AS YOU read this column my grand-daughter Elleigh is sitting in the hairdressers having 10 inches of her treasured shiny locks carefully cut off to send to the Little Princess Trust where it will be used in the making of bespoke wigs for children who have lost their hair through cancer.

This decision is a huge one for a teenager whose pride and joy has been her very long hair. It goes without saying that family and friends are proud of her and her efforts to get sponsorship totalling more than £600 to pay for the making of real-hair wigs.

Giving up or losing something precious is always a big sacrifice to make. In this case the end result of knowing a few children will regain some confidence and self esteem as they struggle through a devastating illness is reward enough.

In some ways the social isolation and economic pain we’ve all gone through these past few months has also represented a huge sacrifice in our bid to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Nicola Sturgeon says she has never been more nervous than she is right now about re-introducing freedoms across Scotland because ultimately – if the virus re-emerges and spreads – we could face losing what gains we have won.

There’s an age-old saying, “when you have nothing, you have nothing to lose”. Right now, we do have something – and we’re right to be afraid of losing it.

And that’s how I felt earlier this week when I went for another CT scan. The last one showed encouraging signs that chemotherapy and immunotherapy appeared to be working and holding back any advancement of cancer.

A couple of weeks ago, when discussing my extreme fatigue with the clinical team looking after me, it was suggested a break from the chemotherapy might be an option. I’m not brave enough to take that gamble.

Now I am more nervous and worried than I have been for months… because this time I have got some real hope that the treatment is buying me some time and I am afraid of losing that.

Six months ago my prognosis was grim. I had resigned myself to a short time left. Some people said I was being brave about it – I was just facing up to the inevitable.

But now it’s different. Tired but buoyed that treatment will prolong my life I now have something very precious to lose.

Six months ago I didn’t have much to cling on to. But now, as I await the results in a telephone call from my oncologist tomorrow, the clock is ticking very slowly.

Perhaps it requires more bravery to be hopeful than it does to be fatalistic.

Yours hopefully, Ally McLaws!

Ally McLaws is managing director of the McLaws Consultancy, specialist in business marketing and reputation management. See