A single mum is looking forward to celebrating Christmas after overcoming cancer. 

When 41-year-old Rose Drodge, from Hythe, felt too tired to cook Christmas dinner for children Scarlett and Sebastian in 2020, she put it down to a stressful few years.

But it was something more sinister.

Daily Echo: Rose with her children Scarlett and Sebastian

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She said: "My mum died and my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. 

"I decided to apply for my dream job, which meant working full time and going back to University.

"I was doing well, but then Covid hit. I started to feel tired but put it down to the pressure I was under. 
"I tried to concentrate on giving my children a great Christmas, but felt exhausted and everything slipped. I left it to the last minute to buy a tree and ended up with an eight-foot one that I had to wrestle into the house!

"Christmas Day passed in a blur because I had to go back to bed.

"In March 2021, I was told I had aggressive bowel cancer. 

"I was in shock and just kept thinking I needed to do the school run. I walked to collect my children feeling numb.

"Explaining to them that Mummy had cancer was horrible and my treatment was awful."

Daily Echo: Rose Drodge

Her chemotherapy ended at the end of 2021, but 2022 brought another blow for Rose. 

"I wanted to start enjoying life again and creating fun experiences for my children. But I was diagnosed with a bone-weakening condition caused by my cancer treatment. I felt so lost and isolated."

But she found help at Wessex Cancer Support's local centre where she met befrienders, had counselling, massage and Reiki, cups of tea and chats, plus celebrations when she got the all-clear. 

Daily Echo: Rose Drodge

Rose added: "I don’t know where I’d be without Wessex Cancer Support. Because of them, my children have got their mum back and I feel ready to rebuild my life.

"As Christmas comes around again, I’ve been reflecting on how much cancer has changed my outlook on life. When I was poorly, friends gave me gifts, but all I wanted was time.

"It’s the most precious gift we have."

Rose and her family are asking for gifts for Wessex Cancer Support this Christmas.

Donate at wessexcancer.org.uk