How to navigate the unthinkable

The last few weeks have been some of the most stressful and the most difficult of my life. Cancer is now a daily word and theme and Nick started emergency chemotherapy last week in preparation for a stem cell transplant later this year.

What we dreaded happening, has happened. We were always told the cancer was very likely to progress but of course we also hoped it would not, or at least that we would have more time.

Amidst spreadsheets of multiple drugs, regular hospital visits and monitoring for side effects, we choose to face this new phase in our lives with dignity, grace and strength.

This is a daily practice and one that is not always easy. Yet sickness is part of life and we will all face our mortality one day. It’s just that most of the time, it’s easier and more comfortable not to think about that.

Yet we are so much stronger than we think!

When life throws you a pivotal and traumatic event, and it will, you are much more able to handle it than you may think or when you imagine the unthinkable. There is shock, emotional swings, horrible lows and all sorts to navigate alongside sadness and grief for what you have lost. I often think about the “carefree” times before all of this happened just six months ago.

What helps me most right now?

  • Fully acknowledging every single emotion, however uncomfortable
  • Journaling and writing
  • Practicing gratitude – yes – there is still so much to be thankful for
  • Reaching out to my very big support network
  • Love and looking after each other
  • Routine and structure each day
  • Taking things day by day
  • Talking about the scary things but also about how we want to live now
  • Planning for joy
  • Planning simple things that we can do that boost and nurture us
  • Supporting my family and continuing to live life as normally and as happily as we can
  • Work – so enormously grateful for my work and everything it gives me

We continue to hope and to stay positive. I continue to fundraise for Myeloma UK  because that fundraising contributes to more effective treatments. By the time the cancer returns, and it will, there may be fantastic new treatments and support and prolong quality of life.

I’ve already raised over £4,000 this year through walking 10 miles a day in March. In June I will be swimming 50 lengths a day, having learned a brand new swimming stroke – front crawl.


“Cancer cannot cripple love, it cannot shatter hope, it cannot conquer the spirit.”


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