Daughter of Les & Joan Allan and sister to Chris, Katie originated from Belfast and settled in Fradley, Staffordshire with husband, Stuart, and two children, Sam and Sophie.

Katie wrote this blog to share her story, improve awareness and spread inspiration & positivity amongst families, friends and others 'battling cancer - one day at a time'

Katie Scarbrough
04 March 1981 - 02 May 2013

To Infinity And Beyond!!

Since our ‘Hectic Week’ and ‘Dancing On Ice’ things have calmed down a little on the going here there and everywhere front. But, have picked up immensely on the Social Media front. It all started with ‘that’ tweet and follow from Matt Lucas for the week, to him I owe everything that’s happened since. As it helped me start the campaign to spread awareness that is needed about Cancer in younger people.

Immediately after Dancing On Ice, and I mean when we were driving home, I had a private message on Facebook from a journalist in Belfast. She saw that I was the only one that Matt Lucas was following for the week, that I was originally from Belfast and wanted to speak to me about my Cancer story. The next day my friend Kerry, who I used to skate with in Belfast many many years ago, contacted me to say she wanted to organise a fundraising event in support of me. She then added me to a group on Facebook called ‘For Katie!’, which has over 500 members!! (The group is currently a closed group, but I am trying to get it open to the public) Kerry went on to say that my story has inspired so many and all of my old ice skating friends wanted to get together to do something. So now we have an Ice Skating show, sponsored skate, coffee morning, climb a mountain in Ireland and others all in the planning stage.

Unbeknown to Kerry, a few weeks ago I was making lists of things (when you have Cancer I think it comes with the territory) and on there I had written that I would love to organise an Ice Skating show to fund raise for Bowel Cancer UK and Cancer Research UK to be held at my home rink in Dundonald, Belfast.

Off this, my school friends from Grosvenor Grammar School have all gotten together and are organising a fundraising evening in Belfast. There is also a Frock Swap Party on the 15th March and a Marracycle from Dublin to Belfast in June.

Here in England, as well as the ‘Fradley Walkers’ who have already raised an astounding £1650, after completing a 10 mile walk in November! My friend Sally is organising a family fun day with raffle prizes and in May a ‘Ladies Night’ is being held by my friend Sarah for her charity of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) and my chosen charities. There really are soo many events being planned, I am struggling to keep up!! 🙂

There are no words that I can write, that show the amount of gratitude I have for all of you. I am still struggling to come to terms with the fact you have all come together for little old ‘Cancer Patient’ me. What you are all doing is helping me raise the awareness of a horrible horrible disease and that’s just AMAZEBALLS!!! As Cancer sucks, not only for the people diagnosed with it, but their families and friends too. I am truly blessed and that is more and more evident, as nearly everyday I get messages of support and offers of more fundraising events.

Through Twitter, I have met some lovely people who are experiencing the same things as me, with the side effects from their treatment. Even though I wouldn’t wish Cancer on anyone, it is comforting to know there are people going through the same thing. It is even more shocking to find out that the people I meet,  have also had problems getting to their diagnosis too. This is something that needs to stop and this is why I have become dead set on spreading the awareness that is needed. Everyone handles Cancer in different ways and some people struggle with the side effects that come with the treatment. To all my Twitter and Facebook friends fighting Cancer, and to anyone else in the same position. Yes, #Cancersucks stay strong, keep fighting, you are all inspirational and #Amazeballs and together we will #Kickcancersass!!! 🙂

As I said in my previous ‘Hectic Week’ blog, my son Sam had a hernia operation. I am please to say he was so brave getting put to sleep and going through the operation itself. He did have to stay in hospital overnight as he was sick quite a bit after, most likely from the anaesthetic. So Stuart, in our hectic week had a little sleep over in Burton Hospital. Sam turned 8 last week and we had to postpone his Birthday Party until he was recovered, so that is taking place this Friday. He had all last week off school, it was lovely to have him with me but he was bored doing nothing. He went back to school yesterday and he is happy to be back with his friends.

