Mum’s poignant poems on her eight-year cancer battle

Rebekah Simpson and Maggie's Centre head Karen Verrill.
Rebekah Simpson and Maggie's Centre head Karen Verrill.

A mother-of-four diagnosed with incurable cancer has created a touching poetry book looking at her journey.

Rebekah Simpson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 when she was six weeks pregnant with her youngest child.

The 46-year-old underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and later radiotherapy following the birth of her baby.

Sadly, in 2012 Rebekah was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer and was told the cancer had spread to her bones, lungs and brain, meaning the cancer is now incurable.

Throughout her time living with cancer Rebekah has found comfort in poetry writing, inspired by her strong faith and belief in God.

Now she has written a book of poetry detailing her experiences of living with cancer.

The collection of poems, Ode to a Titty: Poems of life, love and laughter, provide readers with an honest and uplifting account of her eight year journey.

Rebekah said: “During my battle with cancer I have fallen as many times as I have stood and stumbled as often as I have conquered, but I have never given up hope of a miracle.

“I have a passion to make the most of every opportunity and demonstrate that no adverse circumstances need ever rob you of hope, peace, love, joy and dreams.”

Rebekah has also received support from Maggie’s Newcastle, at the Freeman Hospital, since it opened in 2013.

The cancer centre offers medical, financial and emotional support to anyone affected by cancer, through a programme of one to one and group support.

Rebekah attends the centre’s monthly Secondary Breast Cancer Group, led by centre head, Karen Verrill.

Karen said: “In 2016 I was asked to find someone who has used Maggie’s to write, in their own words, what the centre meant to them and read it at our Christmas carol concert.

Rebekah wrote her piece and read it to me. I was overwhelmed, it was brilliant. Rebekah read the poem at our concert and those present were completely bowled over.”

“Rebekah is an incredible young woman who has been through so much.

“She inspires many with her vitality and radiance, whilst maintaining her razor sharp sense of humour. This is evident in her book.”

Earlier this month Rebekah launched her book with a recital event at Maggie’s. All money raised on the evening went to Ladies in Pink Scarves, a charity founded by Karen, which supports Maggie’s Newcastle.

Copies of ‘Ode to a Titty’ are available to purchase from Maggie’s Newcastle.