I know most people are well meaning and don’t wish to cause more pain. But some how they just do.

I remember when I was pregnant with Ruby and friends, acquaintances and strangers would ask ‘are you hoping for a girl’ (Ruby has three big brothers). Or my favourite ‘what are you going to do if it is another boy?’

My pregnant self would come home and cry at how insensitive people can be.

I have tried to avoid people since Ruby was diagnosed. To try and avoid stupid exchanges like these. Questions about ‘am I still working?’ ‘ will my boss keep my job open?’ ‘Get well soon’ or comments on my appearance ‘wow I never knew you were so grey’. Yes when your child has cancer your 6-weekly hair colour appointment slips!

Some days I feel strong but most days I feel weak. One look and tears well in my eyes. I just can’t help it. No words need to be exchanged.

The classic greeting ‘ how are you’ is so hard. I tell myself put on a brave face Steph but inevitably I feel my voice shake. Those that know me well know I am about to cry.

It has been eight tough months and I am just exhausted. I don’t know where the year has gone. It has disappeared and part of me has too.

I will build that back up Slowly but I am forever changed. I cannot do small talk. I cannot listen to mums whinging about their child with a sore foot or slight cough. And above all I have no space in my heart or mind for people that talk incessantly about their job or their holiday or their kids without drawing breath to ask me if I am ok.

I don’t want special treatment but I do need compassion and understanding and acknowledgment.

Life is so special. Your health is just so important. And as I climb out of the dust of 2016 I am re focusing and breathing deeply.

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