My mum never saw an oncologist. She wouldn't go. She knew there was nothing they could do, so she wouldn't go. It made no difference. But it meant we were never offered genetic counselling or testing to find out if we carry the genes that make some women more susceptible to ovarian cancer. We don't even know for certain where Mum's primary cancer site was; the histology was not clear. Having endometriosis means I have an increased risk of ovarian cancer anyway, but my gynaecologist is reluctant to test me for the genetic fault on the NHS until someone else in my family gets it. As the oldest ovary-containing child of my mother, the test case is me.
My mum's type of cancer was unusual and incurable. Even if she had been diagnosed two years before, when we suspect it started, she would have been dead within five years. And she would have hated that. She would have hated the tests and the treatments, the desperation and the fear and the hope that led nowhere. I am glad she didn't know. As we come up to the anniversary of her diagnosis, I am glad that we didn't know.
But now we know.
We are not just racing for life. We are racing for hope. Hope for ourselves. Hope for others. Mum has not been the only cancer death close to us in the last year.
So we run (/walk) the Race for Life, and we hope that we live to be a hundred. We will walk around a field on a Sunday morning in the hope that we never have to go through this again. We will walk, we will sweat, we will giggle, we will pant because we are hopelessly unfit, and we will hope that if it happens to us, they will be able to help.
As of today, we have collectively raised £815 (+£167.50 gift aid) and we are so grateful. That's the cost of two MRI scans. The cost of two colposcopies to diagnose cervical cancer. Four prostate biopsies. Eight sessions of chemotherapy.
It's a lot. It's not a lot.
Please donate if you can, if not to us, then to someone who else who is racing or directly to Cancer Research.
August 2016 <3