After a whirlwind nightmare in A&E and a three day stay in the hospital, my lungs were pumped full of enough steroids and antihistamines to be deemed well enough to be discharged. I had missed three days of my holiday and knew my family were on alert, waiting to go at a moments notice. I walked out into the blistering sun and immediately drove to Weymouth.

There were some harsh lessons to learn on the holiday, the most obvious being it’s not advisable to have a critically severe asthma attack and then immediately take two crazy children swimming. It was the perfect place to practice what I preach and implement some serious self care. As my parents were there, I was able to snooze when I needed to, sit on the beach and inhale the sea air, read a book on the grass. It was through doing these things that I realised how rarely I ever just stop, walk slowly or even just focus fully on the girls. It was a joy to sit on a blanket in the sun with them and blow bubbles for them to catch with nothing else to do or think about.

A huge sadness that underlined the time away was that Greg wasn’t able to come with us. After being so ill for the past few weeks, his treatment had been postponed and landed on our holiday week. It was hard to know that while we frolicked on the beach, Greg was sat in a chemo ward being pumped full of poison in the middle of a heat wave. The best day of the holiday was when he was well enough to visit for the day. The girls loved the bumper cars with Daddy and Greg and I got to have some time to ourselves sat on the beach looking out to sea.

It was such a bittersweet moment; the fact that we could experience such a beautiful moment together where we laughed and chatted but knowing that he was about to leave and I would have to explain to the girls why Daddy has to go.

Sometimes the hardest moments are when things feel normal and you forget your reality, only to come back down to earth with a crash. Saying that, our reality looks better in summer and eating fish and chips by the sea.

*Stacey Heale has left her career as a fashion lecturer 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