Milestone

We’re blessed with this journey.
No map or details to guide us.
The route is unknown but we’re all sure of the final destination.
Where we’ll end.
We’re left to navigate,
Find our own way.
We travel blindly, trusting the small steps we take will lead the way,
Follow the direction our head or hearts wish.
No journey is the same.
Each different, although paths may cross,
Run parallel for much of the journey or briefly pass.
There are bumps in all roads.
Obstacles, diversions, crossroads and junctions.
Giant pot holes,
That make us reevaluate, re route.
Choices are made, decisions come to.
Some for us, some by us,
Some good and some just downright shitty.
We adjust.
We keep moving forward.
The length of each journey is different.
The final resting place reached for some sooner rather than others.
The sooner always unjust.
Unfair.
With so much road still on the horizon.
We approach twists and turns at speed,
The adrenaline carrying us.
Blind bends with caution.
We pass milestones as we go.
Each time collecting the memory,
Storing it as fuel for the unavoidable turbulence.
Knowing the importance of these markers,
Their explosion of colour into consciousness,
Shines brightness and light,
When tunnels are dark.
These are the things make the journey worthwhile.
That indicate we are moving in the right direction.
That you are right to keep scrambling over the rubble blocking the way.
These are the things that make life,
This journey worthwhile.
So on your travel, look around, take in the view, breathe the air, send postcards, take wrong turns, learn.
Reach out, hold the hand of those sharing even the briefest part of the route.
Keep moving forward.
Love and laugh and live.
Always laugh.
This journey is ours.
Enjoy it. All of it.
Cherish the milestones.
It would be a shame to waste this ride.

 

mumturnedmom

Cancer Sucks

Since Chris’ diagnosis, Cancer seems to be everywhere.

Every time I turn on the TV, it’s in films, on the news, on adverts, on the radio, on the back of buses, on my facebook and twitter feeds.

There is no escaping it.

Each time it’s mentioned, each time I hear on the news that a celebrity has passed away from it, each time I hear another survivor story, each time I hear stories with not so happy endings I want to scream until there is no air left in my lungs.

I used to be able to ignore cancer.

How awful does that sound.

I would watch the adverts and hear the stories, I would feel empathy but I didn’t ever give it much more thought.

Cancer.

It was never going to affect me.

I would never have to deal with that.

Of course we’ll be the lucky ones.

We’ll probably know someone with it, statistically we’ll have to.

It won’t be us.

I know people whose loved ones had cancer, I love my friends dearly, I saw how it affected them and my heart broke for them when their loved ones weren’t able to fight anymore.

Really, I didn’t get it at all.

I wondered if it was because cancer was now in our lives that I see it everywhere, that it was the thing I thought of most, noticed more than anything else.

Then I realised, it’s because IT IS everywhere.

Cancer.

Indiscriminately invading healthy bodies and making them sick.

It doesn’t give a shit who you are, where you’re from, what your religion is, whether you’re rich or poor, what your life is like.

It couldn’t care less if you are alone or if you have the love of family and friend around you. If you are old or young, if your kids are small or grown.

It’s a thief. It steals healthy cells and makes them bad.

It steals time, it steals hope, it steals futures, it steals happiness, it steals limbs, it steals lives.

I watch my husband, the greatest man I have ever met, have his body poisoned in the hope that they can cure.

I watch him miss his kids, I watch him not being able to eat and feel sick, I watch him uncontrollably tired, I watch him get weak and ill and he can’t even explain how he is feeling or how I can help because it’s simply unexplainable.

I’m told I’m strong, but really there is no other choice.

I know he is doing this for us, because he loves us.

Because he wants us to grow old and grey together and watch our kids grow up.

So I can only see a future, the end goal.

This is just the beginning for us. I know things are going to get worse, much worse before they can get better.

And if they can cure his cancer, and every fibre of my being believes they can, then we will be one of the lucky ones.

Cancer is everywhere

Fucking up people’s lives one cell at a time.

Today, on world cancer day, don’t just pass it by, like I would have done in the past. Send a message to someone you know fighting, text the wife, mother, brother, cousin, daughter, son, dad, husband, friend, neighbour of that person, let them know they’re not alone.

Open your eyes, your ears, your hearts. Be aware, raise awareness and talk about it.

