I did have a life before cancer - really I did - although at times its difficult to remember it now. Out of my 51 years only 3 1/2 have been blighted by Rcc. The rest were 'normal' - woman, wife, mother, homemaker - nothing to set the world on fire but a happy, secure and above all healthy life. As exciting as the past few years have been, all the travel and experiences I've had - how I miss my old life. How I yearn for it now. The simple routine of kids at school, Martin at work and me just running the house - cleaning and shopping etc... I loved it ! Every single moment of it especially when the children were little.
I've always worked, but only very part time. When James was born Martin and I made the decision that primarily I would be a stay at home Mum. Both of our mothers were the same and it was something we wanted for our children. I remember a glorious sunny '1960's' childhood so vividly. Mum always at home, Feeding the ducks, trips to the park and the swings, helping Mum bake cakes, swimming - it was wonderful. Me, my 2 brothers and Mum - Dad was away a lot because of his job but Mum was always there.
It was something I tried to recreate for James, Catherine and Edward - and I'm really happy to say I succeeded. Together with Carol and her 3 sons.
I was always lucky enough to have something my Mum never had - a car, and we would pile it high with provisions/pushchairs/nappies etc.. and take off for the day. The Nature Centre, the seaside, country park, Zoo, visiting friends etc.... Nothing phased us with 6 small children. Camping in Devon for a few days. We even went to Tunisia for a week when James was only 3 !!
The children became incredibly close in those special years before school, even Catherine being the only girl, and now consider themselves more cousins than friends.
I am now often asked what I consider my greatest achievement to have been?
Being involved in the fight to get Sutent funded?
Making the film about Kidney Cancer?
Going to Brasil?
No - none of these.
My greatest achievement has been to give my children the kind of childhood I had. I couldn't have done this without Martin of course. So it was very much a joint effort which gave them the happy, secure, contented first few years that I have seen them use as stepping stones to grow on and become the 3 amazing, wonderful young people they are today.
And I'm SO proud to have played a part in that.