Right then – day two of the blog, day four of the chemo cycle.
Still no major side effects – although my teeth feel a little bit loose. Not sure if that’s due to chemo or not going to a dentist since we first moved to Kent 5 years ago. With all the cancer stuff that’s happened over that time, fillings and whether I need my wisdom teeth out has never seemed that much of a priority. On the plus side, by staying away from a dentist for all that time I have maintained my record of not ever having any fillings (see, I told you this blog would also contain good news!).
So, to pick up where I left off yesterday, I wanted to write a little about the extraordinary generosity and support we have received over the last month from family, friends, colleagues, employers, and even complete strangers. We have been genuinely moved, surprised and humbled by the lengths that people have gone to on our behalf. And to know that all these people are out there, doing what they can for you, really provides a great boost to my motivation to beat this.
Our families have been amazing – driving me to hospital when I didn’t feel like the train, or babysitting Saskia while Sally and I go to hospital; helping us keep on top of the housework, filling our cupboards, taking Saskia off our hands to give us a break, paying hospital travel expenses, helping with DIY, offering us holidays, helping to whip the garden into shape for summer after a winter of neglect, and much, much more.
We have received countless cards and messages of support and hope from family and friends, as well as donations, gifts, prayers and masses said for our cause, distance Reiki performed, and yet more. People have been researching my illness on the internet, and sending us any relevant information that they find.
Friends have also been looking after Saskia while we go on hospital trips. We’ve been incredibly kindly given money to go on holiday, given loan of a flat in Faversham for our visitors to stay in, and had Tesco deliveries sent to our door, among other things.
My employers have signed me off work to concentrate on my treatment and family, and are being incredibly supportive and understanding.
Sally’s employers have, at very short notice, allowed her to extend her maternity period to the full year, and have offered to pay the last three months at the statutory maternity rate (usually unpaid). Her colleagues have been dropping round goody boxes of food, magazines, toiletries, etc, and even raising money for us – the company MD has given up smoking and is donating the money he saves; another colleague is catching the bus to work and donating petrol money saved; several others are doing a sponsored swim for us. The husband of another colleague (a professional driving instructor) is giving Sally driving lessons free of charge to get her back on the road. Plus we have a long list of volunteers for help around the house, babysitting, etc.
I even had a complete stranger on the train home from my first chemo session the other day give me a pep talk after overhearing that I had just been for treatment.
This outpouring of support in all its different forms has been incredible – it has been amazing to witness people pulling together to help us out. The warmth and support we have felt has shed an awful lot of light into what would otherwise be an incredibly dark time, and in no small part has helped us to pick ourselves up from the bad news and stay positive. And it has meant that thankfully we have not had to worry too much about the financial impact of our situation – which is a massive relief.
So this post is a massive, massive thank you to everyone for all you have done – the above is by no means an exhaustive list, and not intended as a list of credits. But you all know who you are – and you have our sincerest gratitude.