Three years ago I published Summers Apart, to mark the beginning of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. We had just returned from a wonderful respite break at the Malcom Sargent House in Scotland.
Now it is September again. Re-reading that blog post, I find myself thinking ‘we are so bloody lucky’. So so lucky. We have spent our summer holidays in France this year, thanks to the incredible generosity of friends who have supported us throughout Vega’s treatment and recovery. Irene and Roy own a beautiful French country house near Cognac and have invited us many times over the last years and this year we finally felt strong and safe enough to make the trip. It was a very different ‘respite’ break from the one at the Malcom Sargent House those years ago. We travelled as a healthy, happy family of five- thinking very little about mortality. Vega did what many children do in the summer holidays- swimming in the pool until she looked like a prune, sleeping long in the mornings and playing in the wonderful garden.
No stranger would ever know what she has been through. She is very well right now. She is growing and getting stronger day by day. She has had her ears pierced. She is having plenty of visits from the toothfairy these days. She loves to read. She loves to watch the Bake Off. She is very good at annoying her sisters. She loves trying out new hairstyles and bows often feature. She says she can’t do something but I know she can. She is very brave. She gets smelly feet.
I am so glad she is all of those things and that I get to see them every day.
The Malcom Sargent House is currently facing closure, after Clic Sargent announced earlier this year that there are not enough funds to support it. We were lucky to have had two wonderful breaks there- we are very sad to hear that this resource will not be around for much longer. It is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month- if you do want to support a charity, here is a reminder of the three charities that have supported us during Vega’s treatment and recovery.