When my sister was 11, we found a lump in her shoulder blade. She had bone cancer. At this exact moment, as I’m writing this, and reading it out to my mother, I have to stop. I feel unsettled by how raw this memory still is, how easily it still upsets us both. This was never my battle and to be completely honest with you, I’ve always felt uncomfortable at the idea of a charity event focused on the cancer that has plagued not me, but my loved ones for years.
My sister’s first cancer was treated at the Royal Marsden with intrusive surgery and she lost her hair from months of aggressive chemotherapy. She was diagnosed as terminally ill with Ewing Sarcoma. She survived.
More than anything then, I’d like to simply try to raise awareness and help my sister in particular, with a charity very close to her heart. Cancer Research.
Soon after my sister’s first cancer, our mother found a lump. At 50, she had breast cancer. Having gone through it all with her daughter, she was now back at the Royal Marsden, to fight her own cancer with Radiotherapy and losing her hair to chemotherapy. She survived.
Two years ago at 28, my sister found not just one lump, but multiple lumps in her breasts. She was adamant it was cancer, despite my reassuring her it could be any number of things. I was wrong. She has breast cancer. She has since gone back to the Royal Marsden for Radiotherapy and a double mastectomy. At 28. That’s right, a double mastectomy. At 28. It’s unusually young and after an anomaly cancer previously, I’m asking for your help. Cancer Research are pioneering kinder treatments and finding new ways to beat cancer right now.
My sister often writes about her cancer and below are links from her and her co-worker’s blog ‘To Work or Play’ where she has shared her story and inspired and continues to inspire so many of us, who have been touched by this awful disease. Please take the time to read her fight against cancer and share it with anyone you know, who might be struggling to come to terms with this battle.
- The year I’ve had: knowing your body and recognising cancer
- The year I’ve had: getting your head straight
- Post-mastectomy wedding dress shopping
I’m a little bit nervous about swimming 200 lengths of a 25m pool and although I love swimming, I have set myself the maximum challenge of 5k, so I just want to thank you for reading and I really hope I can do this.
Rowsheen the Machine
You can support Rowsheen by donating to her JustGiving page.