Monthly Archives: June 2017

The consequences of complacency

So recently I learnt about the consequences of complacency. And sadly it was my son that bore those consequences which broke my heart.

We have been so careful about what we have told the children about my myeloma over the years. They were only 2 and 4 when I first got my diagnosis, an age that was obviously too young to share any details with them. Only when I started treatment, did we tell them the first bits of information, and even then it was only that ‘mummy had poorly blood and needed some medicine to help make it a bit better’. We explained what that might look like and left it at that. They were so young that they didn’t really ask anything further and my treatment and the effect of it remained between Nick, me and our family and friends. They didn’t need to hear the figures we had read about 2-5 years life expectancy or listen to our concerns that I might not see them reach primary school .

As the years have moved on, my fundraising has obviously had an influence on them and they have been aware of myeloma. I’ll never forget the first time that they asked me whether myeloma was cancer and I had to say yes and explain that I was still doing well and that it had gone away because of the medicine that I’d had, but that I still had it. Our focus was always on how well I was despite having myeloma. We have always sworn that we will never lie to the children about my myeloma – if they ask us a question we answer it truthfully and the most we will do, is leave out information if we don’t think they’re ready to cope with it.

To try to make sure they didn’t hear too much or find out things without our knowledge, we always made sure that whilst I publicised my fundraising with friends and family, that I didn’t take it bigger in the early days. I turned down the idea of articles in papers etc because I didn’t want to risk them hearing the message I would have been giving to people. Anything that I did do, was away from High Wycombe where we lived, or didn’t open them up to seeing anything that made them realise that myeloma was an incurable, relapsing, remitting cancer.

But since we moved up to the Midlands, Nick and I made the decision that they knew enough for us to be able to publicise my fundraising a little more. They still didn’t know that information about myeloma, but they knew enough that we felt that me doing an article in the local paper wouldn’t be an issue….and that the reality was that they wouldn’t see that article anyway.

I got it so wrong though….when I saw the article it was online and so I didn’t really pay much attention to it apart from to use it to help promote my event in April. My sister kindly got a copy of the paper for me and I threw it down on one side in the study and thought nothing more of it. And then Sam came and found me last week and said that he had read the article when he was up before me one morning. And said that he hadn’t realised that I might have only had 2-5 years. He had tears  in his eyes and was so sad it broke my heart.

And so began the next stage of our education about myeloma for him. And as heart breaking as it has been to have to burden him with that information, I am so relieved that I was still able to tell him the truth about how it is and that for me, I don’t seem to have an aggressive form of the cancer. I was so honest with him that we were both teary at the end. I explained that he was too young before to worry him about it and that we would always answer his questions honestly. I explained that I was currently well despite being 8 years post diagnosis so those figures couldn’t be accurate for me. And I promised, at his request, to tell him when anything changed.

The hardest thing is to know whether to tell Rebecca now or whether to wait till she asks the question. She apparently hasn’t read the article so do we worry her about it all or let her continue in ignorance for as long as possible. Will she be cross her younger brother knew before her? Does that matter if it stops her concerns. She’s very different to Sam so at the moment our gut feeling is to leave it and deal with it as and when it comes up. God parenting is hard….even without having to deal with cancer!

I’ve talked to friends and family about what has happened and people have said not to beat myself up about it. I think they’re probably right – he was always going to find out at some point and so now hopefully he will feel he can talk to us about it along the way. And maybe, just maybe, it might make things easier for him to take on board, as and when I relapse.

Myeloma certainly impacts life when you least expect it!

 

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An Update

My husband reminded me the other day that I hadn’t updated on here since I held my ‘The Perfect Pair’ event on the 22nd April….so apologies – I sometimes forget that Facebook isn’t the only forum in which people follow me!

The event on the 22nd with Nickolls and Perks, and held at the Stone Manor in Kidderminster was an amazing success and I am really delighted to say, that thanks to the generosity of so many different people, companies and friends, we managed to raise over £9,300! This is a fantastic amount as we only had 60 guests there on the night so I had been hoping for more like £5k.

It was a really fun evening, and whilst I’m not sure that Tim and David, our wine connoisseurs for the evening, managed to talk that much to us all, everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves. I hope that it meant that now, a few more people up in the Midlands know a little bit more about myeloma, and at the same time, that money will be vital in terms of helping Myeloma UK to do their invaluable work.

What is also great, is that the total there meant that, with the help and support of family, friends and work, we have now raised over £116,000! In fact, we are just waiting to hear from another company who did the Myeloma UK London to Paris bike ride after reading my blog, and while they have already got that total up to £123,000, we are hoping that they might actually take us over the £125,000 total. In fact, we are probably there as I think there are a couple of events that have been popped down as a little less than we actually gave!

So, for the time being, I’m taking a bit of a break from the fundraising. We are hoping to move house over the summer so that is likely to take up much of my time. In addition, I’m looking more into my social media business and considering whether to keep it at just that or develop it into more of a ‘Virtual Assistant’ business. Lots to consider given my health situation so I need to give myself some time to focus on it all rather than keeping on making excuses as to why I can’t do it! In the meantime, if you need some help with Facebook but don’t want to pay £50 an hour for a guru, get in touch with me….in this day and age, we don’t need to live in the same area for me to be able to help!

(All that said, if anyone likes their whisky and wants to be kept up to date on a potential whisky fundraiser for 2018, let me know! )

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