The Big C – my journey and how life is now five years on

This is not doom and gloom but I wanted to add a page about my personal journey with Cancer and encourage everyone who reads my blog to share their stories.   I believe that is very powerful not only to share but listen/hear other peoples stories and together learn.

From May 2014 to September 2014, I was the sole carer of my mother as she fort her battle with pancreatic and liver cancer which sadly she didn’t manage to fight.   But, through my blog, I found a voice and it meant I could share my feelings.  As a carer sometimes you do not have a voice but please know that their are charities who can support you, such as Maggie’s.

Then in November 2015, it was my turn as I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, Stage 4. I am not going to lie it certainly was not always easy, it was like been on a roller coaster that you couldn’t get off till it was all finished all in April 2017.   Then I embarked on the hardest part as a different person to stay focused and learn to walk away from stress.

I decided to do the Royal Marsden half marathon in March 2017 as I needed a challenge and was pleasantly surprised with minimal preparation that I managed to do the 14 miles in 4 hours, not bad and raise over £1.500.

In March 2017, I started to volunteer at the RMH Chelsea as I wanted to give back to the hospital that saved my life and as weird as this may sound became my second home, my safe haven.    It didn’t take long for me to get settled and as someone who had walked the walk I felt I could / was making a difference to the patient journey.

So, I head up Meet & Greet, water in Outpatients and you may see me in the shop or even in the cafe,  some days I feel like I live their.  And then in November 2019, I joined the committee following the Queen’s Award for Excellence.

In May 2018 I was asked by Maggie’s to chair the committee for them as been awarded the charity of the year 2019 for BADA, which I did and raised over £60,000 for the new centre at the Royal Marsden Sutton.

Now almost four years on and during the pandemic it has made me even more determined to work with my ‘team’ to deliver support in the hospital so that patients are not scared.    Having recently had a friend diagnosed with Cancer and not been able to have a companion, our role came into its own.   You maybe wearing a mask but you can still tell if someone is smiling.  And, when someone is scared you can still hold their hand (not literally) but give them peace of mind.

Cancer changes you, and whereas I have been cancer free for four years, I still have to take a pill every day and I know the stats show it can come back.