About Owl

Owl before his cancer surgery

Owl after his cancer surgery

Owl was my daughters' idea.

I made him just when I received my cancer diagnosis, and they thought that like me, he should have cancer. (You can read more about that here.)

It soon  became clear that through Owl's cancer, his treatment and his feelings, I could explain to my children what was happening to me. And not only that: they could ask questions, express their feelings, and use him to visualise my cancer journey. They each had a well-loved stuffed toy of their own (Pig and Bear respectively), and the interactions between these three animals was nothing short of wonderful. (You can read more about that here.)

I started taking him to my hospital appointments and found the staff more than willing to treat Owl as well as me, so that I could take pictures and show my children what had happened to us. They even gave him his own MRI scan certificate.

Then I found that Owl not only helped my children: he helped me too. 

He became the conduit through which I could express, and even understand, emotions I found difficult to allow myself. When I thought I wasn't scared, I realised that Owl was very scared indeed. Whilst I tried to be in control, like the nurse I had always been, it was Owl who could let himself be a patient, receiving love and attention. (You can read more about that here.)

The idea for this blog first came when friends and hospital staff started to tell me I should write a book about Owl.

I am not ready for a book, but I do want to share Owl's story. Hence the title of this blog. Even though there will be many stories where Owl does not feature, I decided to keep this title, because Owl has become a representation of myself.

And note the optimism that I really do feel: 

When Owl had cancer.

One day, we will look back, Owl and I, and marvel at the road we have travelled.

(Written in June 2014)

In hospital for surgery


Emergency admission following chemotherapy-induced collapse

New hair styles!


Toasting the end of treatment

And this is us, looking back, marvelling at the road we have travelled.
May 2015, after completing the MoonWalk (26 mile nighttime fundraising walk, uniting against breastcancer)

2022 UPDATE: introducing Otus

Another cancer, another owl... When cancer was found in my remaining breast, I couldn't bear getting Owl out of retirement. This seemed like a new journey. My daughters suggested that I needed another owl. Here he is. His name is OTUS. You can read more about him here.