July!

I think I blinked and missed July! So much has happened over the past four weeks!

This month is always a little manic, what with end of the school year events – sports day, residential trips, non uniform days – everyday had something going on.

It’s also my birthday month. I was 41 this year and feel incredibly lucky to have seen another birthday. My celebrations lasted a week – starting on the 13th and ending on the 20th due to Daisy being away with school. Over the week we had a family meal, I went out for a curry with my friend Rob, dinner at the Marchmont with Gracie and her boyfriends family, a spa day and finally, out for birthday drinks in Watford.

The spa day was amazing! Gracie had bought me a cancer specific treatment day at the Sequoia Spa at The Grove, which consisted of a back, neck and scalp massage and a facial. I felt like a new woman and, without even realising, I really needed that day. It was lovely to spend the time with Gracie, just chilling together and having a giggle. I didn’t want to leave!

July also saw me doing a few media interviews too.

Macmillan had asked me to do some radio interviews about their new campaign ‘Milestone Moments’. They’re encouraging people to ‘celebrate’ reaching milestones and I felt that it was important to get a ‘lifers’ perspective on this.

I will never be celebrating an ‘all clear’ milestone but I do mark my cancerversary (the day I was diagnosed) every year. For my first cancerversary I went to The Grove for afternoon tea. For my second, I took my children for afternoon tea on a London bus (there’s a bit of a trend going on!), my third saw us going out for dinner with my two best friends and all the kids and my fourth was spent learning how to decorate cakes with fondant icing.

My fifth (this year), was slightly different. I went to see Hamilton with Gracie and although we had an amazing day, it was more a day of reflection.

When I was first diagnosed, I did some interviews for Breast Cancer Now that coincided with the advert I was in. During the filming I said that I really just hoped to last for 5 years. The children would be that much older and more able to process what’s going on. I never imagined back then that I’d still be here now – when you’re given an incurable diagnosis, you immediately assume that death is imminent. Now I don’t wish for time, I wake up, take each day as it comes and see where it takes me.

The feedback I’ve had from the radio interviews has been great so I’m happy that I was able to tell it from a ‘lifers’ point of view as we sometimes get over looked.

I took part in a charity ‘naked’ calendar on the 21st. A lady I follow on Twitter, Bowel Cancer Baller, has bowel cancer and wanted to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK and Maggies Cambridge. It was waaaaay out of my comfort zone but it was exhilarating!!! I’d never met any of the other women taking part but nothing quite makes making friends easier than getting your kit off with them!! The calendar will be out in September sometime.

I’ve also done a photo shoot for Asda magazine. I’ll be one of four people featured in the October ‘tickled pink’ edition. We were at a house in Peckham, London and after having our make up done, we had both individual and group photos taken. We stopped for lunch then spent a good hour being interviewed together. It was a fantastic day.

This week has been pretty awesome too!

Four years ago, we filmed for ITV’s Text Santa and during filming Julie Walters came to the house. She’s an ambassador for Macmillan and they were one of the charities being featured that year. To say we were all a little star struck is an understatement!! Since meeting Julie, she has asked after us twice every year and sent us beautiful hampers at Christmas.

A few months ago, I got an email from my contact at Macmillan to say that Julie wanted to meet us for a catch up. I was pretty gobsmacked to be honest but, after finding a gap in her schedule, Julie came round on Tuesday afternoon.

She drove the 4 hour round trip, stopped at the M&S garage up the road to buy cookies and chocolate for the kids and a beautiful orchid for me, and literally had us in stitches the whole 3 hours she was here. I don’t think I’ve met a lovelier person! Before she left, she gave me her contact details so I think it’s safe to say that we’re friends for life!

All in all, July has been pretty crazy and it’s fair to say that I’m pretty exhausted. I wouldn’t have it any other way though – busy is good!

I’d like to dedicate this blog to my YBCN friends who have died this month, in particular, the very lovely Bonnie Fox ❤️

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