Being a family that barely ever celebrates birthdays, you've been known to give the worst of gifts - from mugs to absolutely nothing, but this time, daddy, just 8 days before, you forced me to bury you into the ground, and say goodbye - for forever.
I never expected to become a cancer patient, not least in my teens. Then again, I don't think anyone does. But somehow, like the approximately 2,300 annual others, in 2011 I found myself well and truly within this category.
It was nine years ago today that I said goodbye to him for that last time, after making a difficult decision to get on my scheduled flight from Osaka back to Manchester. I did that knowing that I would never see him again. The knowledge of how lucky he was to have her and her care for him is my comfort. And that's all I need.
Understanding the pressures from society to get 'back to normal' after the death of my wife, it's evident that many women find it very difficult to do just that after breast cancer. The mental and/or physical scars remain, even though the world around sees a person who has 'beaten it'.
Finding out that my wife Mair had breast cancer was a huge shock for all of us who loved her. At 41, she was vibrant, full of energy and had shown no...
It's funny how kids seem to be able to sense your mood and react to it. I've had a lot of thoughts about daddy from my youngest this week, he is obviously at the forefront of her mind and she has been talking a lot about her birthday (just six days before he died) and how her dad featured in it.
Despite calling myself a "writer" I wouldn't say I have a particularly good way with words when it comes to my family. I tend to find the things we sh...
There is some evidence to show that if women are on the Pill for more than ten years, they may be at a slightly higher risk from breast and cervical cancers, but it is possible that this is because these cancers tend to be picked up earlier as women on the Pill tend to have health check-ups more often.
The worst conversation many of us will ever have will relate to deadly diseases such as gynaecological cancers. And one thing is very clear to me - these diseases don't discriminate; they can affect women at any age. Nearly 20,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer and almost 8,000 die within five years.
It took me years to come to terms with my stoma. At my lowest point I weighed only four stone, I had Clostridium Difficile and a blood clot. My marriage had gone past saving and I left my husband.
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.
Skiing for my country during the Sochi Paralympic Games was one of the proudest moments of my life, but it is not an opportunity I would have had were it for experiencing one of the most frightening experiences a person can go through - losing your sight...
It's funny how just when things are going well life decides to throw in a major curve ball. Well that's just what happened to me, and this is my story. On June 13th 2012 my life as I knew it changed forever. This was the day that I was diagnosed with colon cancer.
Somebody asked me last week if each time I said goodbye to my Mum I thought about whether or not it would be our last. The very quick answer to that question would be 'no'. When Mum was first diagnosed, I did for a while, but not anymore.
My bitterness towards you comes and goes. I know it's going to take me time to trust you again. But equally I've watched with amazement at how you've taken on this new challenge with aplomb. You've been prodded and poked and stabbed and jabbed. You've healed and strengthened and moved on and adapted.
I am going to reel off some names here and I wonder if you know what connects them all: Steve Jobs, Jack Benny, Patrick Swayze, Bill Hicks, Luciano P...