“My Voice” by Kim Manson

Kim Manson and her kids

I am Kim and I am 34 years old

My partner – soon to be husband – of 13 years is Bryan.

My sons are Daniel (6), Will (5) and my daughter Emma is 17 months.

I have a little sister, a mum, a dad and a little brother.

And we have melanoma.

I say we because cancer affects us all as a family.

I am 1 year and 2 months since diagnosis.

I have had 3 operations, Interferon treatment, side effects and some permanent changes to my body that I still struggle to manage.

My cancer has passed my nodes and is now floating around in my bloodstream doing whatever it wants.

There is a very real possibility that I will not live to see my daughter go to school – but I have heard her say “mamma” and it was like angels singing.

I have watched Daniel and Will become distressed and confused because of the operations, treatment and the upheaval this cancer has created.

But I have seen them comfort each other, their sister and other family members. They know the true meaning of family and they have seen love in action.

Bryan and I are getting married in October; this year so cancer is a great motivator that makes us really look at our relationships and what we value.

I can’t get back the time I missed with the kids because it was too painful to be with them, but I can sure as hell make sure that what ever time we have together is as normal as can be.

Cancer has also given me some wonderful friends from all over the world. Friends that understand that it’s not just your body fighting; it’s your spirit, you soul and your joy.

And while cancer has also taken some of my friends away, I am so much better for having known these inspiring, funny and supportive people.

Cancer keeps trying to destroy my joy, but my kids cuddles build it back.

Cancer tries to break my soul, but my family finds ways to build me back up.

Cancer tries to destroy my sense of self worth, but my Bryan loves me more for my fight (and having a numb thigh is great in the bedroom)

I still find it very hard to let go of the anger – one day maybe – but at this stage it is easier to rage against it then to fall in a heap and let it have its way

So I am going to kick some arse because I want to live

I am a mother
A lover
A friend
A daughter and a sister

I am Kim
I am the Mouse that Roars
And I am a Survivor.