I am still baffled as to why I was referred to as a “local celebrity” and asked to help Santa switch on the Christmas lights at The Brewery in Cheltenham on Saturday, but I feel quite honoured nonetheless. I was asked to go up on stage to represent MacMillan Cancer Support, a cause I have supported since I was a little girl with Leukaemia.
The Brewery Christmas Lights switch-on was a 5 hour programme of events, and my fab mate Sarah, who also has a blog (Mum of Three World), was up on stage at 4:20pm doing a street dance performance (she was fab!). We popped off to Apres for a quick beer to calm my nerves (at least I’m allowed beer on the low iodine diet!!!). I went backstage at 5:40pm and had a chat to Breeze FM DJ Craig. I then got chatting to the Mayor (lovely lady) and almost missed my slot to go up on stage!
At 6pm I went up on stage to find (terrifyingly) a few hundred silent faces staring at me with anticipation. It all felt a bit wrong – there they are waiting to see Santa, and here’s some woman coming to talk to them about Cancer! No time to wonder why I was up there, Craig started the interview, asking me to tell everyone a little bit about my Cancer, my blog, and how MacMillan have helped me.
I had a MacMillan nurse at my diagnosis and I was given a little bit of financial help (mostly in the form of advice) – although finance is still a struggle, since I’ve had Cancer. I have also met people who found MacMillan’s end-of-life care and support wonderful – although we all hope this is not something any of us will ever need.
To be honest, I’ve not used many of MacMillan’s services, but they were offered to me and I know they are there if I need them. Perhaps that is because my MacMillan nurse told me about a wonderful place called Maggies Cancer Centre, which has been invaluable to me since my diagnosis. They have also helped my husband and my oldest daughter.
Incidentally, my husband has written a short blog post on his feelings about my Cancer, which you can read on his blog Da Da Drums.
After I said my piece, the audience clapped and I stood to one side of the stage. Before I knew it, the mayor, Santa, Aladdin (who was actually a lady), Widow twanky, a clown, and myself, were standing by a giant (pretend) button.
After a countdown, together we pushed it, and the Christmas lights came on.
The next thing I knew, we were singing “Merry Christmas”, waving flags and jigging about like numpties on the stage! Oh in the (fake) snow…mustn’t forget the snow!
I don’t know if anyone listened to what I said up there, but hopefully I helped raise a bit more awareness of MacMillan Cancer Support. Hopefully a few more people put money in the fundraising buckets, because of me. I’ll never know, but I did my best and it was good fun. Most important of all… Bunny was proud of me!