Live the Life you Love

One year ago today I lost my best friend and the best Mum that I could have asked for. I was blessed to have her in my life for 38 years, to have her guide and support me and shape me in to the person that I am today. Mum always helped others and put others before herself and delayed many things that she wanted to do. So in her honour and because life is so short I’m going to live life to the fullest and with abandon. Her favourite saying was always ‘Live the Life you Love’. So I will.

So much has happened over this last year that I wish I could talk to Mum about, troubles I wish I could have worked through with her, wonderful new experiences she would be so proud of me and Dad for, watching my nieces grow and flourish, and new friends that I wish she could meet and tell her all about. I know though that she is here within me as she has made me the Woman that I am today. Thank you Mum! Oh and I am finally learning to drive Mum!!!

Mum was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer at the start of 2016 and after a very short and violent battle passed away on the 6th March 2016. To help prevent other families feeling the pain and grief that we did and all too painfully still do, my Dad, my Aunt and my friend Laura are going to be walking Hadrian’s Wall on the 31st May for Cancer Research UK in memory of my Mum. Watching someone suffer like that makes you want to do all that you can to help. We could only be there for Mum in the end so if we can help by raising money to help fight this vile disease then we will be content. We have set ourselves a £4k target and we are already on £3.6k so please help us to reach our target by sponsoring us and by sharing this blog.

Be at peace Mum and your family hopes we make you proud xxx

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Addenbrooke’s Hospital. BRCA1 Gene testing results.

I’m just back from a visit to Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge to get the results of Mum’s BRCA1 & BRCA2 gene mutation test. My Mum had Breast Cancer over 10 years ago and passed away from Ovarian Cancer in March this year. Before she passed away she had a blood test and gave approval for us to do a gene test to see if she carried either of the hereditary gene mutations that could have meant that myself, my brother, and further generations could have been at a higher risk of getting Breast and Ovarian Cancer.

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It was a long wait as the DNA testing process takes two months, and then it was a while before I could get an appointment on a date that would allow me to have someone there to support me when I got the news. Thankfully the news was good and Mum didn’t have the gene. This is great news for my family and a huge relief. There were many tears shed in the appointment. I know Mum would have been smiling down with relief herself.

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As Mum had literally turned 50 (a matter of days) when she was diagnosed with breast cancer I have been put on a high risk list and I will be starting regular breast screening as soon as I turn 40. When I turn 50 I will be in contact with Addenbrooke’s again to discuss my Ovarian Cancer risk again and if there have been any further developments in the gene testing field for cancer as they keep Mum’s sample on file and will re-test in the future.

The team at Addenbrooke’s have been so efficient, supportive, caring and respectful. They are so thorough when you start the process ensuring it is something that you have really thought about and are mentally prepared for. I would recommend to anyone in a similar situation to consider going through the process.

It’s made me even more determined to raise the money towards our £4k target on our Hadrian’s Wall Walk for Cancer Research UK  as every penny could help develop new tests that could prevent future families suffering like ours has.

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My Aunt and my Dad came with me today and I am so grateful for their support. We went for a celebratory lunch after at the Red Lion in Grantchester which was absolutely delicious. The service was wonderful there and we were so glad to have found the Pub. They were also filming the TV series Grantchester in the village and we got to black our noses for a little while. I didn’t realise until the waitress took a picture of us that we were all wearing the same colour, Rosemary’s Cruisers all in Blue.

Please help us to get to our target and help us fight this illness by donating via our Just Giving page
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Here are some useful links

Genetic Testing BRCA1

Breast Screening

Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

Addenbrookes Hospital

Red Lion Grantchester

Stand Up To Cancer! Fundraising at Tesco

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My Dad and I are exhausted. We have just spent the last two days fundraising for Cancer Research at Tesco, Princes Road, Chelmsford where Mum used to work. We wanted to boost our fundraising and awareness for our Hadrian’s Wall Walk next year in aid of Cancer Research. Rosemary’s Cruisers were there on the 21st and 22nd of October timed perfectly to support Stand Up To Cancer.

It was humbling to meet so many people effected by cancer and so many cancer survivors. It made us appreciate even more just how important the work of Cancer Research is and how every penny we can raise to help fight this vile disease really does help to make a difference.

We split our time between walking on the treadmill and talking to people whilst we took donations. This was the first time my Dad had been on a treadmill so it was hard work for him. I am so proud of him for organising this and for every second he spent on that treadmill. After two days our legs are a little sore. We averaged about 18 miles a day.

We’d like to thank the staff at Tesco for enabling us to do this fundraising event and of course to thank the shoppers at Tesco who helped us raise so much money. It was also great to see so many of my Mum’s work colleagues and shoppers who remember her so fondly. Thank you for your support and coming to chat with us on the day. We are now on 75% of our target for the Hadrian’s Wall Walk in Memory of my Mum Rosemary Alexander.

We’ve still got a long way to go to our target so please support us by donating on our Just Giving page … Thank you.. Keep well and Stand Up To Cancer!!!

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Walkies – Training walks with Taz my dog

Time seems to be flying by so quickly at the moment. As the nights are drawing in and winter is approaching I’ve been trying to make the most of the last of our warmer days and getting out for some training walks with my dog Taz. It’s not long until our Hadrian’s Wall walk in May 2017 and my lovely little pooch Taz is thoroughly enjoying me taking her out for all these lovely long walks.

Three years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and was told that if I lost weight I could reverse the symptoms. I chose not to go it alone and joined Slimming World. When I was losing weight I did loads of exercise and Taz even used to come running with me. I lost over 9 stone with Slimming World, reversed my diabetes, and have now maintained my weight for over 2 years. Taz loved going for a run and was a great companion meaning that I could be more adventurous in where I was going. We even did a 5k Race for Life together with my local Slimming World Group. Since being diagnosed with Osteoarthritis I had to stop running and have slowly built up my walking again. Getting out for walks with Taz has been a great way to keep the weight off and she loves exploring around my local area.

