I’ve signed up for Dry July! I have pledged not to touch a drop of alcohol for the month of July, and I’ve signed up for the Dry July fundraiser to raise funds for people affected by cancer.
Not only am I looking forward to the health benefits of not drinking for a month, but I’ve also lost too many people I love to the hideous illness.
I was 18 when my father rolled his truck on his way home from work. The first few cars drove past him, thinking he was a drunk driver. But the truth was, he had suffered a stroke. He was flown in the rescue helicopter to Auckland where emergency surgery kept him alive. We arrived in the early hours of the morning, baby brothers in tow, to find out the cause of the stroke was a brain tumour the size of a golf ball. Dad was given two months to live. Three days later my youngest brother turned five.
Dad fought the illness for five years. He lived longer than anyone else with his diagnosis had done at that time. But every winter he got ill, he lost all function, his ability to move, speak, open his eyes. His brain visibly swelled. He was in pain.
Dad passed away fifteen years ago. He had fought so hard and for so long to be with us. I gave him my blessing, I told him it was ok. And he left us.
Since that time we have also lost my Nana to breast cancer, Dad’s birth father passed away three weeks to the hour after Dad did, we have lost Hubby’s Aunt, we have lost a little boy from Miss T’s antenatal coffee group, and we have just lost one of my daughters’ little school friends to cancer, at 8 years old. We have two other close friends whose children have survived.
Cancer is a hideous illness I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
I haven’t done Dry July before, but the timing felt right this year. Dad’s birthday is coming up this month, and it just felt like something I needed to do. Something positive. And something I can control.
So, despite the desire to drown my sorrows when I become a parent to a teenager on the 4th of July, I will be Dry for July!
Wish me luck!