Friday, 13 December 2013

My dearest oldest friend - who I've known literally forever because before she became my friend she was my cousin - and still is, funnily enough - has been going through breast cancer treatment for the last seven months. 

It's the ultimate cliche to say that someone is brave when having cancer treatment.  I've always thought it was the most ridiculous thing to say, a Hallmark superficiality that's actually a little insulting in some ways - how are you brave taking an option you have no option but to take?  Surely bravery is when you do something courageous when there is the option to not do anything at all?

And yet I do feel tempted to call her brave in the way she's approached this, although she might argue that here as well, emotionally dealing with a life-threatening illness that's become real really doesn't have options either - you either sink under the weight of it in terror and further compromise an immune system already under assault, or you live in the moment, taking each one.  And if this whole experience has taught her anything, she says, it's how to live in the moment because any other moment is too terrifying ... and no other moment is available for maximum livability but this one.

So I don't know if I would say it's bravery or not, but what I do know is that I am so massively proud of the way she's faced the terror of it all.  And so relieved that the treatment is, as of today, something that does live in the past.

May it always live there.

Love you, Andi.  I wish I could have done more physically to have helped you through this time than I have.  More practical things of Grandma quality :) 

But if intention and love and desire counts for anything from my end, you'll live till you're 126 surrounded by great-great-grandchildren :) 

And that's about as Hallmark as it's gonna get.

Ooosh noosh.  You love Eric Estrada <3

Circa 1980, when you were going to be taking your film to the chemist to be developed for the next decade and more,
this was the ultimate in newfangled cutting-edge excitements that we had from the Doncaster Shoppingtown. 


  1. Aw I can tell how much you love her. I've watched far too many (one is too many, but I've known five close friends) go through this. It's so hard not to be able to fix it for them. But, just be the you you are. You've probably read this, but in case you haven't, it's a good model. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-0407-silk-ring-theory-20130407,0,6378839.story

    If Andi reads this, I just want to say I'm sorry for what you're going through.

    1. Oh, yeah, I have read that before, it's very excellent. I don't think I'm *too* bad at the whole dumping in thing; I just feel like I'm not too good at the supporting in part, and even though I can't do much about my health to a certain extent and it's not how I want it to be, it's still been a struggle trying to resist the horrible guilt. But anyway ...

    2. Don't feel guilty. You only can do what you can do. Even emotional support is important. I'm sure she values you because of your history and depth of your relationship.

  2. this is beautiful and Im crying! But it's not taking much to make me cry since treatment ended! I feel like life has begun again, but also flat and emotionally worn out! Frightened of the future, but I cannot wait to live it either...so many different thoughts, feelings..and even emotions I cant quite recognise! Thanks Sue xx and thankyou Erin too :) Its been bloody hard, but its made me appreciate just how wonderful being alive is..also how much I love my family xx

    1. Wow - it must be such a disorientating feeling going from having this structure of treatment to getting your life back but it feeling more precarious in another way without being able to "do something". No wonder you're feeling so many different emotions!!

      xo xo


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