25/01/2017 12:35 GMT | Updated 26/01/2018 05:12 GMT

Why The Small Things Are The Important Things In Life

lzf via Getty Images

Three years ago, there was something I wanted more than anything else in this world. After 13 years with my partner, all I wanted was the day I could call him my husband.

I now realise, I was so busy rushing through life wishing for that one big day, that I had forgotten was it was to live.

I did get that proposal on Christmas Day 2013. But, I also got a diagnosis of breast cancer just three weeks later, at the age of 32.

Society has a habit of telling us what's important. It focuses on those landmark events, those key milestones that apparently make us who we are.

Breast cancer, however, forces you to have an entirely different view. What's important is what is happening right now, because it's all you've got.

When you're going through months of active treatment, you can't look ahead. You wake each day to face the opposition in front of you. You wake each day to try and find a way back to your smile.


Image: Jackie Scully

The little things are what made me smile through treatment. I remember taking a walk each day just to feel the sunshine on my face. I remember the moment I could taste bread again after chemo. I remember the safety pin that arrived in the post from a friend so that it could help me hold it all together if I couldn't find the strength. I remember the lady at the hospital who gave me an extra cup of tea and the recovery nurse who tried to convince me my sip of water after surgery was like drinking red wine.

I remember these things because they were the things that changed the course of every day and helped me find sunshine where before there were only clouds.


Image: Jackie Scully

That's why I got involved with Breast Cancer Care's BECCA app. It's a simple tool that reminds us all that the little things matter. Whether it's calling a friend, learning something new, switching off from the internet, starting a gratitude diary or trying your hand at a bit of bread baking, a few small tweaks are all it takes to make a big impact on your life.

BECCA has inspired me to be mindful, to sit down and read a book with a cuppa and just enjoy it.

BECCA has reminded me that only when I've looked after myself am I qualified to look after other people.

I write a gratitude diary every night and it's the little things that fill its pages. It's the run in the park. It's a coffee with a friend. It's the smile from a stranger. That's because, cancer taught me that small changes and small moments of happiness are the only moments you can ever really control. You can make them happen every day. And, as a result, you can make sure every day has something in it worth smiling about.


Image: Jackie Scully

Of course, the day when I get to call my fiancé my husband is going to come - in April 2017. But, the last three years have turned that day into a day that I hope will help other people find their way back to the little things in life.

By getting married, running the London Marathon (on the same day) and then trekking the Great Wall of China for our honeymoon (all for charity), we want to inspire people who have faced real difficulty to see that there is a way to move forward. For us, the challenge is the start line and a dirty great big wall. But, for others, we know the challenge is just to get to the top of the stairs. I have been at the foot of those stairs too when I had to learn to walk again in my 20s. That's why on marathon day, I want to offer hope to every one thinking they can't, but wondering if they can.

It's not always easy. In fact, it's often pretty hard. But, you can go an awful long way by taking small steps with the right people by your side.

So, make today the day you start to focus on those little details and pockets of happiness.

Life may have a habit of stepping in and stealing those big moments and landmark events. But, by making every day special in some little way, you can be ready for when they next come along.

You can sign up to the BECCA app today to make the little things count

And, to help us get closer to our £15k fundraising target, please donate today! It would mean the world to us as we train in the cold weather!