That photo up there, of that beautiful lady, so full of life and ready to enjoy a weeks holiday with her family, that was taken 5 months ago, almost to the day. That lady is my mum, and two weeks ago she was taken from me by the most notorious killer in the world – cancer.
It’s still very raw, I still struggle to express how I’m feeling, and cannot bare to think past her funeral, which won’t be for another couple of weeks yet. But today is world cancer day, and to let it pass without so much as a mention of her would be doing her a huge injustice.
They say one in three of us will be touched by cancer at some point in our lives, but when I hear so many other people’s experiences, it can often feel like more. It seems so unfair that when I lost my mum I knew at least 4 other people who had also lost theirs to this viscious disease too. That I recognised people when I accompanied my mum to appointments. You just need to look at social media today and you will be bombarded with other people’s experiences.
The reality of this disease it that it is ruthless, it takes no prisioners, if it wants to take over a two year old child, it will. If it wants to rid a teen of its life just as it is finding its way in the world, then hell, it really will try.
But we can fight back. My mum isnt here anymore, but she had an extra 15 months to spend with her family thanks to advances in medicine. We always knew her disease was incurable, but she did not let it dampen her spirits, and she was able to spend quality time with those she loved. What do you see when you look at the photo above? A dying woman? I certainly don’t.
This post doesn’t really have a particular direction, I haven’t planned it, so I don’t really know what message I am trying to give. Look after yourselves perhaps? If you are sent an appointment for a mammogram, go for one. Time for a smear test? For god sake don’t be afraid I beg you. Or maybe I should mention charities? I’m so grateful to so many for their support lately I feel like thats a post that will come later when I can really give it my all.
I guess I just wanted to say I’m here. For those that have lost someone, for those suffering, recovering or cured, I am here for you.
Cancer can give angels their wings far too early, but if we stay strong together, it will never truely beat us.
Dedicated to Ann Mannas 13/10/58-21/01/17