And so winter feels truly upon us. The clocks going back, the colder days, remembering my eternal struggle to wear clothes that are season appropriate and not freeze to death on the morning school run. Historically, Greg and I have always been big fans of winter, always classing it as our favourite time of year but now, Halloween and the beginning of November all remind me of when Greg was diagnosed with cancer.

It is now two years ago since cancer smashed it’s way into our lives. In some ways, I have lived a thousand lives in that time but it also feels like yesterday when I was making Bay’s first birthday cake alone, Greg already in hospital and our worlds about to change forever. The new dark evenings have a different meaning for me; they signal change but also such a feeling of foreboding danger. I had so much need for light in that time but everything was black, from morning til night.

I’ve had weeks of feeling depressed and I haven’t really known why. Now I realise – the body doesn’t forget. All these triggers for trauma stay with you. But with this realisation comes some power; to know what’s happening to you mentally can mean you can attempt to overturn it. I am not prepared to go through another winter feeling scared. We have all the winter festivities to celebrate, all of our birthdays fall in the winter months and my focus is going to be on remembering what I always loved about this season.

I’ve also realised, through the help of some comments from others, that perhaps my life is all too much about cancer. I’ve done this for very certain reasons relating to my ability to cope. To throw myself into charity work, raising awareness and giving talks has given me the focus to keep going and feel like I’m doing something in a helpless situation but sometimes it’s also been a distraction. This is very welcome on some days but I know there are others days where I miss what is right in front of me that doesn’t relate to this disease. I don’t want to miss the silliness, the jokes, the quiet times. I don’t want to always be the warrior, sometimes I just want to be the girl who loves Halloween and dancing to Last Christmas with her mum in the kitchen.

* Stacey Heale has left her career as a fashion lecturer to focus on her two lively little girls and husband, Delays frontman Greg Gilbert, who was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in November 2016. She launched the viral campaign Give4Greg to raise funds for lifesaving treatment: You can read more at her blog,