How memories are made
I never thought I would write these words but, I am grateful to cancer. I am grateful for the memories that we made with my mother and the fondness with which I look back at them. The year in which my mother had cancer was not an easy year, it is tinged with painful treatments and fears and worries so it's important for me to remember the good times that we had aswell. There are some amazing moments, cherished words that were said between us and which bring me great comfort and truthfully, would never have been said, were she not diagnosed with cancer and given a brutal prognosis.
When my mum was diagnosed with cancer, we were provided with a lot of resources to help us understand what she was going through. Support (both emotional and financial) was provided by charities such as Macmillan, Maggie's and the NHS. This was so beneficial and much needed at a time when there were a lot of questions and lot of unknowns. But support may come in ways for which you did not know you needed. When your whole life is consumed by all that is cancer in terms of treatment, dietary changes, pain and fatigue, then at these times, you just want to feel 'normal'. It's so important to forget that you have cancer and that cancer is your life and escape or be distracted. Often though, as was in our cases, cancer has a real financial impact and the desire to escape is but a wish. This is how I was feeling late last year when the charity Sail 4 Cancer generously gifted us a holiday experience. This is charity that recognises the need for those affected by cancer to have a short respite and acknowledges that with this respite, those affected by cancer, return reinvigorated and refreshed, ready to fight cancer once more, therefore assisting with the recovery journey. In short, Sail 4 Cancer offered us a break. A break from all that was hospitals and doctors and needles and blood test and showed us that there are people that understand and strangers' that want to help and offer support, however they can. This charity also recognises the fact that cancer can affect people's finances and though a short respite may make all the difference to someone affected by cancer, it may not be financially viable. Sail 4 Cancer also recognises the need for flexibility and in our case, because my mother had just finished treatment, we were not able to accept the holiday but we were offered the opportunity to have a nice dinner out at a local restaurant.
I will always look back fondly to the wonderful time that we were able to have. As ever, I took many photographs and the restaurant which Sail 4 Cancer chose was highly accommodating to her dietary restrictions and disabilities. Most importantly, I remember the generosity of strangers at a time when we were tired and exhausted and the gift to create a cherished memory which I will always have.