Letters from a stranger

This month (16th November to be exact) I am able to say that I have now been in remission for one year. What an incredible sentence to say! As much as I love the sound of that, it is contrasted by the thoughts that I have about the future. Will remission last? Will I get to five years clear without relapsing?

But despite all of the questions and the underlying fear I have about it, I felt strongly that I wanted to mark this milestone, and I’ve been wondering for a while about how I was going to do this. Should I do something that would take me out of my comfort zone? Should I try something new? I couldn’t decide on anything. A few weeks ago, I thought about it in a different way. What if I mark this milestone in a way that keeps me connected to the reason I’m at this milestone in the first place? With this in mind, I thought about setting up something that isn’t just for this year, but something that I hope to do every year for cancer patients.

When I first thought of this I knew I needed to do something that would bring a smile to patients’ faces. Then I thought about how many followers and visitors the Finding Cyril blog has and so I wondered if I could call upon this very large group people to help me. Then it came to me!

My idea is to set up a way for people to give messages of support to those going through cancer treatment because when I was having treatment, one of the things that gave me comfort and encouragement was the emails and comments I would get to the blog. Often these messages were from complete strangers. In some way these were the especially special messages to me. So I’ve decided to set up ‘letters from a stranger.’ The idea is that we can start of chain of letters that can be given to patients on the cancer treatment wards. Here’s how it would work. You write a letter or note on email. It doesn’t have to be long. It could just be a small note to make somebody smile as they go through chemotherapy.

How to take part:

  • they are anonymous so don’t write your name
  • you then send it to findingcyril@gmail.com
  • these can then be given to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity  for patients
  • if it takes off then I will  do this every November around my remission date

Here are some examples of what I’m thinking:

Dear the person whose lap this letter lands in,

I know that you must be tackling an awful lot at the moment, and although there is probably little I can say to make things easier, I wanted to say that I am thinking of you. I also wanted to share my favourite Henri Matisse quote with you.

‘There are flowers all around for those who want to see them.’

I love this quote because it reminds me that when it feels like there are no flowers to be seen, it’s probably because I’m not looking hard enough or in the right direction. This is something that has helped me at hard times, so I wanted to share it with you.

Sending my very best wishes,

A stranger

Dear stranger,

I hope your day is going okay. I recently read a book by Sarah Ford called ‘Be a unicorn and live on the bright side.’ It’s not a book of many words, but one of the pages really stuck with me so I thought I would share it. It went like this:

‘Watching clouds made Unicorn feel really happy.’

I had a go today and Unicorn was right; I couldn’t help but smile. 

Sending you lots of love

A stranger

If you would like to take part in this project please email your notes to findingcyril@gmail.com. Please share this blog with as many people as you can. I am hoping to get lots of replies!

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