This is where you can find out about all the amazing things going on in the Online Community. It's where you'll find news about events and awareness months; ways to get involved with Macmillan and up-to-date campaigning news from Macmillan HQ.
14th - 20th May 2018 is Mental Health Awareness Week 2018, a time to discuss how important it is to look after your mental health, and tackle the stigma around talking about how you're feeling. Last year, Greg wrote about 'unseeing the bus' - read his update to find out how he's doing today.
Greg was diagnosed with myeloma three years ago, aged 36. He lives in North Somerset with his wife and three young children. Greg is an accountant who is football-mad and likes to dabble in writing and philosophy.
Live in the moment because tomorrow you might get hit by a bus...
So I made it back to the bus stop. This time last year I was convinced that I never would.
I didn’t know it then, but looking back now I realise that I was already on my way, tentatively and with a few untimely trips, but nevertheless still making my way back.
That bus, at one point the only thing consuming my vision, was slowly drifting back into the murky grey of the distance. Still with the same glaring headlights and formidable presence, but just not pressed against my nose. And the cement that had encased my feet was loosening. I could feel myself slowly moving, like on one of those things you get at an airport, back to the side of the road. And then, one day, I can’t remember when exactly, but it dawned on me that I was there.
Back at the bus stop. The place I had longed to be.
Everyone was glad to see me when I arrived. I had to tap some of them on the shoulder to let them know I was there, for they were still facing the other way, blissfully unaware of the bus’s existence and the madness in full view behind their backs. They asked me where I had been, and heck, I found out that many don’t even realise what they are waiting at the bus stop for. I try to tell them but it is so hard to describe without them looking for themselves.
I also realised that my assumption from last year was wrong. The people at the bus stop don’t actually have their eyes closed, they are instead staring into warm sunshine. And now, a lot of the time, I even find myself doing the same, drinking in the blaring rays. Sometimes, I feel the heat permeate my entire body. Sometimes I even moan about how hot it is.
Yet still, like I said last year, there is no real going back to how things were before. As much as I enjoy the comfort and security of the sunshine, my soul still remembers what I will find if only I glance over my shoulder. And often, I purposefully turn back around, stick two fingers up at the sight of the bus and spend my time on my knees reaching down into the black of the pit to offer my hand to those still buried, staring at the metal bumper right in front of them. And when I turn, some have disappeared from the road and I never got to ask them if that moment of the bus’s impact was calm or terrifying. I desperately cling to the hope that it is the former. And others smile back at me from the pit as I try to pull them up. I know they too will soon be back at the bus stop with me, in their own time.
And so as I take this moment to reflect on the past year and what might lie ahead. I still remember that I can have no confidence in the ground that is propping me up. It is as thin as paper and I am slowly putting on weight. I could fall at any second.
But then again, I was always stood on paper. I just never knew it. And as much as sometimes I wish I was never turned around and forced to see the bus coming the other way, deep down I think I am glad that I know.
Because it makes that sunshine that I can finally see again, all the more bright.
Best wishes to everyone, whether you are staring into the sunshine or buried in the pit, or somewhere in between. And if you are in the pit, please look back up at the roadside; there are loads of lovely people there reaching down to pull you back up.
Questions about how you're feeling? Join our Emotional issues group and start a discussion today.
Join our Online Community to talk to other people affected by cancer
Read more on our Community News Blog
More information on coping with your emotions
Great words bringing a picture of hope and encouragement, well done Greg.
Beautiful words, can't really think of the right words to say but just simply beautiful. I love the way you use the bus stop to demonstrate your thoughts. I don't think people understand that its often mental healing that is needed and is hidden too, mental health is such a stigma people don't want to admit or except. I know I struggle sometimes but I try to hide it but maybe I just need to admit I am struggling which is why I have counselling now.
That was a truly inspirational and beautifully crafted piece of prose, which such an important message. A heartfelt thank you Greg.
We all need to keep those buses on time, on track and picking everyone up no matter which stop they are at; or if they are standing looking hopefully for one to stop.
I hope the layers of paper continue to build for you. Because though we can tear 1, 6 or 10 sheets in our hands, a book is harder.
Very well written and enlightening blog Greg.
The only issue I found in it was that they have used the wrong bus image :))
G n' J
Thank you Greg. Very thoughtful. I suppose many people walking around feeling healthy don't know what's round the corner. I was a typical it will never happen to me person We've all been shown a reality but are all dealing with it the best we can
Very thought provoking and excellently written Greg.
Beautiful writing Greg, thanks for sharing!!
Beautifully said, I was saying to someone today that the upside of it all, is that it makes you appreciate life all the more. And others being on that bus too.
Thank you, all I want to say x
I am struggling, this made me feel a little better x
If you have any questions about Macmillan, or would like to talk to someone about cancer, we have a team of experts
who can help.
© Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man
(604). Also operating in Northern Ireland. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales company
number 2400969. Isle of Man company number 4694F. Registered office: 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7UQ. VAT no: