Last night I woke up in the middle of the night worrying. I did worrying REALLY well before The Cancer but like all my other hobbies I now struggle to do it more than on a part -time basis.
I need to tell you why I was worrying because it involves all of you. Each and every one.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been lucky enough to be invited to talk on BBC South East and BBC Radio Kent about this blog but mostly about the financial strains of being a single mum with cancer. I've always loved the media, my local paper even let me pretend to be a journalist for a couple of years and thanks to a super talented and generous team of editors (Dave Summers, Sarah Young, Chris East and Peter Davidson) I sometimes got to pretend I wrote front page stories. *
The media stuff has been a great distraction for me but the reason I was worrying is because I don't want it come across as though you haven't all helped. The girls and I would absolutely be on our knees if it wasn't for you all. It's thanks to everyone we know that we aren't going cold or hungry or feeling unloved and afraid.
While it's really important to raise the profile of the absolute lack of financial support for the seriously ill, my family of three will never forget all of you who rally around us daily and if at any point in my five minutes of media interest I have appeared to have forgotten that then I can't say sorry enough.
Sometimes I have also shone the spotlight on those who have supported us. Again I hope I haven't upset anyone in doing so. One of my sisters stopped me from starting a log book when I was diagnosed to keep a record of everyone's help so I could make sure I repay everyone's kindness. If I had started that book I have no doubt I would have already run out of pages.
One last thing I would like to say before I shuffle off for the day is that I also hope it doesn't seem as though I am taking to the media to attempt to get stuff from people. So many kind strangers have come forward, some with families of their own, offering to buy us stuff or treat us to something. We don't deserve more stuff just because I got ill and people who work hard to support themselves shouldn't have to make these so kind I could cry gestures. Please know i'm not sat here waiting for a bail out.
Lastly, because I think this post lends itself to it, I would like to thank
The Pickering Cancer Drop-In Centre for EVERYTHING. Polly and her team are why I have hope.
My wonderfully kind, generous and creative ex-colleagues from Thames Valley Police who have supplied me with great books, beauty products, food and dashings of Vinegar,
Grosvenor Medical Centre for being simply the best team of doctors, nurses and receptionists who show compassion daily even with a busy practice
St Barnabas School and Barnabus playgroup. The staff and parents have rallied around the girls and me as though we have always lived here. Trust me when I say this, you will never, ever find a bunch of people like this anywhere else in the same place. Thank you all for taking us in, for your hugs, offers of help, meals and just being a bloody fantastic collection of people.
Church of Christ. I started attending church in the summer when Child 1 decided she had a faith she wanted to explore. I was anxious about going as it's not something I had previously done but with it being across the road and offering coffee during the service I thought there would be no harm in giving it a go. I won't go in to detail but up to that point life had been really hard. I mean really tough and I was far more used to getting knock backs from people than I was kindness. The girls and I arrived at this place where people who didn't know us showed us care and love. It massively freaked me out but we kept on going. I was sure there was a catch. People were never that nice without an agenda or without something about to go wrong, right? It turns our we have stumbled upon something magical. (Sorry Christian friends, I know that's a bit of a faux pas but there's no better way for me to describe it). This collection of people who had always been meeting on our doorstep invited us in without asking for anything in return. We don't have to be 'one of them ' to be welcome as they are happy to take us as we are. We are rich in so many ways because of all of you.
Also to my friends and family far and wide. We love you all xxx
*Not forgetting praise to Olivia Finucane's ankle, which got me the gig in the first place.