Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Race for Life

Cancer is shit.  I'm sorry, but it is.  I don't normally swear on my blog, but sometimes it's called for. If you haven't personally known someone who has had cancer then you are very lucky, although someone you know probably has.  Cancer is never far away.

The good news is that what was once a death sentence is now survivable. This is due to research leading to better ways to detect and treat cancer.  More people are beating cancer than ever before (Cancer survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years) This is great, but there is more to do. There are still people that lose their Mothers, their Fathers, their children, their friends, but we can all help:
  • Check your breasts regularly for lumps (or check your partner's breasts for lumps)
  • Don't put off your smear test, unless you are pregnant
  • Check your testicles for lumps (or check your partner's)
  • If you notice unexpected blood when you go to the loo see a doctor
  • Keep an eye on any moles for changes in appearance
GO TO THE DOCTOR IF YOU NOTICE ANYTHING STRANGE
More information on early signs of cancer available here:

Two of my close friends have had cancer.

Iain I knew for many years through student fundraising and as a charity rep for Meningitis Research Foundation. He developed a brain tumour and was successfully treated for it. After surviving cancer I got to know him better. Five years ago I went on holiday to Portugal with him and a group of friends we had a fantastic time.

The following year the same group went away again, but I couldn't make it. They noticed Iain behaving a bit strangely (more strange than normal) like trying to park the car sideways (instead of parallel to) the pavement. In Spring 2010 Iain died after getting a more aggressive form of brain cancer. It sucks that Iain died, but without the advances in treatment I wouldn't have got to go away with Iain and get to know him so much better. He got more time, and so did we.

Alison is a friend from work. Several years ago Alison was diagnosed with throat cancer. She had the lump removed, and treatment and successfully beat it. She is still cancer free

I am a bit in denial about cancer.  Part of me still thinks that it equals the end. Writing about Iain and Alison made me realise just how much in denial I am.  They were both good friends, but I knew very little of the details of their illness and their treatment, and what I did know I have pushed out my mind. I was always happy to see them, but I didn't ask them about Cancer. Was that for their benefit or mine?

To help give more people the chance to beat Cancer I am running Race for Life next week. If you have a couple of spare pounds please consider supporting me:
http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/EssexKate

The lovely Iain and I in April 2007

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