This Portsmouth mum has written an inspiring journal to share the ‘positive side to cancer’

GOING through cancer can be a very scary time but a mother-of-two had an idea which she helps will make the journey a little easier.

Friday, 8th February 2019, 6:33 am
Updated Monday, 11th February 2019, 9:58 am
Emily Warden (34) from Hilsea, has written a journal called This Is Me along with other ladies, who have used the Wessex Cancer Trust local support centre in Cosham. Emily was diagnosed with womb cancer in 2016 when she was thirty-one. Picture: Sarah Standing (070219-8727)

Emily Warden was left taken aback when her doctor announced to her and husband Mike that she had womb cancer back in 2016.

The 34-year-old from Portsmouth said: ‘The consultant was very black and white about it. She just came out with it and said I had cancer.

‘It was horrendous. From my first symptom to having some polyps removed I was told everything was fine and a cancer diagnosis was not even on my mind.’

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Emily Warden (34) from Hilsea, has written a journal called This Is Me along with other ladies, who have used the Wessex Cancer Trust local support centre in Cosham. Emily was diagnosed with womb cancer in 2016 when she was thirty-one. Picture: Sarah Standing (070219-8727)

Just two weeks later she had a hysterectomy.

She said: ‘A fortnight was not enough time to process everything emotionally and that came after but I am so grateful that we had our two children early otherwise it may not have been an option for us.’

The family were not sure where to turn during the months that followed but were directed to Wessex Cancer Trust in Cosham which provides free counselling and support.

Emily said: ‘The help we had was amazing and it was one day when they arranged for lots of members to go on a girly beach day and we were all taking group photos that I though we could do a calendar that would raise money for the trust.'

Emily Warden (34) from Hilsea, has written a journal called This Is Me along with other ladies, who have used the Wessex Cancer Trust local support centre in Cosham. Emily was diagnosed with womb cancer in 2016 when she was thirty-one. Pictured is: Emily Warden (34) with her husband Mike (39). Picture: Sarah Standing (070219-8697)

Mike, 39, said: ‘They were a really amazing charity and offered support to both of us including massage and reiki. I don’t know what we would have done without them and it is great to be able to give back to them.’

The idea shortly turned into creating a journal that would provide tips of self-care and mindfulness, as well as doodle pages, the chance to record appointments and also the stories of the women being helped by the trust.

Emily said: ‘We are all at different points in our lives, some of us have children and some don’t and some are going through chemotherapy and some haven’t as well as all the different types of cancer so I think for women reading it there will be someone’s story they can relate to.’

Emily’s employees at the Southern Coop funeral services in North End donated money as well as cash from her husband’s gardening service business and Portsmouth Breast Friends based at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Emily Warden (34) from Hilsea, has written a journal called This Is Me along with other ladies, who have used the Wessex Cancer Trust local support centre in Cosham. Emily was diagnosed with womb cancer in 2016 when she was thirty-one. Picture: Sarah Standing (070219-8760)

She said: ‘Everyone has been so good in helping us to get the journal designed and printed. The photographer Rose Morris gave up her time to do the photos and she made us all feel at ease when doing the shoot.

‘I think the journal is amazing and we called it This Is Me, because we wanted ladies to embrace the idea that whatever "me" they are in their journey. I hope it shows that there is a positive side to cancer and it is learning to appreciate life more.’

Emily added: ‘I think I am better person because of my cancer journey.’

The journal is £14.99 and can be bought from the Southern Coop in North End or online from wessexcancer.org.uk/thisisme