The past month has impacted on me in a big way, two related events, yet very separate in my life too. Both involve that insidious C word. Last week, my Mum had her very last radiotherapy treatment. This followed several months of chemotherapy, and surgery for breast cancer. This week, her oncologist has told her he will see her in 3 months, she is done. It is beaten. The war has been won.

How momentous! It has been a very, very, long 8 months since she was diagnosed, many tears, many fears and some very difficult times. She did it though, she made it out the other side, and so have we, with her. It is very overwhelming, and difficult to comprehend that this is the end of it. To say we feel lucky is probably an understatement of the grossest kind.

Yesterday, Mum visited for the day. She still wears her scarf on her head, she is only beginning now to grow her hair back after chemotherapy. We were sitting, talking about a whole lot of things, when my friend posted a picture on twitter. I am not sure if you read Stepford Dreams (if not you ought to!); but my friend Carolyn, who authors this blog, I have known for a few years now. In all of this time, I have known of her best friend Alli and her own fight with cancer.

Yesterday, Stepford Dreams twitpic'd herself and Alli in hospital, it was a beautiful picture, a happy one. It made me smile. Then I looked at my mum, and burst into tears. Alli has not been as lucky as my Mum. I am aching for my friend Carolyn, and at the same time, I feel an appreciation, an incredible deep feeling of being grateful that I cannot express fully in words. I cried and both my Mum and I felt so sad, yet so so lucky.

I think too often, we take for granted, the people in our lives, we complain about the small things, we forget the bigger picture. We forget what matters. We don't realise how well off we truly are. We don't tell people often enough that we love them and that they matter in our lives. Today, I feel exceptionally lucky, but at the same time, a deep and aching sadness for my friend and the nightmare she simply cannot wake up from. I feel useless. There is nothing I can do, and that sucks. Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers.

So, normally snarky, feisty me, not normally one for emotion or anything that could be construed as 'soppy' just wanted to remind you to count your blessings today, and to remember how much worse things could be.


Maura 12 September 2009 at 2:58 pm  

"Things could be a LOT worse" is something I tell myself often when I'm complaining about something that really isn't all that important in the grand scheme of things.

Your post is a good reminder. I'm happy for your mom and so sad for your friend. There are no easy ways to deal with grave illness.

Kirsten 12 September 2009 at 6:04 pm  

That's such great news about your mother Kel, and a good reminder too to be grateful for all the good.

Ben 12 September 2009 at 6:43 pm  

Your mum is lucky to have a daughter like you. Alli is lucky to have a friend like Carolyn. I think you all appreciate and doubt that any of you take it for granted.

Teneal 12 September 2009 at 10:49 pm  

Kel I am so glad your Mum is better :) It gives me hope that good things can happen to good people.

I too cried last night for Carolyn and Alli. I have never met either of the IRL, but i can see how much love there is between them, and how unfair and awful this is.

C is lucky to have a friend like you :)

PrincessJenn 14 September 2009 at 1:43 pm  

It's amazing what can put life in perspective for us. I'm so glad to hear your mom is doing well. She's lucky to have a supportive daughter like you by her side.

Goddess Jeni 21 September 2009 at 11:35 am  

Thanks so much for sharing this heartwarming story. I have not had to deal with this awful disease in my life, which I know is miraculous in and of itself. I had a scare myself last year, but it was caught at my routine gyn exam before it became cancer. It was still incredibly scary though, and I cannot fathom how I'd feel if something like that happened to my mom. I wish you both the best and thank you again for sharing this. It really puts my own issues of late in perspective. I'm so glad that Princess Prose posted the link to your site.

Al_Pal 6 October 2009 at 3:46 pm  

Gah. So glad your mum has finished treatment.
Sad for your friend.

A friend of mine battled cancer this year. His partner-lady really didn't like all the battle, war imagery. ;s

Scary stuff.

"Worse things have happened to better people" is a quote I heard recently, that can help with perspective. :P