It was one year annervercy last week that I found I had pancreatic cancer, I helped organised an event called street feastival!
It was an aim to use my street food business "market wraps" to do some good and to give so thing back to the Yorkshire Cancer Centre and Pancreatic Cancer UK
My original thought was to just give the profit to the 2 charities but proceedings seem to get bigger and my the time had come, not only was the venue pushing the event and organising singers and bands and DJs but also other street venders were getting behind the act too.
A company called Equal Experts also donated 1000 pound in raffle prizes.
We haven't counted the whole of the money yet, but it's looking like 1500 pound mark, which is not bad for a Friday night .
But for me on a very personal note, the day was as important not just to give something back but to also celebrated that I am still here. When I got told "it's cancer" that moment in time will always stick with me, it's when life changed, one year on, instead of tragedy, good happened and I am very thankful to all who helped create that good.
A few days before the event, I went down to St James to hand out some of the flyers. Due to the kind of light that only a late September can produce it made memory's come back to how I felt last September. When I was walking up to the hospital I had to sit due to the lack of energy. This was only a 5 minute walk up a slightly raised hill but to me at that point it was like climbing Everest.
With this in mind you would think I would of ran into the hospital dropped the flyers and ran the hell out as quickly as possible (especially because I also still had 150 things to do before the event) but I didn't, I sat in the waiting area, but this time not waiting to see if it's cancer, or to see if it's operable or even to get my next round of chemo, this time I sat there not waiting for anything, just because for me it now not only feels safe, but also feels a part of me.
The cancer journey is not only one that involves the physical part, the operation, the chemo, but also invokes the physiological side too, the changes to yourself, your body, your views on life etc.
I sat there, and cried a little, only a little, I don't want you to imaging I was sat there like some type of mentalist screaming in tears in the waiting area, and I must admit if that was the case, it's all fine! But there is something now that for me feels very safe in the hospital. It was only a few months since I sat there, with my work mates as they collected money also for the hospital. We sat there to pose for a picture for there magazine.
Sorry for the blurred image, not sure why it saved like that.
When I think back through the past year, it's all a blur really. I can not remember much about life before all this happened. Twelve months ago I said to the surgeon using my best baby voice "Am I going to die?", I don't know why I asked him in this voice, maybe because I wanted him to turn around and say "No, now dry your eyes and go and play" but he didn't, he just said, "I am not sure", the baby voice didn't work. But I know I'm lucky to be around now a year later.