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You have cancer. 

Those words will forever ring in my ears. Those words will forever terrify me and remind me of a time when I honestly thought I was going to die. I needed to tell my family. I needed to look at them and tell them all what I was going through. After getting home with my Nan and just sitting and crying with her for a while I didn’t know what to do for a long time.

I went to work the next day and broke down in tears with my boss who rang my mum, I then told my Mum and watched her cry her eyes out.

It broke my heart.

I couldn’t answer all of their questions because I hadn’t asked them yet. I didn’t know what to say to them just the same as they didn’t know what to say to me and then it started: the treatment, the appointments and the overwhelming illness. The ‘strange’ thing was the medicine that was supposed to be making me better was making me feel worse than I ever had. I developed what I call ‘Cancer Eyes’ hollowed out eyes with rings of a brown tint around them. This is probably where my love for make-up started. I started researching into skincare for different issues I was getting. I had very dry skin from chemo, I had brittle hair and nails, I looked like I’d been punched in both my eyes and no make up was helping.

I didn’t publicise my illness. Only family knew really and I liked it that way for a while. Until, I was in the hospital talking to all the same people I spoke to all the time and they suggested blogging about it. Raising awareness for all our different types of cancer.

So I did, that was in 2014.

I was diagnosed in July of 2013. I had cancer for well over a year when I started my blog. I enjoyed ‘interviewing’ people at the hospital about their illness’, I wrote about how they found out about it, the tests they needed and what signs and symptoms others should look out for. I also wrote posts about my own journey, which my friends and family appreciated as they were kept up to date without them constantly ‘bugging’ me with lots of questions. It certainly saved me repeating the same story 50 times.

However, with positivity comes negativity. People… get ready for it… didn’t believe I had cancer. It was an impossible form of bullying to overcome. I was fighting a battle everyday already then these people came along that don’t know a thing about me or my illness and run their mouth telling lies without a thought for who they were hurting along the way. I had 9 positive comments to every 1 bad one yet it was the bad press that stuck in my mind.

It got to me.

It made me want to give up. My nan said ‘Do you think if they come and live with us for a week they would believe you? If they came to chemo with you? Held your hair back whilst you were sick? Watched you get wheeled around and take a stair lift to your bed everyday and pick up the clumps of hair you leave behind.’

She got upset when I was sad, and I was SAD. I was unbelievably sad. I felt like I was back at school just being bullied. I felt like a child. Truth is, when I look back now these people meant and still do mean NOTHING. I should of concentrated more on the positive people, the ones who wanted to support me, the ones who were helped by my blog.

I found out I was in remission December 2014 and have now been in remission just over a year and I am so PROUD. My real message is that the ‘haters’ those people who try and beat you down when you’re already at your lowest, aren’t worth your tears. You may not be in the same situation as I was, you may be at school being bullied, or even at work! Or just feeling alienated by people.

Listen to me, you’re amazing.

You’re strong, you’ve made it this far and I know that without even knowing you personally. Everyone has bad days, the bullies are having bad days too, they’re just expressing it in the wrong way. Don’t be like them, take that hate and channel it into something positive, like the gym, or baking, or yoga or crafts.

One final note I’ll leave is ‘everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind, always’. 

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Charlie Gray

Charlie is a blogger, owner of a publishing company and most importantly a mother to a very handsome little boy. She grew up and lives in The New Forest with her partner. Charlie enjoys all things Beauty, Baby and Beyond. Her little boy gives her plenty to write about but so little time to do it in, so any moment spared is spent letting the world know about their crazy adventures.

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