Today sees a number of women taking part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.
The Race for Life is the largest women-only fundraising event in the UK. The Race for Life website tells us that “Since 1994, women of all ages and fitness levels across the UK have come together at these inspiring events to walk, jog or run 5k to help beat cancer.
Some take part in celebration of surviving a cancer experience. Others take part in memory of a loved one or to give hope to a cancer-free future. But all of them share a common goal: to raise money Cancer Research UK’s groundbreaking work to beat cancer”.
I had vaguely heard of Race for Life in my Pre Breast Cancer life, but who would have imagined it would have the meaning it does now? The Races take place throughout May, June and July across the UK, but today’s one is particularly poignant for me.
Today H and E are running as part of a team in the event in Queensferry near Edinburgh and my friend, M is running with her niece in Inverness. Many friends and family members are running in other Race for Life events across the country in the coming weeks, as well as in the Loch Ness marathon in October.
It is a strange and emotional experience, and particularly humbling. This time last year I was completely unaware about cancer. It was not something that had touched us closely. Furthermore, no one in our near family (blood relatives) had been diagnosed with cancer, as far as I am aware. I think I overestimated the importance of hereditary factors in cancer, I had a belief that cancer was not something that would affect us. This made the shock of my diagnosis in October all the more acute.
That situation has turned right round now. I have made friends with other women with breast cancer and who are also undergoing treatment here. I have had incredible support and innumerable valuable hints and insights from family, friends and colleagues who have also been affected by breast cancer. I have also connected with other women around the world through the Breast Cancer sites and other blogs.
And recently, women close to me and my family have been diagnosed. Life at the moment seems to revolve around breast cancer.
So the Race for Life events which are underway around the UK have a powerful significance. I am humbled by the efforts of so many to support the raising of funds and awareness towards cancer research, screening and treatments. I am indebted to those of you doing many different things to raise this awareness and funding.
Breast cancer has changed my life irrevocably but thanks to the advances in treatment my prognosis is much more optimistic.
But there is still a very long way to go.