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 😛