Friday, November 30, 2007

Little Bear

Two years ago one of my staff contacted me to tell me his wife, Pat, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. It was my first proper close encounter with cancer and I was stunned and scared. What do I do to make my colleague and his wife’s lives easier with this Damoclean sword hanging over them?

About eighteen months ago, while visiting blogs – probably through Michele – I fell into the world of Minerva. This amazing woman lives in London England with her young family on the cusp of life, while Minerva is looking into the face of death.
Breast cancer was battled, successfully month through month, with a trusty band of bloggers supporting her and encouraging her – sending her bloglove and blogstrength. But again, there was the little voice in the back of my head saying; what can I do to help this new friend?

Four weeks ago I heard my cousin in Toronto had been diagnosed with bladder cancer, had surgery to remove her bladder and the tests showed the cancer has mestasized. What do I do from 5,000 miles away for a cousin I have only met twice in my lifetime?

Two weeks ago I learnt my father has been diagnosed with malignant colorectal cancer, specifically colon cancer, and has had a hemicolectomy. He will be tested again in two months to check if it has regrown. The figures go round in my head; about 32,000 cases are diagnosed in the UK in a year, about 16,000 survive. Is my father’s glass of life half full or is it half empty?

Two years ago, cancer was something someone else got, that other people struggled with, that afflicted families other than mine.

Knowing Pat and Minerva, I decided this year to take part in the Race for Life in June to show my support. Blogpals and colleagues supported and sponsored me and I managed to raise about £400. With bad knees and a bad back I walked the course, managing it in 54 minutes and 26 seconds.

Since June I have heard that Minerva’s news is not positive and Pat has had more surgery. With my father and cousin also faced with the ultimate battle I have committed to taking part in the Race for Life every year.

I won’t be doing the Race alone. Cyberkitten supported me this year and will do again. The Race for Life is a race for women, so that wives, mothers, daughters and sisters can show solidarity against the evil that is Cancer. The men come along and wait while the women do their bit for their families and friends.
In addition to Cyberkitten, I will be accompanied every year by a bear purchased in support of Breast Cancer Campaign who will be with me for each and every race.


For the last two weeks I have been searching for a name for the little bear with no name. Dozens of bloggers and friends suggested names, most touching and meaningful.
Although the little bear with no name is a delicate shade of lilac pink, it definitely has a boy’s face. So, little bear with no name is a boy, and that narrows the choice of names. Boy names ranged from Raphael to Orwell.


I have decided.


The little bear with no name is called Mac – short for Macmillan. First of all, it is to celebrate the work of Macmillan Cancer Support without whom many families would be mired in desperation as life with cancer gets more and more difficult. Coincidentally, I am descended from the Scottish clan MacMillan.

Thank you to Nanny A and the wonderful family she helps who suggested Mac.

Nanny A - I knew that lovely message was from you. Please tell your friends that I am keeping the family in my thoughts. You are due your prize - I will be in touch :-)

cq

26 comments:

Sara said...

Hello, Michele sent me to say that I am glad you chose the name for the little bear...I wish you, your family, and friends hope from this horrid disease...

Square1 said...

It's a perfect choice, and great that it recognizes the other various types of cancer out there as well.

Hi, Mac. Nice to meet you.

Michele sent me.

aka_Monty said...

Hooray, Mac has a name! And a very fine name it is. :) xoxoxoxox

Anonymous said...

Dear CQ I am so honoured you have chosen mac. It was suggested by a very brave young lady who has a young family and is herself fighting to overcome hodgkins lymphoma. I sit with her whilst she has her chemmo and we have lots of fun-always being told off for being too noisey.The macmillan nurses have been such a big support, not just medical matters but sorting out all manner of practical help to make life more bearable for her and her very nice family.I shall be in touch with her soon and will let her know about young pink mac.xxxxx

Nanny A said...

Sorry CQ should have been Nanny A named on the previous comment.

Anne said...

Hi cq, Michele sent me. I'm glad Mac has a name now and I hope he continues to bring you comfort and strength with those with cancer in your life.

