I suppose I should start with a bit of a biography. I will try and keep it succinct. 🙂
My name is Heather Broadbent and I am 50 years old and only half way there with a bit of luck. I now live a charmed life but its not always been easy. Yes I have had my fair share joy, love, fun and family but more than my fair share of heart ache and pain and plenty of times where I have felt that life really is not fair! I am a good person ….. why me?
Born in the late 60s, my parents were divorced when I was small and I spent most of my time with my Dad and little bro Alan, visiting our Mum once a month. But life was good, I was a lucky, happy child, we wanted for nothing, loved life and the great outdoors. We spent as much time as possible boating and fishing, sailing and camping, building camp fires and generally mucking about. A ‘Tom Boy’ as it used to be called back in those days. Outside from dawn till dusk riding bikes, scraping my knees, climbing trees, you get the picture. I was privileged enough to go to the superb Cheadle Hulme School and then on to Uni. That is where on the first day of the first term when everyone was moving into the big scary halls of residence that I met Adam. He said it was love at first sight although to be honest it took me a little while longer. Maybe about a week 🙂 Anyway we were soon very much in love, inseparable. We spent every moment together from that day in 1986 until exactly 3pm August 13th 2013. Twenty Seven wonderful years later when he was so cruelly taken from us by the BIG C. In those 27 years we had 2 amazing daughters Alex and Megan and 2 fabulous foster kids M and T, we ran a successful business together, working together everyday until in 2010 it all went so very very very wrong. He couldn’t get off the sofa, so listless, exhausted, he put it down to stress, overwork, worry about the kids, the foster kids. He was grey and listless and totally wiped out. I took him to the A and E at Wythenshaw Hospital and literally dropped him off in the lay-by outside with a sports bag with his toothbrush a pair of old joggers for PJs and his iPod. M had been having a difficult time of late and I had to go and collect him from school. Adam didn’t come out of hospital for 10 days during that time they thought he had TB, a virus, various other conditions but we never suspected the BIG C….. certainly not terminal stage 4 lung cancer. He hadn’t even coughed!! He was given 3-6 months to live. The rug had been not just pulled out from under us it was blasted with dynamite, launched by rocket booster, pulled by a runaway train. It was just not fair, he was 41, with a wife and family who loved him, a business to run, 2 foster kids to care for, 2 teenaged girls of his own. His life to live he wasn’t even half way there,no where near, he was only 41 for gods sake!!! HOW? WHY? WHEN? WHAT? IT’S NOT FAIR!!!!! How do you even start to get your head round that kind of news? The honest answer is. You don’t, you fight it, you ignore it, you hide from it, you try to carry on living a normal life but that is impossible but you never never never get your head around it. Everyday for the next three and a half years I woke up thinking ‘Is it going to be today?’ Heaven only knows how Adam felt. He tried to hide it from us to some extent, to protect the ones he loved, he didn’t really share his darkest moments, his fear, his pain. I know he put on a brave face. He hated it when people called it a ‘Battle with Cancer’ but he really did fight the odds he refused to give in. He took the treatment options available to him, he ate well, he continued to try to keep active. He really did battle right to the very end. That last day in East Cheshire Hospice when we said goodbye. Listening to his soundtrack, he died in my arms, when Freda Payne’s song Band of Gold came on the iPod. It was our song. I still can’t forgive him for that, The Bugger! That song, now so painful, when before it had been so special. I am sure he did it on purpose 🙂 The hospice is a truly phenomenal place, not scary at all, very homely and friendly, relaxed and comfortable. The staff are incredible but all the same he went there to die, he said at first he wanted to be at home when the time came. But it soon became apparent that I could not cope alone, he was heavy, too heavy for me to lift, he was paralysed from the waist down and I could hardly even lift him to help him drink his water never mind help him with all his other needs and medications. The Macmillan nurses were great and the district nurses too but it soon became very apparent he needed far more care than they were able to provide in our home. That is why we ended up at the Hospice. Amazing as it is it would have been better for our family to have the choice to stay home with more care. Since his death that service is now available through the hospice a fantastic new service called East Cheshire Hospice @Home, (more about that in a later post.)
Since Adam was diagnosed , a small group of his friends and family started a fundraising campaign called 505050 to raise money for The Christie, the amazing cancer hospital in the North West of England and also for the East Cheshire Hospice. Why 505050? I hear you ask. Well the aim was to raise £50,000 by getting 50 people to run 50 miles in one day. Get it now ? 50 people 50 miles £50K. The brainchild of our good friend Simon Hayward of Cirrus Connect. It was to celebrate Simons 50th birthday so it all made perfect sense. Maybe we had polished off 50 bottles of wine too , because it felt like a harebrained scheme, so ridiculously unreachable at the time. In fact we have raised over £100,000 to date split between the charities. So there you go.
That brings me to the near present and my latest harebrained scheme.