#BloggersBeatingCancer: Fighting cancer with coffee and a hashtag.
When blogger Emma Critchley, (Island Living 365), lost one of her best friends, Sarah, to cancer earlier this year, she wanted to do something positive. So with the help of fellow blogger, Sarah from Mumzilla.co.uk, the idea of bloggers using their influence to raise money for charity was born, culminating in a virtual coffee morning next Friday 30th September 2016 at 10.30am.
It’s a chance for everyone, bloggers and non-bloggers alike, to gather together in person or virtually with their friends for a coffee, have a natter, make a donation and make a difference.
Why not join in and together we can raise funds so that one day we can beat cancer…for good.
When I was asked to write a blog post about my own experiences of cancer for #Bloggersbeatingcancer, I made a little note of it on my blog planner and pressed on with all the other items on my ‘To do’ list.
Eventually, it rose to the top of the list and I finally had to sit down and think about my #Bloggersbeatingcancer contribution.
I didn’t realise how hard it would be.
You see, all the feelings, emotions and pain I felt about my own story and the loved one it involved had been pressed down, locked up, contained. Occasionally, in the years since it happened those feelings have broken free and bubbled to the surface, catching me off guard when I least expected it. The ‘what if’s’ and ‘if only’s’ haunting me once more. The tendrils of regret and grief slowly but surely winding their way around my heart again, making it hard to breathe. Eventually, they’d unravel and recede, leaving in their wake a dull ache.
Yet, in the hope that I can help in some small way, I’m unlocking the vault. I’m dusting off the difficult memories, the fears, the pain and the grief that cancer left in its unrelenting wake.
This is my ‘cancer’ story. Please read it. Please give.
Sorry I wasn’t there at the end.
Oh, how I wanted to be.
I remember the phone call so vividly.
When I finally realised how serious it was, I knew I didn’t have a second to lose.
I called the office.
Love, please can you come home now? I need you to look after the kids. I need to leave. I need to be there.
I was frantic.
I was panicking. Shaking. Through a mist of tears, I fumbled with clothes and toiletries and my overnight bag.
I had to get back home. My childhood home. My miles away home. I was needed there.
Every. Second. Mattered.
The sound of a key in the door.
I’m here. I love you. Don’t worry about me and the kids. Go. Drive safely.
Through snow. Through ice.
Let me get there in time. I need to be there in time. I’m needed. Please.
Seconds. Minutes. Hours.
I wasn’t even sure where I was heading. Which hospital? Memorial Hospital? Probably? Surely?
I’ll reach the hospital in 15 minutes. 10 minutes. 5 minutes.
I’m here now.
The mobile rings.
I recognise the phone number.
Are you driving?
Can you pull over?
My blood runs cold. I can’t breath.
Don’t say it. Please.
I’m so sorry…
But I’m here. I’m at the hospital. I’m at the entrance. I’m…
I’m sorry I wasn’t there at the end.
I can’t bear the thought of you not having your family around you when it mattered most.
Of me not being there for you.
I know I was there later.
But that’s not the same.
I’m sorry I couldn’t comfort you.
Couldn’t soothe you.
Tell you it’d be all right…We’d be all right.
Tell you I love you so much.
More than I can ever explain.
I love your courage.
Your good heart.
I love you for loving me.
I love you.
I’m sorry I couldn’t take away your pain.
Share it, even.
I’m stronger than you think.
I would have done it.
I look back and remember how painful it was for you.
How much it hurt.
I could see it in your eyes.
I’d never seen such fear and anguish reflected there.
I’d never seen you in agony.
I wanted to make it STOP.
If you were in pain before then, you never showed it.
You kept it to yourself. Not wanting to burden anyone or have them worry on your account.
That’s how it always was…Looking after everybody else.
If they were okay, you were okay.
I’ll never forget that night when I laid beside you and held you.
You’d always been the one to hold me.
You were always the one to wipe away my tears.
To comfort me.
To stroke my hair.
To whisper that it’d be okay…Because we had each other.
When I was afraid, you were there for me.
It was a long night, that night.
But in the midst of the horror of it all, I felt closer to you than I’ve ever felt before.
But I’ll tell you this…I would have given anything to take away your pain: The crushing, devastating power of it.
If only the depth of my love could somehow quench the thirst of your grief.
So, I’m sorry.
I’m so sorry I wasn’t with you at the end, Mum.
When cancer tore your wonderful, caring, generous, loving brother away from you…and we never even knew it was there.
Please support #BloggersBeatingCancer:
You can donate at our fundraising page now:
#BloggersBeatingCancer Virtual Coffee Morning:
Join us on Friday 30th September at 10.30am, for coffee and a social media thunderclap. Use the hashtag, get your friends involved, and get fundraising if you can.
Anyone can take part in the virtual coffee morning. Who doesn’t love coffee and a natter? Get hold of your friends, chat online, it could be the friend who now lives abroad or the one who lives in the next town. Thanks to the internet you can chat to them like they are in the same room.
Join us, have a chat, make a difference.