I can't believe it's been 4 years since Marty died. I can hand on heart say that there hasn't been one day since he passed away that I haven't thought about him. I re-live the happy memories daily and try to shut out the night terrors. He will always be in my thoughts and no one will ever be able to take away what we had with each other. It has taken me four year's to finally feel at peace with myself and to feel genuinely happy again and be able to talk without feeling I should be ashamed of myself.
I've made discoveries about life; good and bad where some things have saddened me but it has taught me a lot and I'm grateful for those that have given me strength and encouragement; some who are complete strangers like BowelBabe - Deborah James, who's book I can recommend reading '**** You Cancer' and illustrator Katie Abey.
When Marty was diagnosed with bowel cancer it felt like the life we had and planned for had been ripped from underneath us and was the hardest thing I've ever have to face, but at least then we had each other. After Martyn died, I found myself alone and scared of the future.
A lot has happened since Marty died and I'm still here living and breathing thanks to my partner Ant, some really good family and friends. I'd like to thank Zoe; my work colleague and now dear friend, for supporting me and reading my endless paperwork, letters and responses when I fought for justice for the unacceptable treatment Marty had from certain individual GP's at Probus doctor's surgery, who severely let him, me and his family down. I took on the fight for Marty and his family and I found it sole destroying and it nearly killed me. One day I hit a barrier; I had isolated myself in the fight, was exhausted from trying to do and deal with too many things and I had nothing left to give.
Not only was I solely taking on the medical council, I was working full time in a mentally demanding job, moving out from the beautiful home Marty built because there were too many painful memories, starting a holiday let, helping my family with my dearly beloved granddad, trying to be a good step mum to Ant's children who he has custody of, which generally involved me pretending everything was ok! Ant's children were and have been amazing throughout all of these past four years and their maturity at the situation me and Ant found ourselves in is admirable. They have bought light into my life and given me so much joy, laughter and all the other things bringing up a family come with.
After Zoe recognised a visible decline with my mental health, she helped me finally see and admit I was torturing myself for all that had happened with Martyn. She gave me the strength and encouragement to seek extra help in August 2017 and I'm eternally grateful to her and my other friends that supported me during this time. It took 6 months to be seen by a counsellor from Cruse Bereavement Care and a guy called Kevin counselled me back to a state of good mental health. I never believed the counselling would make a difference due to the amount I've had in the past, but it did and I feel like me again after 7 long years of pain and suffering. At the end of my last session Kevin thanked me, as in his profession, he admitted to finding me to be very challenging to help. This made me laugh and I really appreciated his honesty. I really respected Kevin for saying this as that in itself really helped me accept all that I have been through in life has been horrific and it's now time to start being kinder and taking of myself.
I'm thankful to Marty's mum and dad; Linda, Tony and his granny who mean the world to me and have always treated me like a daughter with the same love and care since Marty died. I thank Lana for sending me the most random snapshots and making me smile when I see what her two gorgeous children and dog Dexter have been up to. I thank Lucy and Penny for sending the most silliest of videos of Marty and me from their collection. One of my closest friends Sarah and Andrew for our 'group' counselling sessions which always brings us to tears and laughter over a bottle of fizz or two. There's so many more of you I'd like to mention but there's just too many to put here! Basically, if you've been in my life the past 4 years thank you!
Last but not least I'd like to thank Ant who has helped me to cherish the life I have been given. He is no longer my brother-in-law but my partner and I am not ashamed to say that.
Ant, you have been my rock when I've needed it the most. You have picked me up when I've been down and you're the world's best fixer of anything! You gave me the confidence to do what I had only ever dreamed of doing - to pass my motorbike test. We have had the most amazing adventures, many with the kids which I will cherish forever and I can't wait for more. Your laid back 'Mr Cool' approach to dealing with life's challenges is remarkable and I want to thank you for being so head strong and sticking with me through thick and thin. You have taught me so much and my love for you just keeps growing stronger every day. We're a team and we're living both our dreams, which I know Marty would be so happy with.
Life has taught me it's too short not to deal with the emotions we feel. Grief can effect you in the strangest of ways and for some, not in a positive way. There is no time limit or rules on what is right or wrong and people should never judge because you will never know the pain and suffering that has led them to the path they are on. Happiness is something that we all strive for. While it’s nearly impossible to rid negative thoughts, people and situations altogether (we’ll always have good and bad days), we can choose to strip away the parts of our life that bring us down and instead refocus that energy towards being the best versions of ourselves.
Marty is around us everyday and he has blessed us with the love we share today and he wouldn't want anything less then that.
Here's to you Marty - you will forever be in my heart.
Blog - Never too Young
This blog is to carry on Marty's fighting spirit and help raise awareness of bowel cancer to others. It is also a place for you to share any of the things you have done or are doing in memory of him.