BLOGGING TO HELP PROCESS By Claire Wallis founder of ChemoHero

We have had the privilege to meet Claire Wallis the driving force behind ChemoHero, with her permission we are sharing this her first ever blog, it is a true from the heart with a pinch of humour look at the truth behind life with Cancer.

Blog 1 done and ready to post and share when I am… please chances are Ive written this a week or two or three before posting so don’t be alarmed by what you read… my reason for waiting before posting any blog is so that I know I’m ok and you can read knowing If it’s any thing slightly more deep in emotion I’ve worked through it and come out the other side.

It also gives me a bit of personal space to be able to feel I can be honest as it’s been quite an emotional time for both Rob, Stanley and our close family and friends.

1 March 2018

As the weeks are now turning into a few months of processing my cancer is here to stay and I’m the best im going to be right now…I guess now is good time to attempt to take charge…

I’ve always hated the expression bucket list as I’m avoiding the whole kick the bucket process….however I’m wondering if by putting a Live IT list down in words it may actually help us as a family and friends group to start to live with this news that I’m not going to be here for as long as we had all hoped…

Medical discussions lead me to believe that I’ve hopefully got a few years, however they’ve also made me very aware there are no grey areas now with my cancer… it’s very much on my sternum and a little larger than first thought…. we are waiting for it to move on to its next place where they will go in aggressively with more chemotherapy as I only finished my last lot 2 years ago at the beginning of April… a treatment looking back knowing what we do now they probably would have held off… you see they can’t keep plying you with these drugs and some drugs are best used for certain areas and you kind of move up levels to put it simply….there has to come a point where they say actually this is now causing your body more stress then good and it’s time to stop…. this is called palliative treatment… they are pro longing life but attempting to weigh it up so you’ve good quality as well.

It’s very black and white for me now…. my 3 month scans will either show its spread or not…. how do you learn to live with this anxiety…

if it’s spread then life gets thrown into treatment until we can see signs it’s slowed..but what damage goes on in my body in that time is unpredictable…something many forget when you are having chemotherapy,

The major focus being on the cancer not the damage that the treatment is putting on your body to function as it get wiped out of good and bad cells.

So in hope to get my head on the living more I’m attempting to compile a list of things we hope to achieve and do….. I’ve never been one to really splash out on lavish holidays or things…. I’m such a Devon girl…. even since school I remember friends desperate to get away from North Devon ( may I add now they are all desperate to get here back by the sea!!)

I’m incredibly family orientated….to the point I keep my close circle small in a time of crisis….we close in.

So on getting news that it’s probably going to be cancer that takes me from this world….unless the famous bus knocks me down first ( not the stanley Walter ChemoHero bus tho!!).

I feel I should have the most amazing list of things I want to achieve and do…however all that’s happened is it’s made me want to stay nearer my family and friends.

On talking to my hospice nurse I felt a bit of saddo listening to myself talk about some of the things I want….

1: I want to live!!!

What else can possibly top this….. how can I possibly add any more….

The response was that I’m hunting for someone to answer this wish with an answer that I’m sadly not going to get now….have fought the disease twice under the curable bracket it’s been explained to me that it’s probably making it harder to except the non curable diagnosis now.

2: See Stanley grow up!

The feelings make me feel dizzy…I thought I was going to pass out in my living room voicing this one…I’m not going to see Stanley grow up to be a young man, meet his future children, know what job or career path he’s going to take…know him.

3…Grow old with Rob… you enter a marriage with the vows till death do us part… did we know deep down at the time as we refused this vow and said to promise to love each other till the end… words from the film ps I love you!!

Because nobody REALLY knows when the end is do they do it could be forever!.

Trying to get my head around that I’m not going to be with rob for longer than I’ve been with him…..the idea I hope he meets somebody so lovely to care for him and Stanley and know I’m no fret but will forever be with them and wishing them nothing but fun love and happiness…. yet it breaks my heart.

4…Not being there for my brother as he sees my parents age, one relief…. I won’t have to sort my dads garage out!!!

I feel lucky to be able to have seen him grow as a baby into the young man he is and know he’s succeeding in all his does….but there’s still so much I want to see him achieve.

