Firstly, thank you for being here and taking the time to read my ramblings. To start with, let me give you a bit of a bio…. I’m Catherine, 34 years old, married to Andrew, 4 fabulous step-children and a perfect 4 week old daughter, Ivy Evelyn. My family and friends are amazing – they actually are, I’m not just saying it – and I don’t know what I would do without them. (For context, this intro has been written August 2017)

Trying to explain what sort of person I am feels like i’m writing an internet dating profile (which I have done many times in the past!) but I suppose it’s important for you guys to get an idea of who I am, so here goes… I’ve always been a sport lover and currently play netball in West Midlands Regional League for Foxes Netball Club, as well as club level tennis for Solihull Arden Tennis Club. I much prefer sports than going to the gym – for some reason I can run when chasing a ball, but seem to become paralysed on a treadmill. Weird. My job has always revolved around sports and physical activity, and I’m currently Sports and Well-being Manger for Redditch Borough Council and Bromsgrove Distrcit Council. In a nutshell, I try and encourage people in Redditch and Bromsgrove to get a little bit healthier and a little bit more active. I love it – it’s interesting, I work with great people, and every now and again I actually get to see the positive impact of what I do. It’s never going to make me a millionaire but the job satisfaction outweighs having a top of the range Range Rover and a holiday home in the Bahamas (Andrew would probably disagree with the Range Rover part).

Being pregnant for the last 9 months has slightly changed my socialising habits, but a glass (or bottle) of wine and a gossip with family/friends would be my ideal night. As much as I don’t like saying it, having moved into my mid thirties, my nights out aren’t what they used to be! It’s more about good food, good wine and good company (wow, that sounds boring) – but, it’s what I like!

Anyway, back to the reason for the blog. The last few weeks have turned my life, and my loved ones lives, upside down. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma. It’s an understatement to say it’s been the best and worst time of my life. What I thought was going to be a lovely 10 months off work with Ivy, will now be 6 months of chemotherapy to get rid of this unwanted guest.

I want this blog to be an insight into becoming a new Mum and dealing with all things cancer. I hope it’ll be enlightening, informative, happy, sad and honest, and may share familiar thoughts and feelings with others going through a similar situation.

Hope you enjoy x

Cat Ivy kiss