I had a complete surprise arrive in the post this morning—an award from Cancer Research UK for raising awareness.
It was such a surprise, especially when I’m not sure I do that much, but it was still a lovely acknowledgement.
Receiving this award has made me quite reflective today — what it was like being diagnosed, receiving treatment, the effect on my family, the years that have followed. In so many ways, my life is utterly different to how it was when I was diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer in January 2012, and I’m unsure that I would have made a lot of the positive changes if I had not nearly died of cancer eight years ago.
It’s a strange feeling when some of the best things in your life have been born from decisions you made because of one of the worst things that ever happened to you.
Being able to turn something so horrific into a force for change by raising awareness was a powerful healing tool for me. I have met some of the most inspirational people along the way – of course, the other cancer patients/survivors but also the numerous incredible people who work for Cancer Research UK.
For those who are new here – I was diagnosed ten years after my mother, but my care was worlds apart from her’s as during that time a new type of chemotherapy had been developed, in part, by Cancer Research funded scientists and for this I will be eternally grateful.
But this award has also made me think about (not for the first time this year I can tell you) the people who have been diagnosed or receiving treatment during Covid. Who have been pushed into unimaginable situations, while already being in an unimaginable situation.
So, thank you CRUK for sending this acknowledgement, for all that you do for people with cancer, especially during these crazy times.
I think we have all heard how donations to all charities are down this year, so if my story has ever inspired you and you are able to do so, please consider sending a couple of quid their way… https://www.cancerresearchuk.org.
I know things are pretty shite right now, especially for those of us living in Tier 4, but despite everything, I truly hope that you have a very Merry Christmas and a more ‘precedented’ 2021!