“I first saw the advert for Gin and Jammies on Facebook and it seemed like the perfect excuse to get the girls round and have some fun for charity. I chatted to my oldest friend, Ellie May, and we managed to gather 15 people to attend.
“We played Jenga, table top curling and pass the parcel. There was laughter and chat, as well as gin and prosecco! It was a much-needed catch-up and gave me a reason to forget about my cancer.
“I was diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in June 2011. After surgery and five years of follow-on checks, I was then discharged. Last June, eight years after I discovered my skin cancer, I found a lump in my groin. I was absolutely devastated. I had surgery in the August to remove ten lymph nodes, but the surgery wasn’t a success. A PET scan showed melanoma in more nodes which cannot be operated on, so my cancer is now stage four and I am on palliative immunotherapy treatment.
“Since discovering I have cancer, my outlook on life is totally different. I take more time out to relax but still continue to work and get together with friends as much as possible. My husband died seven years ago but I have been very lucky to meet my new partner, Rob. We go on holiday together and socialise with friends.
“My work colleague, Josie Johnson, also has cancer and we are supporting each other through such a difficult time. It’s eye opening when you realise just how many people are affected by cancer in one way or another.
“I have a three-year-old grandson who is my world. He is why I fight so hard against my cancer.
“My cancer is now terminal, but I am hoping the immunotherapy will give me a few extra years to live. I feel glad to know that the £250 raised by my Gin and Jammies party will help support people across Lincolnshire in a similar position to me. St Barnabas does such an incredible job supporting the people of Lincolnshire and you really don’t know if you or a loved one will ever need their services. When the time comes, I will call upon St Barnabas to support my family and I through my last few weeks.
“There is still time to hold your own Gin and Jammies party to help raise much needed funds. Simply visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/ginandjammies to download your free information pack full of tips and ideas.”
Karen Powell – St Barnabas supporter