First off i would like to mention that Rebecca wanted me to read an article she wrote so i am not stalking or anything like that,just to make that perfectly clear.
I am aware of the sentiments of the article all too well. I watched my Mother die from Cancer. She fought a long and hard battle against the wretched disease for many many years when it first appeared in 1997. Thr first hint of the horror to come was when my Mother was driving, i was obviously with her her at the time and she had to pull over and stop because of a nose bleed. My Mother never had that and so you can imagine the chill that went down my spine over that. Then a few nights later i found my Mother on the floor in tears. I had never seen my Mother cry as badly as that. Sure i've seen my Mother cry but NOT like that. I knew something was wrong and i was worrued sick. It was only a week or so later at 30,000 ft in the air when my Mother said she had been to the doctor and had had some tests. Although not offically known a daughters instinct told me that this was the beginning of the end. On hearing thise words it felt like someone had walked and pressed down on my soul and driven a stake through my heart. I could not bresthe i could not move, nothing. I must have been so white as a sheet because my Mother bought me a gin and tonic on the plane. I will NEVER EVER forget that moment. In fact i am crying this very moment with tears down my cheeks. What was going to be a holiday turned out to be a nightmare. My Father never knew himself what had happened on the plane and i spent the holiday lashing out at anyone and everyone because i was hurting so much. That was Christmas 1997 ruined. We did not celebrate Christmas that year. Breast cancer took care of thst.
Then between 1997 and 2000 i lived through a horrific time, and of course so did my Mother. She lost her hair, she became ill. I wont go into detail about that except to say my Mother fought. Then in 2000 we had what we then thought was a miracle. My Mother was in remission. We wept for joy. For a year we lived the dream that we had ALL beaten this fucking awful disease. Because the disease does claim us all in it's own way.
But by autumn 2001 my Mother began to have pain in her leg for whuch she was getting physio. The pain got worse and i once again felt that stake go through my heart. The cancer was back. This was confirmed a few weeks later when my Mother either slipped or fell, i dont remember which down some stairs. In hospital she was diagnosed with Cancer of the bone and liver. The breast cancer had not gone away. Instead it's tentacles spread it's ugly fingers throughout my Mother's body. I knew this was the end. There was no comming back from this.
I was angry. VERY angry. With the NHS for not spotting it, angry with the doctor who arrogantly dictacted into his voice machine my Mother's life expectancy whilst in front of my Mother. I would have decked him if i had been there. I was angry as both me and my Father waited until 3am in the morning before my Mother was seen to by a hosptial doctor. I was angry with God for allowing someone who had done nothing but good into the world with a lifelong commitment to teaching children.
2001 until my Mother's death on August 20th 2002 was a living hell. I waatched my Mother die in front of me. Her life force slowly being taken away before me. We both knew she was dying. My Mother and i discussed it once. But we did not go into detail. We wanted to fight this until the end.
When my Father rang a week before my Mother died telling me to come home at once, i knew the End was here. I was setting up a business meeting and was sorting out powerpoint stuff. It was an important meeting and held on the managers floor. For the first and i hope the last time i cried out, violently pushed everything off the desk and swore. A fitting and i think ultimately spooky (?) postscript was that the entire floor blacked out as a power cut took efffect.
During the last week i never left my Mother's side. What i will never forget till my dying day is that horrific death rattle. I can still hear it now. It was an evil sound. On the penultime day my Mother was so near death, i laid down beside her and clutched her hand and told her i loved her and that i would miss her so much. She managaed to squeeze my hand. What an amazing woman my Mother was. And then she died. The last lesson my Mother left me with was how to die with dignity. As i was alone in the bedroom seeing my Mother's body. I knew it was the shell. Her spirit was now free.
In the year that followed my Mother's death i was totally emopty, devoid of life. I dont know much of what happened. I know i remember expecting a call from the Police to say my Father had killed himself. What my Father does not know and never will know i had thoughts of doing the same. It was a bad time. I grieved deeply until 2005 when the fog slowly lifted. By 2008 my grief and subsquent depression had largely healed. But although i had come to terms with my Mother's death to a large degree the pain never went away. It never will. Recently i have had a friend who was told she had breast cancer. I read an online message about it all and i broke down in tears and could not stop crying. It brought back too many painful memories.
So now that you have a flavour of what my Mother went through as did my Father. I will be doing the Memorial Walk obviously to raise money for two causes close to my heart, but i will also remember my Mother, the friends who i've lost due to Cancer. And there are quite a few. And i will will remember my Grandfather who certaintly had bi polar although undiagnosed. I will remember a friend of mine who committed suicide. I have many reasons to remember. And very many reasons to do the Memorial Walk. It had always been my intention to do a walk this September.Orginally from Penzance to Lands End until Susa rang me and asked me if we could extend the idea into what has now became the Memorial Walk. I thought it was a wonderful idea and agreed without reservation. So when i reach the Bandstand on September 12th i will drink my bottle of champange. It will be bitter sweet i guess. But my Mother loved champange and all who knows me knows i do too. And of course Jeremy loved champange as well.
Rebecca, or indeed anyone reading this if you have anything to add please feel free to do so. I will be at the Bandstand. I dont know what time. If anyone wants to say hello to me they can do. I am tired of all the arguing, of all the hurt of the last few weeks. If it is possible to start again then i would welcome that. I think Jeremy would also be pleased if a reconciliation took place. That WOULD be in the spirit of the Walk don't you think?.