This is a difficult column to write this week; I feel like actually writing the words and seeing them in black on white will make them real and I’m not 100% sure I want to believe them.

This week, I told my boss that I’m not coming back to work. This is a strange statement because in fact, I haven’t actually be doing my job as a fashion lecturer for a very long time – I was right at the end of my maternity leave with Bay when Greg was diagnosed with cancer, I was then signed off to look after him through treatment and have since then been on a career break, with my job as course leader of BA (Hons) Fashion Graphics still dangling in front of me.

The fact that Solent University have been so amazingly supportive through this has been a blessing. I can remember thinking as I sat next to Greg in the hospital when he was diagnosed thinking ‘I’m going to have to go back to work in two weeks and talk about clothes when Greg has just been told he is going to die’.

At that time, I was throwing up daily because of the pressure and stress I was under to keep everything together and try to work out a way we could somehow pay for Greg’s treatment while still keeping a roof over our heads. I told my boss I couldn’t work because I had to be at home to sort all of this out and she said ‘of course, don’t worry, we’ll be fine’. It was the best thing anyone could have said to me.

I have been wondering for probably six months whether I would be able to go back for many reasons. Greg will be coming to the end of second line chemo in July and we don’t know what lies ahead of that. I need to be at home to lead the charge.

I’m up multiple times a night with children who sense something is going on so I’m exhausted and find it hard to string two words together most mornings. But I’m not scared of what’s to come for me – this journey has given me a confidence to know my own self worth and what I can achieve.

Job offers that fit around being a carer of cancer patient/crazy children/blind dog very welcome.

* Stacey Heale has put her career as a fashion lecturer on hold to focus on her two lively little girls and fiancé, 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