Over the last 4 years I have fundraised for Cancer Research UK — because I know a lot of people who have battled cancer and lost. I have raised over £12,000 and last year I was in the top 1% of fundraisers through JustGiving — I’m really proud of this.
Fundraising is hard. Much harder than any of the physical challenges I have set myself. When people say they will donate and then they don’t you can’t help but get disappointed. When you don’t see progress or results it’s easy to want to give up. But I carry on, even though I sometimes think we are mostly fighting a losing battle against Cancer.
I believe that the things we put in and on our bodies are killing us. The air we breathe is full of chemicals, from vehicles, industry and products. The creams we rub into our skin and the aerosols we spray all over ourselves contain ingredients that I can’t even pronounce let alone tell you what they are. The food we ingest is full of chemicals, as is the water we drink. We haven’t learnt what the long term effects of all these man made chemicals are on our bodies. And these things are hard to avoid even if we wanted to — we are forced to breathe other people’s smoke, eat foods we don’t know the origins of and we are told by huge pharmaceutical brands that we should be spending huge amounts of money on things that ‘protect’ us.
But then, something happens that gives me hope. Yesterday I was privileged enough to be able to read a friend’s story on Facebook and she has let me share it with you:
“In 2009 I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, I had surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and was signed off from any further checks in November 2014.
In February 2015 I was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, I was told that 15 years ago there was no cure but now due to cancer research they have an amazing drug which I take daily to keep my bone marrow healthy and control my bloods.
Then in October 2015 I was diagnosed with DCIS breast cancer, now this one is non invasive at present so no chemo this time, but I did have to have surgery in November and again in December to try to remove all the cancer. But that was not enough and the doctors said a mastectomy was the only way forward.
So on Monday I will be in Charing Cross hospital having a double mastectomy and reconstruction, this should make it extremely unlikely that I will have breast cancer again – there is no guarantee.
So when you see me next whatever you do don’t put your head on one side and feel sorry for me. I feel good and and am looking forward to a long life with my lovely husband and children. If you want to know the details please ask me as I’m happy to tell, or if not just tell me what you’ve been up to. Life goes on and if you know me you will know feeling sorry for myself is not an option.
All I ask is that you don’t think cancer is something happening to other people, the latest statistic is that 1 in 3 of us will have some kind of cancer diagnosis in our lives, so I’m hoping that I’ve taken my three for my children (sorry Tony your on your own with this one!) Thank you for reading to the end of my ramblings and see you all when the lovely doctors have rebuilt me.”
I think she has been really brave sharing this. It’s hard to write so openly about something so difficult, and although I had no idea she had been through any of this until I read that post on Facebook, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
Cancer Research is making a difference. Cancer research is saving people’s lives. We may not have won the war yet but we are fighting a good battle.
You can help make a difference. You can help the fight. You can do that by making a donation here.