This week we had a Family Liaison Officer from St Giles Hospice, come to speak to Stuart and I. We just wanted information on how to handle the situation with the kids. I don’t want to lie to them but I don’t want to scare them either. It’s about getting an even balance, so they are kept informed. My worry is, if something does happen to me, later on, when they are teenagers they become rebellious and lash out. I don’t want them to be affected like that, that’s why it is important to me to handle it correctly now. The Liaison Officer was lovely and said that what we have told the kids up until now is perfect. Sophie knows mummy has a poorly tummy and Sam as I’ve said before knows I have Cancer. But like any 8 year old it’s difficult for them to differentiate between having a cold and Cancer. He does ask questions and sometimes when he hasn’t mentioned it in a few weeks, I pre-empt the questions, just to see what ‘head space’ he is in. He has asked me the dreaded ‘Are you going to die?’ and I just told him I hope not and I don’t know. I didn’t want to say No and give him false hope and I didn’t want to say Yes, as this would freak him out. The Family Liaison Officer said that was the best answer to give. We have some children’s books to read to the kids and they are very informative. Sam asked me the other day about Cancer cells and I used his Moshi Monsters to try and explain about good cells and bad cells and how they grow. Not sure if he got it, but I thought my explanation was child friendly..lol We are all going as a family to the St Giles Hospice on Thursday afternoon, just to get the kids introduced to the family room there and to try and build bonds with the staff too.

With everything that’s going on, even though I have been having treatment every week, I have been distracted from it. Yes, I go to the hospital, get a needle put in, have the poisonous but hopefully helpful drugs put through my veins, play on Twitter and Facebook, eat a sandwich from Morrison’s that we brought with us and sleep a little. It has all become quite routine now. The rash on my face has come out, but I am dealing with it and putting the Pliazon cream on at least 4 times a day. The rash itself is like an acne type rash, like the one you get when your 15!! I never really had that when I was a teenager, so I am making up for it now!! I have only had two Cetuximab infusions so far and I know the rash gets worse the more infusions you have but I don’t mind, I’ve gone through losing my hair I can go through having a rash. I have Cetuximab again tomorrow.

I keep thinking back to ‘The Hospital Room’ moment I had a few weeks ago and question did it really happen? It almost feels like a bad dream I had, which is probably a good thing. But then on the other hand, am I in denial about it, even though I go over in my head that my Cancer is terminal and inoperable. I don’t know where I have found the strength to do everything I am doing right now. When I was younger I wouldn’t say boo to anyone, I even remember crying in Primary School when I was moved to sit next to a boy!! I would wear my heart on my sleeve, worry about everything and what people thought of me. I thought I would be handling this in such a different way, I have actually started to amaze myself!!

On Friday, after Sams’ birthday party we are going to London sightseeing for the weekend. The kids have always wanted to go and see the attractions, the London Eye is a must!!  Sophie, since finding out we are going, keeps asking if we are going to meet the Queen and keeps asking why when I say No. She can’t quite grasp it. We have also booked a table at Planet Hollywood for dinner on Sunday night…woop woop. I am resting now to save my strength to go around London on the Hop on Hop off bus. #MEMORYMAKING

The Virgin Fundraising link has been added to my blog page at the top right. The page has only been open a week and we have raised over £2000 inc gift aid already and that is without the actual events happening yet!! All the donations are absolutely fantastic, thank you to everyone who has donated so far. All the money raised is being donated to Bowel Cancer UK and Cancer Research UK and helps raise awareness of a horrible disease. Thank you doesn’t seem to cover it, as I am completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support every single one of you have given me!! Here is the link for the page http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Katiescarbrough


PS A little fact I worked out earlier. Did you know in the space of 3 and a half weeks I had 14 litres of fluid drained from my tummy!! Which is 7 two litre bottles of Pepsi Max. How mad is that 😛




  • Susan Gilmour Says

    Katie–I know that I repeat myself in my comments but I have to say again that you are the most wonderful person anyone could meet ! But “I just haven’t met you yet!” (thanks Buble!) You deal with it, you get on with it, you make so much time in your life for others..you are practical yet so emotional too..What has been achieved in such a short time of you spreading awareness is so incredible ! You have done more in the past few weeks than people normally do in a whole lifetime…We admire you so much Katie…I am so glad to be a small part of your life….With our love–Susan and David xxx

    • Susan and David, Thank you for your lovely words, you always know what to say. It is words like these that touch me and then I take the strength from them to keep the fight going. xxx 🙂

