I've been feeling like my usual self again the last few days, definitely more upbeat moments than down. I'd even started to miss the connection that Instagram gave me. So things are on the up.
Although sadly, the cancercoaster never goes away. I'm writing this blog with a very heavy heart after the loss of Anna - a beautiful, kind, courageous friend who also had lung cancer.
We were the same age, shared stories and supported each other through the minefields we found ourselves in. The shit club no one EVER wants to join.
We would message our inner thoughts and had each other's back. But sadly, cancer took Anna far too soon.
One of the things we spoke about was the pressure of living with this disease and how consuming it can be. I'd invited Anna and her family to Cornwall and offered her our house. We'd agreed that it would be more fun if I was here. It's never going to happen now.
I remember finding solace with Anna about how everyone has an opinion on everything. This is something I'm constantly coming up against lately. EVERYONE has an opinion. From having a glass of wine to whether I should be running, what treatment I should be doing or taking, and even comments on my fundraising.
I must kindly ask anyone reading this to think before you offer advice or talk about someone. Even if you are a medical professional, unless you are our oncologist, please don't share your view on what we should or shouldn't be doing. Especially so if you've never had cancer before. Just let us live our lives for the time we are on this planet.
I feel this behaviour is deeply unhelpful. Cancer is honestly one of the most confusing, all-consuming states to live in. A healthier way to offer support is to learn about empathy.
Further to empathy, it’s really important to educate yourself. Another misconception is that all those with lung cancer must smoke. It really hurts when I hear this because, in the group of people I know with lung cancer, none of them smoke or have even been a social smoker. I know people who get through 20-40 cigarettes a day, and they will probably be fortunate never to have cancer. They are really lucky. Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is a great source of information.
I want more than anything for cancer to be gone, not for me but for the future. I can't bear the thought of others living this life. And I'll do everything possible to shout about it and campaign. Some things I say will be hard to hear, and if you don't like that, please unfollow and don't read this blog.
I always think deeply about my words, and I'd like to apologise if my blog ever comes across as 'ranty'. I'm human and feel sheer rage towards this disease at times. It's a paradox, as I also know there is so much love and kindness surrounding it too. For example, I've recently met the most beautiful group of people who meet every two weeks to do the 'power of 8 meditation', which I'll share more about in a future post.
My main message here is that I ask you to please, be kind and thoughtful always, and with less judgement and more love.
One of my favourite sayings is 'you do you, I'll do me'. It seems apt for this moment.
This is a short blog. I needed to get my thoughts out of my head. I sign off with love and gratitude for all the healthily positive people in my life.
And with a special place in my heart for you, Anna. Gorgeous girl, mother, and daughter. I will always remember you as so full of hope, support, love, kindness and positivity. Your light shines bright in my heart. RIP.
Love Amber x
ps. this is a post my friends found really useful, so I'm sharing here in case you do too: