So this is a pretty heavy topic for my first blog post but it is after all what inspired me to start Bee Thoughtful Gift Co and has been a major factor in the evolution of the gift boxes. When my dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in late 2017 it was a huge shock. Hearing someone you love say they have cancer is a surreal experience and it honestly didn't sink in for a few days. Following this news my brother and I did the only thing we could think of as a gesture and got my dad presents, a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of spiced rum (we clearly didn't check what the other was doing). This is what happens when you're shocked and go out shopping for a 'sorry you have cancer present'. You pick something completely inappropriate and weird. At the time I remember wishing there was someone in Ireland providing cancer care gift boxes, as it would have been great to get something useful and appropriate to the situation, and so the idea for Bee Thoughtful was born. It wasn't until May 2019 that I actually got my act together and started up the business though.
Then the ultimate irony happened. Just as I was trying to get my business off the ground, and was preparing for Christmas, I found a lump in my left breast. This came out of the blue as I was feeling the best I had felt in years, was getting more active, eating healthier, etc. I initially dismissed it as a cyst or something and delayed going to my GP for three weeks, something I don't advocate anyone do, but I went and was referred to a breast care clinic for investigation. It was confirmed on November 12th 2019 that I had stage 1, triple negative breast cancer and, later, that I carry the BRCA2 gene mutation.
Cut to two months later, I was in the middle of getting chemotherapy and had quite a few side effects such as nausea and pealing nails. I began to look at my Cancer Care gift box as a cancer patient and decided to revamp it to include an across the board range of products which address the most common side effects of chemotherapy. I gained invaluable insights from chatting to other patients on the oncology ward and also from the oncology nurses, they really are superheroes. Soon the Cancer Care gift box will become a range as I have big plans for others.
If you're undergoing treatment and are in isolation at the moment, stay strong. Remember, this too shall pass. Thanks for reading.