For those of you that know me IRL, you’ll know that the past few years have been difficult for my family because of the big ‘C’.
Our family history unfortunately has a lot of cancer in it. My Nan passed away from lung cancer, my uncle passed away from bladder and kidney cancer. Then in 2016, my mum received the devastating news that she had breast cancer. How could this be happening to our family again, and my mum was only 50! How was this possible!! So after a very quick diagnosis and a couple of planning appointments, she was then in to start treatment straight away! Now I’ve never believed in superhero’s, I watch the marvel films and like to think that deep down somewhere in all of us, there’s a superhero waiting to escape! I can honestly say though, watching my mum go through all the treatment – the chemo, the hair loss, the sickness, the mastectomy, the healing, the radiotherapy, the tiredness and then the recovery – made me truly believe she’s superhuman! She absolutely nailed it all and never complained despite how ill it made her feel at times.
So then 6 weeks ago, when she told us she’d found another lump, I think it was a massive shock for all of us, not least for mum herself! To have fought it and been told you’re ‘cancer free’ only to have it reoccur is the most awful kick in the bits you could expect. But yet again, my mum has handled it like an absolute superhero and just got on with it. She found out a couple of weeks ago, it’s localised. She’s started her radiotherapy and hopefully that will be all that’s needed to kick its arse again!!
It’s so hard to see someone you love go through something so horrendous, and the impact it has on the rest of the family knowing there’s nothing we can do. It also makes you realise what’s important. I am the absolute worst when it comes to being stressed by non-important things and if this is teaching me anything, the words that my husband always says to me, ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ are so appropriate. Life really is so precious and short and hard as it is, there is little point worrying about the things you cannot control.
And as tough as it has been both the first time round, and the second time round, my mum has had some of the best care you could hope for when it comes to oncology care. The amazing staff at Cheltenham General Hospital, the support from the Macmillan nurses and above all the incredible, unwavering support from all at Maggie’s centre.
My reason for this post is to raise awareness of the importance of checking your bits whatever gender you are!! Go for your regular screening appointments, get your other half to help you check, be mindful of any changes. There are some great campaigns out there to help you know what to do but the main thing is if you’re ever worried or unsure, go see your GP and get it checked. It might just save your life!
https://coppafeel.org – Breast cancer awareness
https://uk.movember.com/mens-health/testicular-cancer – testicular cancer awareness
https://www.jostrust.org.uk/ – cervical cancer awareness