Hope you all survived the festive season!
I would like to share a story with you about a truly inspirational friend of mine; Alison.
Alison and I go back a long way to when we were both bank clerks in Newquay Cornwall and struggling to prove ourselves career wise. We were both pretty strong women trying to make our mark in what was a very male dominated profession.
We became good friends and share a very similar sense of humour and dogged determination. I eventually moved away from Cornwall but we always kept in touch so I was in shock and very sad to hear this time last year (Jan 2011) that she had had a Christmas and New Year in pain, eventuating in hospitalization, to be informed that she had cancer of the lymphatic system and that the mass was too large to be operated on and removed.
Surgery did however follow to decrease constriction of lower organs and this surgery was then followed by 6 months’ worth of chemotherapy.
During this time Alison was stoic in her fight to beat this situation and continued her work as Area Fundraising Manager with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Alison went through good, positive days and bad, dark days when she felt like she had been swallowed into a black hole.
Chemo was undertaken but unfortunately showed little results and this was followed by high dose chemotherapy, drugs and then further surgery to enable these drugs to be administered. All in all this was a harrowing time for Alison and her family but she battled on using all that determination she used to show in her twenties.
Alison had to go through the trauma of hair loss also but she was not prepared to let this get her down. Determined to make the most of the situation, she warned all her friends that if she was going to have to wear wigs, they were going to be outstanding! So, for Halloween she did her bit.
Good News was the headline for seeing out the Old Year and welcoming in the New Year!
31st Dec 2011:
PET scan negative meaning the cancer is no longer active and she is in remission for the moment! The road ahead is still a long one as far as treatment goes but they can now use her own stem cells for a possible transplant and Alison now starts on a rigorous regime of treatment throughout this month (January 2012) to harvest stem cells and continue with high dose chemo.
Alison you are an inspiration to anyone going through a gruelling time and fighting cancer. I am so proud of you and I'm glad you are made of good old Cornish Granite. Don't quit my friend and remember the anonymous quote I forwarded:
"I wish I was a glow worm, A glow worm's never glum.’Cos how can you be grumpy when the sun shines out your bum!"
I wish you a more peaceful 2012 with less pain and fear. Believe in yourself - You are truly a phenomenal woman!