Charlotte Harding talks to a woman who find writing a book helped with the loss of her husband.
Just 40 days after being diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma Mark Henry Archer lost his battle with the disease.
Aged 49 Mark left his wife Jayne a widow at just 40 years old.
“It wasn’t until he passed away that I found out what he had was untreatable and he may only have had six months,” explains Jayne.
“I am glad in a way as he didn’t suffer and had no idea on the day he passed away. We had been talking about electric shavers and then it was almost like a switch went off inside of him.”
Mark and Jayne met in 2004 in the Hillside pub in Crawley.
“I was out with a friend and we met a bigger group,” recalls Jayne.
“I knew someone there was single and when I saw Mark I just remember thinking ‘I hope it is him’.
“We met up the next day as there was a big BBQ for the Euros and an England game, and our friends kind of put us together and we just hit it off.”
Mark passed away in March 2010, 16 months after they were married.
“I don’t know how the nurses moved me from his bedside to another room but when they came in to tell me he had gone it all washed over me,” she explains.
“It was too much for me to comprehend really it was such a shock. We weren’t expecting it all.
“I just went on autopilot after it happened.”
Jayne reveals her life after Mark’s death saw her going from her sofa to her bed and back again.
“My dog Hendrix saved my life really,” she adds.
“He gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
“I feel sometimes that Mark sent me Hendrix to keep me going.”
In June 2013 Jayne decided that she wanted to do something to keep Mark’s legacy alive. Through charity Bloodwise, formerly Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, Jayne set up the Mark Henry Archer Tribute Fund with all money raised going to the charity to fund research into causes and treatment to prevent others losing their loved ones from blood cancers.
“No one deserves to die from blood cancer,” says Jayne.
“And if I can help others in Mark’s name that would be great.”
To raise money Jayne has held golf days, quizzes, dog walks and also takes part in fund raising challenges.
“I always do something I really don’t want to do,” she laughs.
“Three years ago I walked over the O2 in London, as I have a fear of heights. I have done a 24k walk, I’m doing it again this year as well.
“I am also doing the Archer challenge, where I will climb a rock face and do an abseil both things I am scared of and don’t want to do. But then we are walking from Brighton marina to Newhaven Fort where Mark has a bench and we will have some fizz and food.”
Another way in which Jayne is raising money is through the sale of her self-published book ‘If Only We Had Forever’ which came out in December.
The process started nine months after Mark passed away, Jayne attended Cruse bereavement counselling and the team there, along with family members, encouraged her to write down how she was feeling.
“I started to and felt it really helped,” reveals Jayne.
“A few years later I just thought it would be good to write a book. So I did a course, went through ideas and then when I started writing it I found it all flowed naturally.
“I didn’t have to think about what I was putting down. The words just came to me.
“I hope my book can help people who have lost someone, not only to cancer but anyone going through a hard time.”
For more information on Bloodwise, visit bloodwise.org.uk
This first featured in the March edition of etc Magazine, pick up your copy now.