Bob-kat said...

Mac suits him :)

I don't know anyone who hasn't been touched by cancer in some way, either directly or through friends and family.

Drop me a line soon Hon, we need to arrange a night out before Christmas!

Becky68 said...

Michele sent me today to visit with you & your adorable bear, I'm 39 & I know the last few years I've been hearing of many more people in my own life being diagnosed with cancer.
I wonder if it's an age thing or if rates are truly climbing.
becky68.wordpress.com/

Mar said...

Mac...what a perfect name for that sweet bear, cq!!!
So sorry to hear about your loved ones having to deal with cancer...

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Lovely choice, my dear....And I send a hearty welcome to Mac---Welcome to CQ's Family, dear Mac, and therefor to all of the Blogworld Family that loves her!
You have such a sweet sweet face and you look so cuddily....! Hugs To You!

retardedrugrat said...

A wonderful choice for a gorgeous bear!

Incidentally, before I left the UK, I did a sponsored walk every year to raise money for the Macmillan Nurses, who do a fantastic job in the face of the evils of Cancer.

retardedrugrat said...

BTW - you've been tagged!

Tawcan said...

I love that name. Great choice. :)

Here via Michele.

David said...

bravo Mac!
as In MAc- Attack, go kich some cancer BUTT!

Melli said...

Awwwwwwwww! I'm SO glad Little Bear got a name! And it's a GREAT name! I LOVE it! I'm sO sorry that I never got back to you with any -- life here has been beyond roller coasterish... to say the least! Mother-in-law moved in with me today! Yup! God's got QUITE the sense of humor! I met Luz yesterday... today I get MIL!!! It's okay... I'm still smiling! At any rate... you didn't NEED my suggestions... because Nanny A. had the PERFECT one! :) YAY!

LadyBugCrossing said...

Awesome name!!
xo
LBC

ribbiticus said...

great choice, cq! say hello to mac for me. and don't forget to give him a bear hug! ;)

Carmi said...

You have chosen the perfect name for the perfect reason. I dropped by from Michele's to let you know you're far from alone in this fight. I also have no intention of stopping until this evil that has taken so much is removed from our midst.

David said...

God is able to help us in time of need, praying for those who are suffering.
Bless you CQ

sage said...

Hey Mac! Encourage CQ and her friends and families in their battles against cancer--it is a terrible disease. Here today from Michele's.

November Rain said...

CQ

Michelle sent me today and I am sorry it took her to kick me in the butt to get over here...

I have been away too long...

Cancer is a terrible thing.. It has hit my family all my life in one form or another

I am so glad you are striving to help battle it with the race and all...

The Bear is cute and Mac is a great name

Dak-Ind said...

greetings from Michele...

You know, i have visited you irregularly for about a year now and i have seen you be witty, i have seen you be biting, i have seen you be charming, and now i have seen you be humble, caring, supportive and genuine. I thank michele dearly for introducing me to you.
i send you best wishes for speedy recovery to your family, from our family and will keep you and Mac in my thoughts!

Blond Girl said...

Hi CQ.

I think Mac is a great name - and for a great reason. I've lost my paternal grandmother, my father and 4 of his brothers and sisters to various forms of cancer - mostly lung - and while it makes me want a Mac of my own, it even more makes me want to see if there is a race for life in my town. I, too, would probably have to walk the course, but you have shown that it's not about how long it takes you to go the course, it's getting ON the course.

thank you.

rashbre said...

good choice! Hiya Mac!

chosha said...

Good on you for running the Race. It's a great commitment to make.

Terry said...

Hey great name CQ!!
I guess that settles the question of whether this little bear is a girl or a guy.

Mac! The meaning of his name is "son of", so I guess this means that Mac is the son of hope!!
Terry

PS..Minerva wrote such a good post yesterday that I decided that it was high time I got out of the slump I was in and visit a few blog friends.
I came here Crazie Queen because I always enjoy your comments over at Minerva's and I hadn't seen any for a bit.
I was hoping that everything was OK with you..