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 :-)