This year I've taken part in 2 events to raise funds for Cancer research and care; Swimathon, raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care and Race for Life, run by Cancer Research UK.
I was happily bumbling away in my pregnancy bubble when I found out my Dad had cancer.
April 2009, I was 6 months along and my Dad was having back trouble. This is all we thought it was and he'd been back and forth to the doctors, been given pain killers, but nothing satisfactory had been done to make him better. He was getting worse until finally during a trip to the doctors he got stuck between some lift doors and he was in agony. An ambulance was called and he was admitted to hospital. From that point onwards his diagnosis came quickly.
I remember the day the consultants told him he had cancer, they came to my Dads ward, closed the curtain around his bed and told us in a matter of fact way that he had Myeloma. I didn't know exactly what this was but I knew it was cancer and from that point on, I think I only heard random words that were being said. I felt like I was underwater and my ears were blocked. The only other word I heard was 'incurable'. I also felt like this wasn't really happening to our family, I wanted them to take it back, it seemed wrong that we were in a ward surrounded with other patients and a flimsy curtain was being used to shield others from the worst news I'd ever heard.
From that point onwards treatment started, oral chemotherapy, radiotherapy, stem cell transplant, further chemotherapy. It was a long slog for my Dad, and my Mum was holding everything together while he spent a long while in the hospital. I got quite aquainted with the hospital, as apart from visiting Dad I was having my ante-natal checks there too. Quite often I'd couple a midwife appointment with a trip up the stairs to see Dad.
I found it really hard to keep my feelings in check all the time, I was heavily pregnant, getting extremely tired, working full time and wishing all the time that this wasn't happening. I couldn't believe that life could deal such a cruel blow when we were meant to be having the best year, with not just one grand-daughter on the way but another one too, as my sister was expecting as well. My mood swings were terrible, one minute crying uncontrollably, the next happy and I didn't want to crack in front of people (I saved this for my poor husband). I would feel guilty and selfish for feeling sorry for myself as afterall it wasn't me that was ill, was it!
Since those first really awful months in 2009, we've obviously had our baby, my sister has had her baby and my Dad has his illness under control according the specialists, so life is good and looking so much more positive. The babies in the family have really helped to lighten everyone up, especially my Dad, he loves to see them and I love to see him with them too. He inspired me to fundraise this year and I feel proud that in total I raised £850 with my combined swimming and running efforts. It's so important to support these charities as Cancer affects most of us at some point in our lives.
Pics above of me jubilant after swimming 100 lengths in just over an hour and with my lovely sister after running 5k.