This is the last thing I ever dreamt of happening but it did.

Be unified and one day they’ll find a cure.

I will be spending the day with Chris at his bedside in Christies, watching him fight.

For us.

Cancer Sucks.

 

World Cancer Day 2016

#ADAYTOUNITE

Treat

Reflection of goodness
Shines from bright souls
Offers of selfless kindness
To friends and those unknown.
Smiles shared with strangers
As passing moments of life are aligned
An Embrace for those with need for comfort
Messages of strength and hope on darkest of days.
Apologies accepted graciously
Negative replaced with positive thoughts
For each journey travelled
Struggles kept in hearts close to our own.
Reflection of brightness
Shines from warm souls
Treat others how we wish in return
So they know the world is good.

 

mumturnedmom

‘Daddy has Cancer’

The moment you become a parent your life changes.

I don’t mean the sleepless nights, walking round with baby puke on your shoulder or not being able to leave the house without it turning into a military operation. Although all of that most definitely happens.

Your whole outlook changes. You now have this tiny person you love harder than you ever imagined possible and your sole purpose is to keep them safe and happy.

To do those things you try to protect them from stuff that is, well, upsetting.

When we got Chris’ cancer diagnosis I knew that there was no way we would be able to keep Lily shielded from it.

For me it was the hardest thing to think about.

Knowing that at some point we were going to have to tell Lily what was happening and what was going to happen, that she may get worried or upset and that no matter how hard I was going to try her little life would suffer unsettlement. It made my heart hurt.

It makes my heart hurt.

We were going to shatter some of the innocence of our beautiful, lively, funny, feisty, happy little girl. It made my stomach do flips when I was least expecting it.

Sam, at 18 months, is too young to understand. In many ways it’s easier he’s so young.

I was given the Macmillan leaflet about talking to children about cancer on Christmas Eve. When we should have been sat at home in the build up to Christmas. I read it whilst waiting for Chris to have his full body MRI after being told they were sure of his diagnosis.

The information in the leaflet was helpful, although I wish I didn’t need it’s help. With ways of approaching a conversation, language to avoid and ideas of how children may react depending on their age and emotional maturity. I felt I already had an idea of how I would tell her and work through her dealing with the information. Volunteering with a children’s bereavement charity, Once Upon a Smile, had given me invaluable experience of how children cope and how I might go about trying to help her understand that whatever she feels is ok.

We decided not to tell her until after Christmas, I just couldn’t face it before hand. I needed to get my own head around it a bit first and be able to say the words out loud without filling up. I wanted to keep her safe from it all for as long as I could. For Christmas to still be magical.

I told her the following Tuesday, I was making breakfast. She was going to spend the day with our friends ’cause Chris had his first appointment at Christies.

She asked where we were going so I told her. She already knew that daddy’s ankle was very sore and that he’d been to see doctors about trying to fix it.

I was calm and factual. I told her the doctors were going to give him some very strong medicine that would make him poorly but would hopefully make him better.

That some days daddy wouldn’t be able to play but we would make sure that when he was feeling good we would have fun.

I told her that Daddy had Cancer and not to worry if she heard someone talking about it.

I told her she could talk to anyone she wanted to about it and she could ask me anything and I would tell her as much as I knew. That I would always be honest with her.

She asked me, if in the mornings would it still be ok if she goes to daddy’s side of the bed to see if it’s ok to go downstairs.

She asked me if she could talk to her daddy about it.

She asked whether it was still ok to have fun without daddy being there.

I said of course.

She asked if daddy would need his leg chopping off (there had been some discussion about this previously)

I said yes, he will need a metal leg and he will be a super hero.

After a moment of thought she said, ‘Some people say everyone with cancer dies’

I told her that wasn’t true, that people do get better but some people do die and we’re hoping that the medicine will make daddy better.

I told her of people I knew that had got better.

She smiled.

I hugged her tight and told her I loved her very much

I asked her if she was ok. She asked me if her coco pops were ready.

The knot in my stomach eased a little.

I can’t make any of this go away for her or for Sam but I will do anything in my power to make sure things are as normal as possible to help her cope with it and still come out of this year happy, bright and full of life.

So when she’s my age she can only remember the good bits about being 7.