I was first diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer in September 2015 after becoming suspicious of a pain in my abdomen. After ten years with barely a day off sick, it came as a real shock. Suddenly I was in a place I couldn’t have imagined being. My son, James, was only 14, I was desperate to reassure him that whatever happened, I’d make sure he was OK.
My now husband, Simon, was still my on/off boyfriend at the time. He had decided to fulfill a life-long dream of riding his motorbike to Israel; neither of us knew if he was coming back. On hearing about my diagnosis, he called me from Israel, saying he wanted to come back from his travels, look after me – and marry me.
Then he got on his motorbike and rode back through the snow across Italy and France; over a thousand miles in two and a half days. We spent Christmas together and eight days later we were married in between two rounds of chemo.
I’m beyond grateful to my family, friends and the NHS for the treatment and support I’ve received, but I know I wouldn’t be sitting here now as healthy as I am without Penny Brohn, who offer emotional, practical and psychological support to people living with cancer. I’ve been to the centre many times, I’ve stayed twice during chemo, once when I attended the Living Well course, and I’ve met life-long friends. I suppose you can say they have helped me to approach the world from a place of calm.
It’s been a year since I was told my cancer was back, and this time for good. I know the statistics are against me, but I have no intention of going anywhere soon. Living with the knowledge that your time is limited isn’t easy. But I know Penny Brohn will help me every step of the way.
For that, I will be donating to Penny Brohn this Christmas, and I really hope you’ll join me.
Merry Christmas and thank you,