  • Kerry Greer Says

    Hey doll. Once again your blog is so eloquently written that I really do think these should be published! ( and after this week im pretty sure we can make that happen lol!) it’s like I said to you yesterday, people don’t say ‘your such an inspiration Katie’ for the sake of it…. They actually mean it from the bottom of their hearts!!!! You, yes little Katie, is making a substantial difference to people’s lives, and not just those with cancer! You have made all this happen by inspiring people with your resolve, bravery and love for your family. You are TOTES amazeballs!!!! You are so determined to fight the fight and raise awareness…. I can hear the this morning couch calling your name lol!! Oh, and we had another retweet from another Olympic champion!!!! No biggie eh!?!!!!???!! Ps, Kurt Browning, if you’re reading this I think you’re totes amazeballs too!!! Dream Big Katie!!!!!!!! You’re making a difference!!!!!! Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • natalie Says

    Katie, as always another well written blog.

    I too was terribly shy as a child, and believe sometimes things happen in life and we have no choice but to speak up for ourselves and what we believe. I think having Jake changed me, as if I didn’t speak out and for him, then who would? The new confidence you have found is wonderful and you will ensure you are given every possible opportunity treatment wise, and likewise be a big part in this current fundraising and raising awareness campaign. Well done you!

    I hope your family trip to the hospice goes well and Sam and Sophie soon feel comfortable there and build some good relationships with the staff there to help and support them through this wihere necessary.i know from my friend her experience of what a hospice provides was invaluable, and helped her family when they most needed it.

    Your trip to London sounds fantastic, we are still yet to do it with our children. I am sure you will all have an amazeballs time! And personally,i think if the queen got wind you were coming to town you would soon be invited to tea! If only she was on Twitter!

    Lots of love to you all as always Katie. You are doing amazing, and you are Amazeballs. I really do admire your approach with all this x x x

    • Natalie, You always know what to say too, thank you. I mean everything I said in my email you to are strong, driven and inspiring with everything you have gone through. I am proud to have you as a friend xxx 🙂

  • Emma Says

    You’re amazing chick xx

  • Elaine Says

    these just get better and better Katie – keep it up. they are all right – you are amazing.

  • Bryan Says

    Hi Katie!
    Just wanted to let you know that although I haven’t commented on here for quite a while, I am following your story very closely and have been watching out for any posts from Chris in Facebook.
    You truly are an amazing person and I am sure that your blog gives inspiration and insight to many many people. I know that I read all that is happening to you and your family and am just amazed how you deal with this horrible disease.
    Having been through the bowel and liver operations I am now facing a very anxious wait until next Tuesday when I have to visit my oncologist to find out the results of a PET scan I was given Friday week ago. My blood markers have gone up to 9,5 in January from a clear scan and 2.9 in October! I have been back at work again from November but really don’t know what lies ahead again- it is so scary and depressing. My wife, Karen, has been a real rock for me but I know she is feeling the pressure too!
    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for all you have done so far to help raise awareness of the consequences of cancer and to let you know that you truly are an inspiration to me – and I’m sure many others! xo

    Ps- hadn’t realised you were at Grosvenor High School – that was my old school from 1971-1978!

    • Thank you Bryan for your kind words. You understand only too well how this horrible disease affects all the people around us. What would we do without our spouses? My husband Stuart, is my rock too!! I couldn’t stay as strong as I do without him or the kids. I am the same as you and try and work out what is going on from my tumour markers, however they don’t give a clear indication of what’s actually going on inside. Please remain positive, have hope and I will be thinking of you!! Sending positive vibes your way for good news. Katie xx 🙂

  • Mandy Haque Says

    Katie you are inspirational. Hope you really enjoy your time in London xxx

  • Sarah Arblaster Says

    My beautiful friend
    Words fail me – and that’s a first!!
    I had always been a bit ignorant and naive about cancer. Like I told you before \i thought chemo was zapped into you through an MRI type scanner!!!!! I have a much better appreciation now of what someone goes through with this vile disease, not just physically but emotionally too. I just wish it wasn’t you and your wonderful family that this was happening to. I would give part of me up, if it meant I could take it away for you, I love you so very much.
    I thoroughly enjoyed last friday @ the Fradley Arms – we mad some great memories and you sorted twitter for me!!!
    You are such a credit to the charities you are helping. I am very proud to know you and it truly is an honour to be your friend, as I am sure many others have said and will say.
    I agree with Kerry – Holly & Phil will be requesting you as a guest!!! Please enjoy your break with the kids and Sexy Stu (just seen the stripper pics!!- haha!!)
    Enjoy Memory Making

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