While I sit here writing this next entry I am listening to “In The Arms of an Angel” by Sarah McLachlan. Now you may not think that this song really has anything to do with what I am about to tell you but the thing is….it is more relevant than you will initially realise.

I am going to step back for a minute and take Hugh out of the equation because what I am about to tell you is one of the biggest things that has helped shape the person I am today.

I have already introduced one of the biggest people in my life. My grandfather was the most incredible person in the entire world. I loved him more than I have ever loved another person in my life. He was the only person who ever truly understood me, he gave me unconditional love, made me feel like I had a place in this world that was more than just a little space….it was like I was the only person in the world….My fondest memory of him was when I was about 8 years old….I had been told to put on a robe and slippers as it was the middle of winter and FREEZING but I refused my mothers request and he told me that I needed to put them on and he would show me something special….He even gave me his jacket which seemed so much warmer…It pains me to stay I can’t remember what it smelled like because I absolutely LOVED that smell after he passed away.

He took me outside and as I stood next to him he showed me one of the most amazing things…..I saw a lunar eclipse… I had never seen such a red moon. As I stood beside him with his arm around me…I had never ever felt so protected in my life. I felt the safest I have ever felt with my grandfather. He was the kindest soul…little did I know that I wouldn’t have much longer with him, He would never get to see me grow, he would never get to attend my wedding and he would never get to see his great-grandchildren. He was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer.

I watched the strongest and most beautiful person loose so much weight, gain so much weight and then ended up looking like a skeleton.

One night I was sitting on the patio of my grandparents’ house and I hadn’t my grandfather in a while, I asked my grandmother if I could see him when I woke up and she told me I could if he was feeling up to it….The next morning I woke at 6 am and ran down the hallway to see a light on, my father and grandmother were sitting at the table and my mother was outside….I didn’t think they had seen me as I peered around the corner and ran into my parents’ bed where I hid under the covers to scare my mother…When she came in, she sat on the end of the bed and my heart was racing…I was so excited to see him that I was bursting with excitement…I took one look at her tear stained face before she said…I’m so sorry sweetheart….Grand Dad has gone. It was in that instant that my heart shattered to pieces and my soul drifted from my body. I don’t remember much except for the fact that when they took him from the house, it took 4 fully grown adults to hold me down on a bed because I wanted to see him. I didn’t stop crying for a year. He was my Angel, my night in shining armour….he saved me from myself and the pain that I had felt as a child which something similar had happened from my last post. I finally FELT safe and now that was GONE. I wasn’t able to attend his funeral and from that moment I have never fully been able to allow myself to feel love and every time something or someone was taken from me or something horrible happened….I just didn’t feel it, It never sunk in!

I will always love my grandfather and will always feel a piece of me was taken when he died…..

When I was in year 10 at high school I decided to enter the school talent night…..I sang the song…..Arms of an Angel and dedicated it to my grandfather….the entire time, I couldn’t see the crowd as a bright white light was in my eyes…..I know he was there….with each breath I took I could feel him there with me, I felt tears run down my cheeks during that performance as I finally got to say my goodbye all those years later!

Halfway through year 12 I was expelled from high school after my break down….and while I am not proud of this, I have turned my life around and achieved some amazing things….however if this had not have happened….I wouldn’t be sitting here right now…so in a way that expulsion was the best thing to ever happen in my life.

I left in May and after years of crippling cramps around “That Time Of The Month” I finally went to see a doctor….I will never forget the doctor ordering me to have a CA19.9 test and requesting a CT Scan on my abdomen and blood tests….It flew by in a rush and the doctor told me it was an ovarian cyst.

I called my mother and as she had previously had cysts she knew that a CT Scan was not required….She called the doctor and 10 minutes later called me back telling me that I HAD TO have the scan.

After the tests I went into to see my doctor again a day later for the results…Someone had passed out in the clinic and my mother and I sat there patiently waiting. As my doctor passed she apologised to me, placed her hand on my hand and said she would be with me in a minute…I didn’t think anything for of it but my mother’s eyes welled with tears.

The only words I remember hearing in that room 10 minutes later were “It’s Cancer” and all that could escape from my mouth was “You’ve got the wrong person”. My mother was hysterical….her 17-year-old daughter had a 23cm in diameter cancerous mass that needed immediate operation….within a week I was in surgery.

People often ask me how It felt, what ran through my mind and were there any regrets in life?….to be honest….as I said before anything bad that happened to me….I really just didn’t feel it. I didn’t believe it even though I knew it was true…. I just really didn’t believe it, I wasn’t in shock…I felt NOTHING.

The scariest thing that happened was the thought that I would never see my mum again. She has given so much in her life to have me after falling pregnant at 16. She is the best person and I love her more than life itself…..The thought that I would never see her again made me cherish life more.

I love you mum…..but I hope you never read this blog lol.

2 weeks after surgery I was at home again and it started to hit me a little…I had a massive fight with my mother and I told her the only reason that she was talking to me (as we didn’t exactly see eye to eye after I was expelled) was that I had cancer. That is one of my biggest regrets…..Cherish your parents…they aren’t always going to be here.

I had survived cancer and what the chief of oncology had said….was that had it been 2 weeks later I would have only had 6 months and if it had burst….I would have died instantly.

I had my right ovary removed, my appendix and the 23 cm in diameter mass.

During my surgery paperwork they had required me to sign a release stating that they could give me a hysterectomy without telling me if they needed to….I was MADE to sign that even though it went against everything I ever wanted in life…..a child. My mother had said that she would rather have me here than anything.

This ordeal made me grow up really quickly and while it took a few years to sink in I finally now realise how valuable life is….you have ONE chance….and if that chance is handed back to you on a golden platter…..you make sure you live life to the fullest…I was given a second chance and I have grasped it with both hands…..I truly believe that my grandfather was looking out for me and for that I love him even more.

I really did feel like I was in the arms of an angel during that time of my life….and because of that I am eternally grateful.

I met Hugh a year after that and he was to become the missing link in my life….he was to become that knight…that rock and that angel…but I never expected that he would be what I needed to find myself again and to love the empty life that I had been left with after my grand father….he became…..THE ONE!

xx Ava