Hello Tea Friends!
This post is is a plea to my fellow tea lovers to help me raise money for charity. On 7-9th April I will be swimming 1.5k for Swimathon to raise money for Marie Curie – A charity that offers care and support for patients and their families coping with terminal illness.
Let me throw a few facts at you taken from Cancer Statistics in the UK.
- There were around 163,000 cancer deaths in the UK in 2014, that’s 450 deaths every day.
- Every four minutes someone in the UK dies from cancer.
- Cancer causes more than one in four of all deaths in the UK.
- Lung, bowel, breast and prostate cancers together accounted for almost half (46%) of all cancer deaths in the UK in 2014.
These are from 2014 but the figures will still be approximately the same as today. This is just UK stats, consider the size of the UK compared to other parts of the world. It’s astonishing, more than that it’s scary.
It’s easy to put it out of your mind because you think it won’t happen to you or your family. Very wrong. Here is my personal story:
When I was a teenager (18/19ish) my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I remember they said that 1 in 3 people are diagnosed with cancer and as an only child my family consisted of just the three of us. This was one of my first thoughts when I found out, I also remember thinking that I wished it was me that had cancer and not my mother. As silly as it sounds now I tried to reason with the situation and try to change it.There was nothing I could do.
So my mother went through a series of tests and was booked in for surgery. She required a full hysterectomy with the hope of catching it in time before it spreads. The time for me is a blur so I can only imagine what it was like for my mother. Being young I was only included in some of the information to protect me, which bothered me no end but I understood. Then came the big day, the operation. We were told she would need to stay in hospital for a while to recover. I didn’t live at home at the time and I remember sitting next to the phone to hear from my dad the news. Then the phone eventually rang, it was good news. My mothers cancer was caught in time before it spread and though it took a while she fully recovered.
My mother has always been a strong woman and now she has a cancer survival badge of honour. My family were lucky, though my story doesn’t end there.
When I was around the age of 23 I met a friend for a few drinks and got a taxi home. It was a great night and I was happy to get out of the house, out of my quiet life for a few hours. As I got home my partner was in the living room watching tv. Instead of a “hello” or a “did you have a good time?” I was met with “I think I have a lump on my testicle” “It feels strange”. I’m a female, my knowledge on testicles is virtually non existent, let alone what they should feel like. I assumed he was being paranoid and said that they were fine. This carried on for weeks until he finally plucked up the courage to go and see his GP about it. I expected him to return and say that it was nothing but instead he was referred to a specialist at the hospital. Again I thought it was just the GP being safe rather than sorry and making sure it wasn’t anything. So I happily went along my life thinking nothing of it. Then came the results.
We get a lift from my dad to the hospital and he says he wants to go in by himself to find out the results. That was fine, I didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable and I had already told myself it was nothing. After fifteenish minutes he left the room and didn’t say a word. We walked to the car park and was on the way to the car before he said a word. The silence I took for embarrassment was not so. Instead he said “My operation is in a couple of months”. I said “What operation?” I mean it was nothing right? Wrong. He then said the word cancer. To this day I remember stopping, mid walk, my world stopped and everything around me carried on. It felt like I was hit by an invisible force shield.
The operation to remove one testicle was a success but unfortunately it had already spread to his chest and lymph nodes.He was required to undergo 3 courses of chemotherapy with the hope of removing it all. The operation was the easiest part of his diagnosis. Chemotherapy was a whole new level. On the first day he came home from his first treatment having again said that he wanted to go alone, he ran upstairs and immediately started to vomit. I followed him up once I heard the noise to make sure he was alright, I saw him hunched over the toilet vomiting and crying. “I can’t do this, I don’t want anymore chemo”. My heart broke. Here is the man I love saying he would rather die than go through more chemotherapy, after just one day. Keeping in mind that one course of chemotherapy lasts a few weeks. Ahead were months of chemo.
I could only be there as much as he would let me but he was secretive and didn’t want to be seen as sick. It was obvious to strangers when his skin turned grey and he lost all of his hair. Again I am met with more blur. Some things I remember distinctly and other things not at all. He stuck with chemo and carried on fighting.It was a difficult year for all of us, knowing that he is suffering and there is nothing we can do to help. Not knowing if he will be alright.
I can’t imagine at all what it’s like to be diagnosed, or what it’s like to be the one fighting cancer. I can only say what I have seen from my own experiences. This year my partner got his 5 year all clear. He is cancer free.
I have shared some information on two stories of people close to me, two people that got lucky. Cancer doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t pick or choose, it isn’t sexist, or racist, it just attacks. My family were lucky, other people are not so lucky. I can’t imagine what it would be like to hear a family member has terminal cancer. Frankly I wouldn’t want to know what it’s like either. That is why I am raising money for the care and support of the terminally ill. Helping people that need it when facing the worst news of their life.
With the help of my friends and family I aim to raise as much money as I can for Marie Curie. If you can help then please sponsor me by giving whatever you can. 100% of the money goes to charity and I gain nothing from it. I’m a person trying to make a difference.
If you would like to sponsor me please view my page below. FYI you can donate via Paypal.
More about this challenge. So I’ve agreed to swim 1.5k on my chosen date between 7-9th April. There will be many of us in Swimathon 2017 undergoing the same challenge, though some will be swimming further lengths.
My goal is going to be to swim 1.5k in an hour. I’ve only just got back into swimming after many years absent and my pace is very slow. I recently swam 1k and it took an hour, so I’m looking to up my game for charity. My donation page will have pictures and updates on swimming times and information while I train a few times each week until the final day.
Now I know this is a tea blog and I’ve thrown a lot of cancer talk and fundraising convo out there, but it is tea related too. I am using green tea to fuel myself for the swim. Each training session I will have a flask of green tea poolside to quench my thirst and give me energy. So essentially I’m swimming to raise money for charity while being boosted by tea. Using green tea to it’s full advantage.
It’s a great way to show what switching out sugary drinks can do for you whilst also showing you don’t need to be Charles Atlas to make a difference.
I do hope to reach my fundraising target and my timed swim goal, but frankly I will swim for as long as it takes me. If you can help please do, it’s such a good cause that deserves all the help it can get. Keep an eye open for updates and tea pics on my fundraising page, there is one coming tomorrow!