I first came across cancer when I was aged around 7 or 8 when a school friend fought and then lost her battle with leukaemia. The whole class was left reeling for a long time after that, an empty school desk that could never be filled.
It was just before I turned 30 my mother found out she had breast cancer, she faced her own battle and won but ten years on she is still facing the effects of her treatment. Then almost three years ago my Grandfather lost his fight with pancreatic cancer. I have also, within the last week, lost his wife and my Grandmother to cancer too. They were like parents to me and their loss leaves a big hole in my life. Someone else close to me is also fighting it, we’re confident of a positive outcome but the treatment takes its toll. It is an insidious disease and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been touched by it in one way or another.
In most of these circumstances we have had tremendous support from Macmillan. Not only do their nurses help with the treatment and what to expect, they also help with resources for families, where to get help financially etc. This is free to everyone who needs their help, I think they do a fantastic job and deserve every bit of help they can get to continue to provide this service.
I decided to take part in a scheme known as Brave the Shave and have managed to raise over £1000 to say thank you for their support. No amount of money could ever repay what they do in my opinion but it will go a small way towards helping someone else.
I also have a little bit of difficulty with the name of the scheme. In my eyes shaving my hair off isn’t a brave thing to do, it’s something many people facing chemotherapy have no choice in. Brave is something I call people facing cancer and dealing with how ill the treatments can make you. They deserve that term, not me.
You maybe asking yourself what is so sinful about this post, well it’s not sinful at all. I do however feel exceptionally naked at the moment. Never have I felt quite as exposed and naked as I do right now.