Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday 24 June

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while, know that my mum has had more than her fair share of trouble with cancer. Four and a half years ago she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I had never even heard of it so knew very little about it. She was very ill by the time she underwent major surgery, but made a good recovery. It wasn't until things started to calm down a bit that I started to think about the future, and I'll never forget her saying 'the prognosis isn't very good'. Ninety-five percent of pancreatic cancer patients don't make it past a year. She was lucky that her tumor was operable, I think she was in very good hands and maybe, just maybe she was a little bit lucky as well - because she's still with us today.
Then last year in April we were hit by the bombshell that she had breast cancer. It was not related, it was 'just bad luck'. Bad luck indeed. This time around it was all so different - she didn't feel ill, the operations were relatively minor, the survival rate was much better and the treatment plan was much longer. It was much harder to put it all behind us and forget that she was a patient.
But, that is over a year ago now and her recent mammogram came back clear. She sometimes says she has a guardian angel on her shoulder. I'm beginning to think she might be right.

Cancer is one of those illnesses that happen 'to someone else'. That is, until it happens to you. You know it is a horrible illness, but you don't realise quite the effect and impact until it happens to you or a loved one. And so many people have to deal with it at one point or another. Survival rates improve all the time, but to keep them improving, much research is needed and research costs money.

So, once again, I am very proud to be taking part in the Ladies' Tractor Road Run to raise money for Cancer Research. This is my third year and it only gets better every year. Hundred and thirty women dressed up in pink on tractors with the wildest, silliest, pinkest decorations, driving 25 miles through Norfolk countryside, going through little villages where people sit outside their houses with a picnic to watch and wave. Driving through Harleston is probably the highlight - you get warned it's an emotional scene but you can't imagine what it's like to see rows of people lining the pavement, all cheering and waving you on - the lump in your throat soon turns to proper tears and most of us leave Harleston with wet cheeks. It is a very poignant day, considering the reason we all take part, but there is lots of laughter and camaraderie too.

Please go and visit my JustGiving page and consider making a donation. Every little bit of money helps to fund research so that more people like me can feel grateful that their mum or dad or child or other loved one is still with them today.

Thank you xxx

Photo courtesy of Mick Harrod