On Sunday Bella and I are running/walking the 5k Race for Life. We've both really been looking forward to it, but Bella's been off sick with a bad chest all of this week, so she's worried that she won't be able to do it. I've already told her that if she's still too poorly then I'll run it for her, but she's determined to do it with me. And I think she's right to try.
The thing that I'm nervous about is the day itself. As we've drawn closer to the actual day I've found myself feeling more and more emotional about it. And rather worryingly, I now have to fight back the tears when just thinking about crossing the finishing line with Bella beside me.
The first time that I raced, it was 6 months after my mum's diagnosis of terminal cancer. I felt the need to do something positive and to try and take some kind of control. But I found the day really tough. Every thing was still so raw, and I couldn't even write mums name down as my reason for running. It seemed too real and permanent to take a pen and write the words that said that my mum had cancer.
I hadn't expected it to be as emotional as it was. It was so overwhelming to be surrounded by thousands of people that had all been affected in some way by cancer. I suddenly found myself part of a huge club that I desperately didn't want to be a part of.
I feel very strongely about the ties between myself, my mum and my girls. My mum is my best friend, I'm extremely close (probably too close) to her and she plays an enormous role in my family life. And she's very close to Bella and Lily, and is incredibly important to them. They both know that mum has cancer and they both know what the prognosis is. Its a heartbreaking fact of life that cancer is an every day word in our house, as it is for too many others.
Which is why running the Race has been so important to Bella. And why I'm so nervous about how I'll feel with Bella there beside me. On the one hand, I'm so proud that she wants to do it and that she's raised so much money, but on the other hand I desperately want to keep her out of that club.I don't want my 7 year old to feel the need to raise money to fight cancer. I don't want my 7 year old to even know that cancer exists. And frankly I'm scared that I won't be able to write on her card that she's running for her Nana. Because although it's been 2 and a half years, seeing it in black and white is still almost too much to bear.
I've already warned her that I'll cry. She understands why. Perhaps even better than I do. But we're going to do it and when we do we'll be smiling too. Because we're so lucky that 2 years down the line, my mum will be there to watch us cross the finishing line.
If you would like to help us raise money for cancer research, you can still sponser Bella here.