pound, a euro... it doesn't matter; I'm just grateful for your support. As I was once reminded, if you don't ask, you don't receive and if you don't try, you don't achieve.
Donating through this page is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with Cancer Research UK
Cancer is happening right now, which is why I'm taking part in a Race for Life 5k to raise money and save lives. 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Every single pound you donate makes a difference to Cancer Research UK’s ground-breaking work.