This post is a fairly shameless plug for my latest charity fund-raising effort.
On 23rd August 2010, in the whitewashed room of Victorian hospital, now in the process of being closed, I was looked in the eye by a surgeon who uttered the words, "I'm sorry it's cancer."
Back then, I was terrifed that I would not see Christmas, despite his assurance that "we'll talk about this infive years time." Suffice to say, I have long since learned to trust my surgeon.
Then I thought, well, if I get to five years, that'll be cause for celebration.
Then I grew up.
Perhaps that a little harsh.
Since then I have come to appreciate what a vile, unpredictable set of diseases cancer is, destroying hope, gobbling confidence, tearing families apart, leaving a trail of pain and sorrow. To celebrate my good fortune, when friends whose initial prognoses were so much better than mine are no longer here, seems crass and inappropriate.
But I do want to mark the date, a paradigm shift in my experience and understanding. And I do want to express my gratitude to the many, many people who have shared those five years.
So I am creating a 'thankfulness' playlist. In exchange for a donation of £5 to CRUK, donors can choose a song/hymn/piece of music which I will download, add to the list and play on the afternoon on 23rd August 2015 (between church services!!)
I chose CRUK after a lot of thought... I have been supported by folk in all parts of the UK, so it felt appropriate to choose a UK-wide charity. For all the vital work done by support charities, in the end it comes down to research. And because I have friends affected by many types of cancer, it needed to be general. So CRUK was the best fit.
The link is here and I look forward to finding which songs etc are chosen.