5… Leaving my mum and Dad behind…. big lump in throat typing this one..can add no more to this just yet.

So these are the mega 5 feelings right now… (5 is my lucky number!) ones I can’t change and only hope I can keep going for as long as I can.

So the Live it list I can have some control over….

Lay a road in the early hours of the morning that’s driven over by 100s of people a day!

Ride a white stallion into the sunset.

Work at a hair salon one morning brushing the hair on the floor in 1 swift move and make cups of tea for people.

Take Stanley to Butlins, Legoland, Disneyland Paris and somewhere for some sunshine as he wants to drink a fizzy drink in a swimming pool….yes it appears he’s my strange ways!!

Go to centre parcs with all my family.

Watch John Williams orchestra play star wars music with Rob…watch his child like face watching it.

Take Stanley to watch Lion King in London and watch him watching it!!

Go away for a spa weekend with rob and actually be able to afford the spa treatments rather than just the use of the swimming pool and free sauna!!

Have a pottery day with my family.

Stay in a holiday cottage and cook a good home cooked meal and drink prossecco with my nearest and dearest for a weekend.

Sort my Garden out with a back boarder, decking area with table and chairs that look out on to the field , some veg trugs, to watch things grow. Lights in the trees and lots of pretty things.

Go to Italy and sit on one of those boat thingys that they row you along on….Gondola.

Cook sausages down on instow beach one sunny evening….. yes Westaways!!!! 56 for £10 from the Devon county show!!

Take a picnic basket, French stick, cheeses and a bottle of wine down to fremington quay and also again at landache bridge and watch the sunset.

Plan my funeral down to the last minute so I know what’s going to happen and that it’s all sorted just how I wish it to be.

Sort what’s going to happen to me after my funeral , I know a hard one….maybe something I’ll blog another day. Once done it can be put a side and I won’t need to think about it again.

So as you can see… I’m a pretty simple person….I want nothing that whisks me away for a second from my little family or friends…. all I want is to be surrounded by them.

It feels scary when you feel apart from needing to sleep a lot and getting tired very quickly that Your able to function so well and yet all it takes is 1 scan to say things have changed and suddenly your ability to do things can change as well as your time scales in life…


Credit to: Lisa from Me, Myself & I Blog and founder of ChemoHero

Coming Soon

We have been working very hard to get our new website online. So we will be updating the blog with all of our latest news and offers.

Thank You

New Premium Baby Portrait Scheme


We recently launched our amazing new premium baby portrait scheme
‘The Baby Portrait Club’

This offers you the chance to capture your baby’s development from birth right through to one year, with the first session being as soon as possible after your baby has been born. The consecutive portrait sittings are when your baby is lifting their head and then sitting unaided. To complete the scheme we have two options available, either a fun family portrait or something quirky like a cake smash.

If you wanted to record your pregnancy then a maternity portrait session is also available with this scheme for a £20 upgrade, this is the prefect way to record your baby’s impending arrival.

At the end of the scheme you will receive a framed memento with an image from the first three sessions. As well as this you will receive a set of six passport photographs, these can be taken at any time during the year.

Preparing your baby for their first professional portrait experience

Our friends over at Emma’s Diary have just written a great blog detailing the top ten tips for preparing your baby and you for your first professional portrait session.

In fact it is so good that we thought we should share it with you!

To view the blog please visit

Baby of the Month Competition

Did you know that by joining one of our baby schemes like  #EmmasDiary or  ‪#‎Cherubs is not just about receiving three complimentary portrait sessions with a fantastic free gift at the end of it all. But your baby’s*  photo could win also £5000? 

No you didn’t? Well they could, and the #Babyofthemonth competition in association with Emma’s Diary is so easy to enter, here’s how;

  • Sign up to join one of our schemes (
  • At your viewing tell Helen you would like to enter the Baby of the Month Competition
  • Select your favourite image from the set
  • Make a £2 donation to the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
  • Receive your complementary #Tembo soft toy
  • Then when the competition is live get all your friends and family to vote
If you would like to register, we can be contacted using any of the following methods:
  • Email – [email protected] 
  • Call – 01271 344480 
  • Facebook – Alan Schofield Photography (
For more information about our exclusive service, full details about the sessions can also be found at:

Please spread the word among your friends and family, so that they too have the opportunity to enter. We look forward to seeing you soon.
*(under 12 months old only)

Baby of the Month Competition Winner

Congratulations to the Parr family, whose entry into the August 2015 ‘Baby of the Month’ competition was selected as one of the five winners for the month. 

