Positive vibes only…

By Louise Ballantyne // On August 13, 2018

It sure has been a while since I last blogged!

I suppose life took over and in the midst of enjoying myself, working a lot and being generally out of routine, writing wasn’t the first thing on my mind.

I wish I could say I was writing now because I had something exciting and positive to blog about but unfortunately it’s more a case of trying to create positives out of a bit of a rubbish situation. A couple of months ago, I received some devastating news that would change everything. My Dad was diagnosed with cancer; a rare form in his liver. My Dad; one of the fittest 56 year olds I know; who’d been in Singapore, climbing Munro’s and camping only weeks before. I won’t bore you with the whole story so in short, what originally was fatigue, feeling weak and then latterly query gallstones, rapidly became a cancer diagnosis. Bad enough, until only two days later we were told that it couldn’t be cured. My partner has been through both his parents being ill and two of my close friends have been through this with their Dad’s. A friend of mine, whom I’d worked closely with to fund raise and raise awareness of bowel cancer, passed away only a few years back, and another friend was fighting a long battle with the disease*. However, hearing the news about my own Dad was so much harder. I thought I could relate and understand my friends, but now I know I really didn’t have a clue!

My Dad is now undergoing chemo and compared to many others, is doing very well in terms of side effects and management. What we don’t know yet though is what difference it will make, what quality of life he can have and how long we can continue making memories together and I suppose that’s why I’m writing again. News like that can change a person, cause a person to give up and loose hope but my Dad’s attitude is the opposite and while the reality not easy to accept, he is positive, determined and willing to put up the fight and it would be wrong for me or anyone else to do anything different! He/we have a solid network of family and friends and right now, it’s about spending as much time as we can together and enjoying ourselves.

Since the diagnosis, we have all been to visit the Maggie’s Centre in Kirkcaldy. Maggie’s are there for the whole family offering a range of support and advice; from a friendly face to legal advice, and the atmosphere within the building is amazing! The moment I walked in on my first visit, I felt welcome and at ease. Since then, my Dad has made use of the services Maggie’s offer and although we are still in the midst of a long journey and haven’t visited as much as we would like, I already feel like I want to give something back. Fundraising is a focus, a challenge and to me, part of the journey to come and an opportunity to do something positive during hard times.

I will be raising money for Maggie’s both by undertaking personal physical challenges/events and running community events through my business to engage others in the hope that we can raise awareness and have some fun in doing so.  I’ll be writing about the highs and the lows, the training involved, the events and everything in between (except for gory details and the emotional part; that will be kept personal) but I would love it if you followed our journey and support my family and I to raise some funds for something so close to our hearts.

* My colleague, my friend and one of my inspirations passed away last week after a very long fight. Her attitude was one that should be adopted by everyone; positivity, determination and resilience through adversity are characteristics to be admired and if I can have even a fraction of her strength and courage, I will be happy. I am so proud to have worked with her, learned from her and called her my friend.

Sleep tight MF xxx

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