Its world cancer day 2017, what better time to remember my grandad & show you how my mum is remembering him this year!
It will be 11 years in November since we lost him to that vile disease that we call cancer. If you take just one thing from this post. PLEASE let it be to get yourself regularly checked, especially if you are worried about a lump or symptoms.
He was named Roger Adrian James, we knew him as ‘Grandad’, ‘Rodge’ or ‘Dad’.
I don’t remember much of our time together, I knew he cared about me but I don’t remember seeing him a lot. We spent many an evening with him at the Valmar Social Club. I feel I have many good memories of being there with him(not enough though), I regret not spending more time with him but I was little. Dancing & eating crisps was on the cards for me.
My Grandad always treated me at Christmas & on my birthdays, I can’t say he ever let me go without. I used to love it because his house used to mark my second Christmas day!
My Grandad was married to Maureen, I always remember her laugh over everything about her. I’ve gone years without seeing her & I can still hear her laugh in my head.
They used to let me discover the hidey holes in their house, hose down their gnomes & set up a buffet for after Christmas dinner. The buffet was always my favourite thing to do & the minute Christmas Dinner was cleared away, I was desperate to do the buffet!
I had many a happy year with my Grandad before the awful disease developed. He ended up being diagnosed with Bowel Cancer, he left it too late though. By the time he got himself seen it was bad but he fought it for so long.
He did so well, I don’t think he thought it would get him. Heck, none of us thought it would.
He worked at my house right up until the end, I spent some time with him without realising what he was going through.
It breaks my heart that I didn’t spend more time speaking with him, even if it would have been pointless random conversations.
I never realised he was in pain, I’m not sure if thats a good or bad thing.
The last time I ever saw my grandad I told him that he looked pregnant because his belly had ballooned so much due to water retention, his body was slowly giving up. None of us realised it but that would be the last time he would ever be home.
My Grandad died a few days later, he left a family who truly loved him & thought the world of him. Both my mother & his step children were distraught, they thought very highly of him & we can only appreciate that.
As I’m writing this to you, I am in a state. I’m crying my eyes out.
I miss him, I regret not seeing him in hospital & I desperately regret not going to his funeral.
I wish he got seen as soon as his symptoms started, maybe then he would have got to meet my B.
World Cancer Day 2017- Make it count.
Please if you take nothing else from my post, then let it be that if you have any worrying symptoms or lumps then get them checked, no delays. You aren’t inconveniencing anyone, the doctors are there to keep you well & its their job to get you checked. If they won’t & you are still worried go to someone else, don’t take no for an answer!
Ladies, Don’t ignore those smear test letters that plop through your door every few years. Grab the opportunity to get checked with both hands. We are lucky to be given the chance to be tested, its a privilege that we shouldn’t ignore. Many in this world aren’t gifted with such privileges.
I don’t even need to say I wish because I know you’re reading this & I know you’re watching over me. I really miss you & I do wish you could have been here to properly meet B, he would have loved you & the funny bits you had in your house.
You were a lovely man, people still talk very highly of you. You weren’t given the attention & love you deserved from your parents & siblings but I hope we filled that void that they left. We loved you enough to fill the biggest of hearts.
I wish we could have had more pointless, random conversations together. I don’t feel we did & I am so jealous of people who still have their Grandparents around. You are all I have from Mums side, I was lucky to have you even though it wasn’t for the longest time.
I really hope you’re proud of everything I’ve achieved, I know some of my previous work placements probably wouldn’t have been top of your list but they gave me the opportunity to not go without.
I know for a fact you’re proud of mum but I think you’d be even more proud of both mum & dad if you knew what they have done in your memory since you passed.
They’ve both raised countless amounts of money for various cancer charities, done numerous races & are always giving money & their time.
We don’t feel you around anymore, for a long time after you died we regularly felt you around us in one way or another. I know you felt that you could leave us but letting mum know you’re watching her every so often would be perfect.
Support My Mum With Her Half Marathon
My mum is running a half marathon for the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, they cared for my grandad right up until the end. They were always kind to him & without them gosh knows how it would have gone.
For that reason we want to support them with as much money as we can raise, be it £1 or £100 every penny counts.
If you can’t give please share this post with your friends & family, if it makes ONE person go & get their symptoms checked then its been worth it.
To donate please visit My Mums Just Giving Page.
Be kind, support one another & if you love someone let them know!
Gone but NEVER forgotten.
Rodger Adrian James. 5th November will never be the same again.