Hello & a very happy Saturday to you :)
It has been so very long since I last wrote and lately my fingers have been itching to write, so here I am.
I hope you are well and enjoying your weekend so far. I, myself am not sat with my usual cup of tea and a slice of cake, but a glass of wine and the smells of homecooked dinner wafting through from the kitchen. I will probably bring the bottle through shortly...
So much has happened since I last wrote but as many of you know me, I need not bore you with it all.
Are you enjoying the Olympics? I find myself consumed by it some days. Not the actual Olympics and not so much the sporting aspect of it, but the sheer determination, pride and emotion you see not only on the faces of the Olympians, but on us as a nation. I can not count the amount of times my eyes have welled up (some tears may have fallen..!) watching the sportsmen and women push, push, push if not to achieve a medal, just to get a PB. It's something that amazes me. The drive and commitment to achieve greatness in something that they love so much, it's certainly very admirable.
The feeling of inspriation draws on me and last night I found myself thinking of my inspirations and where I get my drive from. It can be all manners of things, the early morning sun, the laughter from my children, a stolen kiss from my husband and of course my dear family.
My inspiration lies within my cousins, my brother-in-law, my mum, my dad and my sisters. Each of whom have produced strength within themselves that I find astonishing. I am in awe of all of them and I can not be more thankful for the way that they have touched me.
A few months ago my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer. Of recent years I found a friend in my cousin that extended beyond just "being cousins" she became a very close friend and more like a big sister to me. I found this news devastating as did all of her family, her close family especially. As a mum, wife, daughter, sister and sister-in-law she did what only she does (and she does it sooooo well!) and declared that this was not going to beat her. She walked the Race for Life a little over a week after her double mastectomy and held her head high. Such a remarkable woman. She is currently receiveing chemotherapy and when I saw her last week, I couldn't believe it. A strong soul and an absolute inspiration to me. She oozes hope and happiness and I know she will be just fine :)
Another devastating piece of news came from Paul's side of the family at the start of the year. One of his brothers found out he had a rare type of cancer called multiple myeloma. Again, news of devastating proportions. Paul found the news very difficult to come to terms with. As a doting father and loving husband Paul's brother had to undergo some very painful procedures and him and his wonderful wife battled with set back after set back until his diagnosis. A story of incredible determination and the abundance of love and support from his close family and extended family and friends is inspirational. He still has some way to go but the good news is he's fighting this. They all are, and they're darn well beating it!
The family, in recent years, has been undergoing genetic testing due to the amount of family members who have had breast cancer. It was discovered just over 18 months ago that our family has a defective BRCA2 gene and its effects can be quite nasty. On the other hand the discovery of this gene can help prevent breast and ovarian cancer, with regular screening and options of surgery, those with the defective gene can have their chance of breast cancer reduced from 80%+ down to less than 10% - that, to me, is just amazing. My sister found out in 2010 that the was positive for the defective BRCA2 gene and underwent a double mastectomy last year to reduce her risk. Last month I too found out that I have this defective gene (although I was insistant that they were wrong!) and I will have to now make some life changing decisions.
I write about the BRCA2 gene, because I want to instill hope. Over the years the work and research that Cancer Research UK , Breakthrough Breast Cancer and all the other charities, doctors, scientists who help to fund, support and discover breakthrough treatments have provided me, my family and so many other families out there, a way of breaking free of the mould.
My cousin and Paul's brother are my inspirations.
But also, my mum for her early diagnosis, my auntie, for her early diagnosis, another female cousin for her remarkable story who is now in remission :) , my grandma for her battle, my auntie and my other grandma who lost their battles, my sister who has started to break the mould & my dad, for his constant struggle and his grief through the years, the stongest man I know, and my hero... The fight will continue and I know that this time round IT WILL BE BEATEN.
I pray everyday for the healthiness and happiness of my family and friends and draw inspiration from you all. We all have different stories and different family histories but with the help of modern medicine, fund raising and hope, there will be a time when we celebrate.
I lift my glass now.
I love you and thank you so very much for reading.
A VERY HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! To my little sister who graduated last month! Love you so very much xxxxxx
My family, friends and I are walking Snowdon on August 11th to raise money for Cancer Research UK if you would like to donate you can do so here http://www.justgiving.com/Rebekah-Gould0
Thank you xox