I realised just the other day that I have been writing for a whole year now. To be precise, a year on the 22nd of May. I remember thinking quite clearly – where on earth do I begin? So I began at the start. Just like that.
I suppose in a way it does not really matter when, but more importantly the reasons why I began to write.
It all started with a nod to another young lass who I have great admiration for, Lisa Lynch. Lisa was yet another young girl who found herself slap bang in the middle of the dreaded ‘C Word’, and she wrote about it – and she swore about it – and she joked about it. Even more importantly in my eyes she asked the same questions that I did.
Where are all the other young women with breast cancer, surely I can’t be the only one?
Of course I was not the only one* and neither was she, but at the time I was diagnosed it very much felt like I was.
I had no idea what a blog was but as soon as I realised that it was just like a diary, I made my peace with it. I reasoned that the importance of raising awareness in young people far outweighed any shyness on my part. I decided that if just one other person checked themselves after reading my rambling thoughts then it would all have been worth it – one thousand times over.
In the beginning I wrote for myself, as a kind of therapeutic way in which to clear my head from all of the jumbled thoughts I was having. They stopped me from sleeping at night and carried on into the day. And so I wrote it exactly how I found it to be, exactly like me I suppose – honest and real. I was determined that I would say how it really feels, because after all that is what I myself so desperately needed to know (and I suspect as do many others too).
Along the way it became oh so clear that I wrote for somebody else too. Well actually, two other little people. My husband would sigh at this point as the tears roll down my cheeks. It seems that I cry at the slightest little thing nowadays.
You see, whilst I have always wanted to ‘share my story’ or explain the emotional side of breast cancer, what I have really found myself doing is writing a memoir for my children. If I am being honest there has always been that niggling doubt at the back of my mind that I may not see this one through for whatever reason. Of course I am positive and I do not take for granted a single day anymore, but no one truly knows what the future holds.
So I write for my not so little Noah, my Peter Pan. It makes me smile to think that he would roll his eyes at me calling him that as he gets older, because I am doing the embarrassing ‘mum thing’. He even noticed my Pinterest board about him the other day and he got so excited to see all of his favourite things in one place. The boy who loved adventure and his ever so slight obsession with football.
I also write for my little Isla, my Wendybird (and I know that she won’t roll her eyes, because she loves Peter Pan). I hope that she will remember standing in her nightie brandishing a sword at her brother, pretending that Captain Hook is about to capture them both. I hope she will treasure the bedtime stories, and not take the straighteners to those beautiful blonde ringlets of hers when she hits her teenage years.
It is very important to me as a mum that my children understand how I think and feel right now in this moment, and how we all got through this together as a family. Bit by bit.
Of course you do get on, life has a funny way of making you. There is no time for looking back over your shoulder. Woken at the crack of dawn, someone always needs breakfast straight away, or there is a wet bed, or we slept through the alarm. No time to dwell when there are no clean socks or the washing up is calling. And while I moan about it all, I shouldn’t really because getting on with normal everyday things is a blessing.
The ‘C Word’ touches everybody in one way or another, and it is so important that we talk about it and write about it because ignoring it won’t make it go away.
And so I will carry on writing as if no one’s watching.
I will write about all of the things that make me happy or sad. The nice things we do as a family, and even the days where it all goes abit wrong. I will write about it all openly and honestly, because I know that if there comes a day that my children ever do read this, they will pore over every last word and cling to each one as if they are the most valuable treasures of all.
*The Young Breast Cancer Network provide a place to go for young people to get in touch with others. Also Coppa Feel, The Haven and Breast Cancer Care to name but a few.
I would just like to say thank you for all your support, for reading and sharing & helping me through this year.
Thank you, Dee x