Valentines Day.. so what does it mean to me?
Well to me, it was always just like any other day, but 4 years ago today, the 14th February was the day that changed my outlook on life forever.
Our best friend Pat had recently been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, and was receiving Chemotherapy treatment, apart from her wig, you wouldn’t know anything was wrong with her, but behind her beautiful face, she was fighting for her life.
Due to Pat’s recent cancer diagnosis, Gabs had decided to go for her first mammogram screening, which was actually early for her age at 44 years, as it’s usually when you’re 50 years of age, but due to her having a family history of breast cancer, she was advised to get checked out and talk about preventative measures, as she had a 1 in 3 chance of getting cancer, we were also just about to go cycling around the world for a few years, so again it was vitality important for her to have all the necessary checks and discussions about future prevention.
So it’s “Valentines Day” the 14th of February 2017, we were driving to the Lake District to meet with Pat to celebrate her birthday at her favorite Thai Restaurant in Ambleside.
Just before we arrived, I’d received a phone call from the Nightingale Centre, as they had the results from Gabs Mammogram from the day previous, and they asked if we could return to the clinic the next day for further tests, as they had seen something on the screening which wasn’t very clear, so wanted to do some extra tests just to be sure everything was ok.
So after a fantastic evening celebrating Pat’s Birthday, the following morning we drove down to the Nightingale Centre in Manchester.
For me the drive down felt like an eternity, as ever since receiving the phone call, I’d been very worried, and had hardly slept all night, Gabs on the other hand was her usual spritely self, and told me to stop worrying, and that everything would be ok.
To cut a very long story short, that day, after endless tests, Gabs was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of Breast Cancer, and the journey ahead was going to be very tough, we spent the following one and a half years in and out of hospitals, Gabs initially had a double Mastectomy, followed by 6 months of chemotherapy, full lymph node removal surgery, and other treatments for one year.
So both Pat and Gabs were receiving Chemotherapy treatment that year of 2017, they called themselves the ‘Chemo Sisters’ as they both had shiny bald heads.
It can obviously be devastating for any women to lose all of their hair, and Pat was very self conscious at the beginning, so wore a wig, but once Gabs was bald too, Pat decided to ditch the wig, and they were both very proud to display their bald heads together in public.
Gabs finally finished her Chemotherapy on the 14th August 2017, but sadly 3 days later, on the 17th August, we lost our dear friend Pat.
This photo is the last time we all sat together, it’s a very symbolic picture, little did we know that when Pat had first been diagnosed with cancer, she was told that she was terminal and only had a short time left, but Pat was a fighter, and also didn’t want to worry her loved ones, so she never told anyone until towards the end of her life, she was one of the strongest ladies you could ever have had the honor of knowing, and was loved by everyone that knew her, she was like a mother to me, just like to many others.
Valentines Day – The 14th of February, so do I still think it’s just another day?
Well of course NO! 4 years ago was the day that saved Gabriella’s life, it was the day we had to be even stronger together more than ever before, and be ready for the difficult journey ahead.
So no matter what hardships you may be going through, the key ingredient is to stay mentally positive, and there’s no place for negative thoughts, never ever! negative thoughts will only swallow you up, then spit you out, where you’ll find yourself in an even worse position, so don’t do it!
Make everyday count like it could be your last, because it might just be!
We all read the social media quotes, but one to remember, is that everyday is a special day, so be grateful you have your life and those around you, life is as simple as that.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY
All my love to Gab’s, and in loving memory of our dear friend Pat.
IMPORTANT – BOTH MEN AND WOMEN
Get your breasts checked, it could save your life!!!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your breasts, visit the following link which takes you to our website and our charities page Prevent Breast Cancer
You can also read more about our cancer story on the following link, you can also make a donation to our charity Prevent Breast Cancer.