This is the winning entry of Ellie-Mai and above her family are being presented with their prize of £100 in Mothercare vouchers. The top five images can be found by clicking here

Here is what her mum Shannon had to say about their experience in the studio and recent competition win:
“Just like to thank Alan Schofield for our amazing photo of our little girl Ellie-Mai and we are delighted that our little girl came in the top 5 of the competition. I would recommend Alan Schofield to anybody for professional photo of their loved ones”

This has now gained automatic entry into the annual competition for Baby of the Year to win £5000. Lets keep our fingers crossed for them! You too could enter by calling us on 01271344480 to book a studio session with your little one (entrants must be under 12 months at time of portrait).

Children in Need 2015

Once again we are helping to raise funds for Children in Need @BBCCiN (#BeAHero ). After last year’s success with our ‘Pic with Pudsey’ event, we are doing it again! Donate £10 to bring your child in for a short photo shoot with Pudsey Bear and receive a 6×4 print of your choice. 

If you already have a portrait session booked for one of our baby schemes or are coming in for Christmas pictures we can include it in that shoot (minimum £10 donation required); alternatively you can book a fifteen minute slot or just pop in if you are passing by (subject to availability). 

Alan Schofield and Pudsey Bear posing for charity
You will also be entered into our free draw (winner to be announced on 19th November) to win a baby Pudsey Bear.
Call us now on 01271 344480 to book your session and help raise funds for a very worthy cause!

Announcing the arrival of Tembo

We would like to introduce you to Tembo who after a longer-than-expected journey from Africa is finally here!

“Hi, my name is Tembo. Once you have entered your little one into the Baby of the Month competition, you get to take me home to have adventures together! If you would like to register for a baby photography session please visit

Love Tembo” x
Get your very own Tembo toy by way of an entry donation (minimum £1.50 to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust) when you enter the Baby of the Month competition. 
Click here- for more information or Call 01271344480 to book your session today

Here is a press release from The North Devon Journal 7th May 2015 “LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER COMPETITION SUCCESS”

portrait photographer Alan Schofield, of Alan Schofield Photography, whose
studio is in Barnstaple, Devon, has had winning success in the February 2015
Baby of the Month competition, organised by “Baby of the Month”, in association
with Emma’s Diary.

winning image was of Blossom, daughter of proud mum
and dad, Laura and Nigel, from Barnstaple.
Alan said of the photographic session “Blossom was a delight to work
with, she was really sweet, and I’m so pleased to have won the award with this

receives a Mothercare voucher to the value of £100 and her portrait is entered
into the 2015 Baby of the Year Competition, which could win her £2000.
Mum Laura said “Our family has always used Alan’s services for Emma’s
Diary and we didn’t hesitate to go back again when our latest addition arrived.
Alan has always managed to get that perfect shot for us. We love the fact that
he is always so friendly and welcoming, and makes the girls feel so
comfortable. We are so pleased to have won this fantastic prize with the
picture of Blossom!”
For further details please contact:
Name:  Alan Schofield                                                               Telephone: 01271

For more information on the Baby of the Month competition visit

Emma’s Diary Photographer of the Week!

I am pleased to have been selected as the ‘Photographer of the Week’ by Emma’s Diary after one of my photographs won the newly launched ‘Baby of the Month’ competition in February.

Emma’s Diary is a household name amongst young families and expectant mothers throughout the country. I have had the privilege of being the approved Emma’s Diary photographer in the area for seven years now offering new families the opportunity to have wonderful keepsakes of their babies/toddlers as they grow. Click here to read the full article

If you would like to know more information about the Emma’s Diary Baby scheme, please visit my website.

Visit their website
Visit the Emma’s Diary website