The last few days my facebook newsfeed has been full of stories from women regarding their experience with cancer – be it themselves or their loved ones – and dedicating their runs to those they’ve lost or those that have battled and survived. It has made for very hard reading.
In one way it has been inspiring, the strength that these women have when the very worst has been thrown at them. Mum’s who have had to watch their children go through awful treatments, people who have lost siblings at much too young an age, trying to support parents whilst they go through their battle. It also makes me very, very angry – that so many people are having to go through this – why is it happening so much; why my own family has been affected – why, why, why!
Someone said to me last year that they wouldn’t be able to cope if their parent / child / sibling / other half was diagnosed with cancer. That would be fine if we had a choice. But the one thing many, many people know is that we don’t have a choice when it comes to cancer, it affects way too many of us. This time last year I was terrified. Last February my Dad received the diagnosis that we dreaded – he had cancer. After supporting his wife for over ten years living with cancer – some good years and some bad, and my step brother passing away after a fairly short fight in his mid thirties, my Dad knows just how hard cancer, and the treatments, can be. I’ll admit that I didn’t know how I was going to cope, how I would be able to offer the support Dad needed, but I didn’t have a choice, you just have to get on with it and do the best you possibly can.
But here we are a year later, a year that has passed pretty damn quickly! There have been some very, very tough times, but also some good times too. Dad is doing OK and the treatments seem to have been successful. I’ve definitely learnt some things about myself too – I’m stronger than I thought I was; that showing emotion does not mean that you are weak; that I have an amazing partner who has been there for me and my family every single step of the way; that running has helped me deal with all of the crap that life throws at me!