Now for the back story…life is a rollercoaster…

Today is day fourteen of my #Dryathlon twist and in some ways not drinking tea and coffee is getting easier and in others it really isn’t. I have some Starbucks treats to look forward to come the 1st October. Having had a fair few donation free days today I received an additional £10 from my mate Amy. I have to say I am feeling very humbled by all my friends, some like Amy I don’t see that often these days but it is awesome to know they are still there to cheer me on and support me, and for that I am truly thankful to everyone who has donated and supported me in any and every way they can. Your kind words of encouragement really do mean a lot. Some days really are better than others, believe me, I work in retail.

I have wanted to and will start writing up my snapshots about my time at Cancer Research these will become Dear Readers….there are some lovely tales that I will share with you soon. So, I wanted to give you a bit of a back story explaining my reasons and motivations for not only volunteering but also to this blog.

I had already started writing a post that was named 2014 but as much as 2014 was the major changing point that is not where this post or where this story starts.

In December of 2013 I remember being told that Nan had a growth on her bladder. Every single member of my family tried to instantly think differently but deep down we were all thinking the worst. Each one of us broke down in one way or another. I remember thinking Ronan Keating sure was right Life is a bloody Rollercoaster. The one thing I was certain of during every moment of worry was that my Nan is a fighter and one of the strongest women I have ever known, she wouldn’t give up. I was so angry and extremely upset, I am an emotional person at the best of times but every little thing was making me teary. I knew that we had to be there for Nan and for Granddad during this emotional and tense time, so that is exactly what we did.

Onto 2014, in February of 2014 Sophie one of my beloved work colleagues lost her mother to Cancer. We were all deeply saddened for Sophie, and when she asked a number of us to attend her mum’s funeral we did just that. (I was not prepared for how this year would turn out and how many funerals that I would attend – that is later on) I like to think that me and my colleagues have well and truly been there for Sophie in her time of need. Since then she went onto organise an awesome event in memory of her mother where she raised a shed load of cash for Cancer Research. Well done Sophie.

Nan had her operation/treatment in March and was recovering well but then a series of events changed not only her life but that of every member of my family, In April 2014, my beloved Granddad Sam passed away – he had been unwell for a while having been diagnosed with COPD but he carried on with life to an extent. None of us were ready to lose Granddad and Nan was lost without him. What I will say is I did truly love the time I spent with them both, Granddad shared my love of books and I am still reading some of his books to this day, and a number of them live on his old book shelf. Last May I read an awesome intriguing book called We Were Liars and at the end I cried as it was exactly the sort of book I would have passed onto him and I couldn’t. Watching films with Nan will be a memory I treasure. I even got the chance to show her the video of me and my best mate swimming with Dolphins these memories are priceless.

In August 2014, a friend of mine Katherine Bones passed away from liver Cancer she had had a beautiful baby boy just over a month earlier. This was heartbreaking, Kat was a kind-hearted soul who I will remember as being my Shane buddy and Mummy Kat. She was a people person and she loved sharing her love for music and boy-bands with anyone and everyone. It makes me sad that she had just got the one thing she wanted and her life was cruelly taken away. The number of people who attended her funeral and swarmed to Facebook to post condolence messages really proved how many lives she touched in her life. When Shane Filan’s new album gets released next week I will be yet again thinking of Kat – who I won’t bump into any longer.

In October 2014, we received the news we never wanted Nan now had stomach cancer, we were told to make the most of our time with her which is exactly what we did. In January of this year my Nan passed away in front of me and my closest family members. It was by far one of the hardest things that I have ever witnessed in my life, but I am glad we could be with her before she returned to Granddad and was suffering no longer. In all honesty the last week or so was the hardest before that she was just Nan – same as ever. My brother and sister are both grateful that she met both of their daughters. Nan had two and a bit years with Pippa and a few weeks with Freya and those memories are once again priceless.

My Nan was a huge lover of a bargain from a charity shop and I started volunteering in the November of last year and every week I would visit her and she would ask me about the shop and if I was enjoying working there. She also had me on the hunt for a red scarf, I never did find one but this year I will and I will wear it with pride when I do.

So that is a little into why I volunteer, why I have given up tea and coffee argh! lack of caffeine lol and what inspired me to get back blogging.

Until next time 🙂

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