To The Next One

To the next one

This is for you, the next young person told they have Cancer, unfortunately, there will be more, from someone that survived, I want you to know a few things I learnt during my treatment and in the years since.

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To the ones who will never quite understand…

To the ones who will never quiteΒ understand,

I read an article recently that made me sad, not only because I could relate but because it was so real. It was about those friends we all have and assume will be around forever.

I had friends from a young age that I couldn’t imagine not meeting up for coffee or having long chats with, the type who no matter how long has passed you still connect instantly with. At least it used to be that way. Things change, life moves on and we all develop every day, grow into new people. Sometimes its hard to accept that people just aren’t meant to be in your life anymore or that maybe effort needs to be made to change the type of friendship you have.

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A whirlwind of perfect moments

Wow.

That’s the only word I can really think of to describe how I feel right now. It’s been an emotional five days, perfect but emotional all the same.

I’ve not yet been on land 24 hours and I am missing being on a boat immensely, also still swaying a little! Ok, shall I backtrack before I ramble on so we are all on the same page?

I have just returned from a Return to Sail Trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust (EMCT). I sailed with them for the first time directly after my treatment and I did a second trip the following year but I hadn’t ever felt like I could go back especially after the pain in my hips heightened and my arm stopped straightening altogether. I honestly believed I would be hopeless on a boat, but I loved it so much before that after a hard few months and feeling pretty down about everything in general I made the decision to go back. I had no idea how I would climb on and off a boat, wander up and down one without falling over or even help with the sail winching but I knew I needed to push past my comfort zone and this was the thing to do it.

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First day excitement.

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People make memories

Close your eyes, take a breath and imagine for a minute that at 15, 18, 23 you’ve just been told you have cancer or that your 5 year old has cancer. What do you feel? Think? Do you understand? Are you devastated? Feel a little stunned, confused, out of control? Now imagine feeling those same feelings every day for the next six months, two years, five years while you receive treatment, while you watch someone you love go through the very real possibility that they could die, that you could die at 15.

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