Having her keeping me company on my training walks means that I can go further and further and my knees are slowly getting stronger. When it is warmer I try to get out early so she doesn’t overheat in the mid-day sun. I must admit she is a bit of a princess and she hates the rain and cold so I’m going to be investing in a coat for her for the winter.

Every night I have to do leg stretches and strengthening exercises for my knees and Taz see’s this as a great time to play. Every evening she brings her balls to me thinking that because Mummy is sitting on the floor it is play time.

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Taz won’t be coming with my to Hadrian’s Wall but she is loving every second of my training.

If you would like to support us on our charity walk for Cancer Research UK in honor of my Mum Rosemary who passed away from Ovarian Cancer in March this year please donate via our Just Giving Page. My Mum loved Taz and we quite often went for little strolls when my Mum visited. Taz always snuggled down on Nanna’s lap at the end of the night when she stayed over so every second I spend training with Taz is her little way of helping me honor my Mum.

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Cancer breakthrough: Scientists develop ‘smoke detector’ test that can spot disease before symptoms are noticeable

NEWS Cancer Blood Test Could Save Lives – The Independent Article

Dr Áine McCarthy, Cancer Research UK’s senior science information officer, said: “Finding new ways to detect cancer early – especially cancers that are hard to treat like oesophageal cancer – is vital to improve survival.

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Help us to fundraise for Cancer Research to keep developing new ways of detecting cancer earlier and therefore saving lives. Please support us on our Hadrian’s Wall Walk in honor of my Mum by donating via our Just Giving Page

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The Reason we are doing this 84 mile walk to raise £4k for Cancer Research is to support work like this that could save someone like Mum and stop families like ours suffering so much from their loss.

A new imaging technique could help spot ovarian tumours during surgery that are not visible to the naked eye, according to researchers (link is external) from the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. “This new imaging technology holds promise for improving the amount of a tumour that a surgeon can see, potentially making surgery […]

via New technique could spot ‘invisible’ ovarian tumours during surgery | Cancer Research UK — Health News

Please sponsor our team and help us reach our £4k target

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Walk for Life – Farleigh Hospice – Our First Hadrian’s Wall Training Event

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When Mum was told that she would not be receiving chemo for the Ovarian Cancer and that she would be receiving palliative care it was her last wish to make it home for her final days.

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When Mum was first diagnosed in January she had to cancel her long-awaited holiday on a cruise ship so she had asked that she could go home and have people visit her in holiday clothes where we could all talk about happier times and see the view from her garden stretching across Roxwell, Chelmsford and to Danbury. We spent quite a few days waiting for a palliative care package to be put together and were so scared that she would not make it home. Unfortunately most of the usual support networks didn’t have anyone free in the Chelmsford area as Mum was at Broomfield Hospital and the waiting list was long. We were desperate to get Mum home and give her the holiday at home that she we had promised her. The hospital ward arranged with the IT department to have a projector bought in to the room and have holiday images put up on to the hospital wall. We are so thankful for that very thoughtful and touching gesture. Everyone who visited had to wear their holiday best. Finally we heard that Mum would be going home and that Farleigh Hospice would be supporting her and providing the care that her and my family so greatly needed.

From the moment we got Mum home she seemed to release so much tension. The support we got from Farleigh hospice was invaluable and without them we would not have got Mum home. My family is so grateful for everything that they did. They do not normally provide at home care but they helped us fulfill my Mums final wish.

When Mum passed away both me and Dad wanted to do something to show our support to Farleigh Hospice. We had already decided we would do the Hadrian’s Wall walk for Cancer Research and wanted to do something in training for it and to support Farleigh Hospice. So when we heard that they were doing a 12k Walk For Life we signed up. Dad had never done anything like it before and hadn’t walked that far for a long time. I have Osteoarthritis in my Knees and both me and my Dad are diabetic. So we started training and building up to their event. Great training for Hadrian’s Wall.

 

 

We raised a total of £897.75 for them and completed the walk in great time. I was so proud of my Dad as this was his first fundraising event like this. It was a very emotional day and I was so proud to walk through the finish line holding his hand. I hope that the money we raised helps other families finding themselves in the situation that we did. Thank you Farleigh Hospice.

About Farleigh Hospice:

Farleigh Hospice aims to enable people affected by life limiting illnesses to live as positively and independently as possible. Our work is about supporting patients, their families and carers in a variety of ways. We offer a wide range of services which are all provided entirely free of charge and tailored to meet the individual needs of the patient, and their family.

Patients can call on our services at any stage of their illness and the bereaved can ask for help at any stage of their bereavement.

The majority of our care is provided inside patients’ own homes. Patients and relatives can dip in and out of our services as they need them – as our patients say, ‘help is always just a phone call away‘.

Illness can be stressful and isolating, both for the person themselves and their family. If you have been diagnosed with a life limiting illness, Farleigh Hospice can help. That help includes:

  • Someone to talk to about how you are feeling
  • Someone who can explain about your illness and treatments and answer any questions you may have
  • Welfare Benefits Advice & Support
  • Support and encouragement to live and enjoy your life as much as possible
  • Referral to and liaison with other services you may need, for example, community nursing

Our services are tailored around each individual’s needs and aim to take into account any problems that might be encountered.  You might need support with symptoms, financial advice, equipment to enable you to cope at home or a chance to talk through any fears ~ whatever the problem we are here to help.

Farleigh Hospice Website

Sponsor us for our Hadrian’s Wall Walk on the 31st May 2017- 84 miles – our biggest challenge yet!

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