There are many connotations around cancer; that it affects old people and middle aged women. That women only really get breast cancer. That teenagers can't get cancer. However seven young people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK every day. That's over 2,500 new cases every year, and these statistics don't include relapses of illness.
When I was a first year at university, I made the mistake of walking away from becoming a stem cell donor and I didn't look back. Please don't make the same mistake that I did. There are so many people out there, including myself, that need your help; and by undergoing a simple, pain free procedure, you could have the chance to proudly say that you saved someone's life.
A bit more pain and hanging around and being at the mercy of machines is doable. It's a bit like going on a long tour with a really shit band. The chemo I've done for the last two days is certainly not as bad as my worst hangover was back in the day, but it does feel like the most oppressive jetlag, the plane having flown in from Mars.
Last November when I was going through treatment for my primary breast cancer I blogged about the top ten words or phrases that, as a breast cancer patient, I feared or loathed the most and wanted removed from the dictionary. In the last few weeks and months since my secondary diagnosis, I've revisited these.
It's every mother's greatest fear that she will have to leave her children. My daughter Kate Gross lived with that fear for more than two years, before she died of colon cancer a few weeks ago. I wish she was here now so I could tell her that the boys are getting on just fine. Oscar and Isaac were three when Kate was first diagnosed. Twins, but very different little beings. Oscar dark-haired, violet-eyed, solid - and with an astonishing ability (in Kate's words) to 'focus on things, to know them utterly'. Isaac, blond and agile and restless. 'Each of them,' she says, 'carved out his own space in my heart, a space which fits him exactly.'