Charlotte Kitley
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I'm 35, a slummy mummy of two gorgeous kiddies aged 3 and 5, owner of a disobedient black Labrador and wife of a very understanding and patient husband. I (allegedly) listen to too much Take That, can whip up a mean cup cake and am a hopeless, though wildly enthusiastic, dancer.

In 2012, life took an unexpected twist and, rather inconveniently, I was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer. Following my diagnosis, I’ve had a few operations, 25 rounds of radiotherapy and more than 30 rounds of chemotherapy. Although medically I now fall into the ‘control not cure’ group of cancer patients, I’m determined to live as normal and full life as possible.

And so I have been getting busy living; learning new and random skills such as balloon modelling, fishing, chocolate making and soon, learning to fly a helicopter. I’ve enjoyed precious moments including teaching my son to ski and watching my daughter meet her heroine, Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

I am regularly getting into trouble with my doctors for doing too much. This year I’ve been skiing, snorkelling, cycling, hiking, kayaking, sailing, swimming with dolphins and completing a 5km charity walk the day after being unhooked from my chemo machine (I needed an extra-long lie down that day!).
Whatever I get up to, there is always a smile on my face and a disaster usually lurking around the corner. But, with laughter and love, we’ve got through most things – even my colostomy bag exploding in the middle of WH Smiths (yes, really!) before boarding a flight didn’t dampen my spirits.

Life is for living and I’m loving mine (well, would rather not be spending quite so much time in hospital!). I’m here to inspire others who have been ‘written off’ and encourage them that you should never give up on living your life. You can read about my adventures at

Entries by Charlotte Kitley

And So There Must Come an End

(566) Comments | Posted 18 September 2014 | (00:00)

Charlotte has blogged on The Huffington Post UK since 2013 and sadly passed away on Tuesday 16 September from bowel cancer. She wrote one final post that she wished to share with all of her readers. We are honoured to offer it to you here.

I've always been...

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So What Should Cancer Look Like?!

(1) Comments | Posted 30 May 2014 | (00:00)

'But you look so well!' It was a shocked response I have become used too. If the illness of a person is judged on their appearance, then I generally haven't fitted the criteria. It doesn't matter that I have incurable cancer, to many people, there is almost a sense of...

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We Need to Talk...

(3) Comments | Posted 13 March 2014 | (23:00)

This may be the most difficult article I've written so far. I can't guarantee all of you will read through to the end. As a society, we find the topic I am writing about uncomfortable and often give it little regard, certainly people of my age.

So, death, dying, kicking...

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Why We Must Support the Saatchi Medical Innovation Bill

(0) Comments | Posted 23 February 2014 | (23:00)

The Saatchi Bill will support doctors and scientists, providing them with the opportunity to question if there is a new way of managing diseases such as cancer and the chance to develop treatments, perhaps even a cure. There is hope doctors and scientists will refuse to accept that the standard...

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Is Laughter the Best Medicine? Hope, Laughter and Friendship - What You May Not Expect on a Cancer Ward

(2) Comments | Posted 9 December 2013 | (11:29)

Hope, laughter and friendship - what you may not expect on a cancer ward

'So, how are you spending your day off?' a friend was asked by a colleague. 'I'm going to the Royal Marsden to keep my friend company whilst she has chemo', she replied. 'Gosh, won't that be...

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Bowel Cancer Is No Longer Discriminating Against Age, So Why Do We?

(0) Comments | Posted 10 November 2013 | (19:39)

I can't imagine a good age to be diagnosed with bowel cancer. Perhaps, had I been 96, I may have thought, 'well, I've had a good innings, and frankly going to hospital every two weeks is a bit of a faff when I could be playing bridge in my nursing...

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Palliative Care Shouldn't Mean the End of Living

(3) Comments | Posted 21 October 2013 | (00:00)

I recall a couple of tears trickled down my cheek, but there was no exaggerated weeping, shouts or tantrums. I took a tissue, calmly blew my nose and held my husband's hand. We had just been told that after 9 months of treatment, including three operations, 11 rounds of chemotherapy...

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