I’m doing a little fundraising in support of the two most important parts of cancer treatment (in my limited experience). So the next two posts are explaining why and how to help. I’m also doing an Afternoon Tea this Sunday, and will put up details of that from those who may be able to attend.
This ad started recently, and it reminded me so much of the whole experience.
My experience was very similar. The doctor started with ‘Ok – well, we have a problem. There is a tumor, lets get the word out’. And then gave lots of information, and suddenly I went from being fine, to fairly non-stop crying. The fear that hits you, and I think a form of grief. Sort of loss of a simple life that you used to have, and entering a world where you don’t know anything, and the doctors keep asking if you have any questions! That sadness, not overwhelming terror or anguish, but a general sadness is what stays around all the time – like you’ve forgotten how to be happy. And it hits again and again. I’ve sat on the tube, on buses, at work, at home, and regularly at night just not able to stop the tears.
The questions you want to know are, how bad is it, how long will it take, will I die from this, how bad are the side effects, can I ever had children, and will I come out of it with most of my body intact. But… they can’t answer that, and that is what is so scary.
The next step, having to tell friends and family is almost as hard – as you are bringing this horrible thing into their world. Finding the words was so difficult – telling your parents you have cancer isn’t a fun conversation. I remember sitting with the whole family in Australia when we arrived, and I literally couldn’t start the sentence, it was too unreal, too hard to tell them something that I knew would cause them pain, and that I couldn’t easily solve. Telling friends was the same, I felt like I had the ‘fun-destroyer’ grenade to throw into every situation.
But, what made it possible was the support I had.
Eric was there from day 1 at every appointment, and there to help me ask the questions I needed to ask. And then to help me tell people, and to find the words when I couldn’t. And especially to just let me cry and be there in the long nights we both went through.
My family and friends were, and still are, very supportive, rarely a day goes by without a message, a whatsapp, or email, or blog post (or flowers!) or something. And of course, Susan, who delivered herself to us in January, and has been a massive help over the last few months – making sure I don’t wallow in self-pity, and keeping up a regular schedule of spa visits and afternoon teas!
And while I don’t always say it, I really appreciate it – every single time. Sometimes I don’t answer as I don’t have much good to say, but I do know that without everyone’s support this would have been a even scarier and lonelier experience.
Which brings me back to this MacMillan campaign. The Campaign is called ‘Not Alone’, and ensures that everyone who gets cancer has the support they need. So, although I didn’t actually didn’t need to make much use of their services (thankfully) I would like to raise a little money to ensure that no-one has to go through cancer alone.
As I am the one who benefited most from both of these charities I will also match any donations between the two charities – up to £1000 – so please give generously!
(MacMillan, for reasons unknown, make it very hard to donate directly to them! So this is a ‘tribute’ fund technically, but don’t worry – I am alive and kicking! They have agreed to funnel the money to the Not Alone campaign for me)
That is the first charity, and I will put the details of the next one in the next post. Both are equally important in my opinion, so feel free to choose which one you would prefer to donate to.