CHEMOTHERAPY is a very hard thing for me to talk about because while I know a lot about it, I also know absolutely nothing because I’ve never experienced it.

For most of my life, I thought chemo meant losing your hair, wearing a headscarf and being thin and pasty. I didn’t really know what it was, how it was administered and what it meant. I’m not going to go into full science mode here because my lack of knowledge will become immediately apparent to anyone with an oncology background (although Greg’s oncologist this week told me I am ‘very knowledgeable in all things cancer related’ which thrilled my over achieving brain).

What I do know is that having chemotherapy is extremely hard going. What I have seen Greg go through in the past few weeks alone has been mind boggling and painful to watch. He isn’t losing his hair, as only some chemotherapy drugs make this happen, and he most certainly isn’t the skinny beanpole he once was. He has bulked out, has broader shoulders and looks healthier. Not a typical chemo patient in the slightest.

Greg’s current treatment plan effects his nerve endings so all things cold are agony for him, whether it is cold air as he breaths in or getting milk out of the fridge. My role as full on carer has been slack over the past few months of treatment break but has fully kicked back in now as he finds physical efforts so difficult.

I’m sure there will come a day when chemotherapy as a cancer treatment will be seen as barbaric and antiquated. To basically poison yourself as a cure for a disease feels ridiculous but currently, it’s one of the three main pathways to treat the disease. Newer discoveries like immunotherapy and targeted therapy have so much promise but any new cancer drug takes around ten years to get to market from inception, as well as millions of pounds worth of funding for research and innovation. My hope is that by the time our children are adults, cancer will have become more of a chronic disease that can be managed and there won’t be the stereotypical image of someone receiving cancer treatment. There will never be just one cure for cancer but enormous strides are made every day. I just wish I could speed up time and make it happen faster.

* 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,