Friday, 9 December 2011

And Just Like That ...

Everything can change in an instant.

That is what I have learned today, and I wish to God I could have learned it in a better way.

Yesterday, I walked home from work, thinking that whilst it had been a shit day, it could all have been infinitely worse.  The damage to the phone was only cosmetic - it could have been totally busted.  My landlord seems at least to be willing to talk about the deposit.  All the little niggles that had gone wrong during the day, were just that: little.  They could have been big.  I started to look at it all in a more positive light - nothing truly terrible had happened.

I went home, got changed, and drove up to the photographic studios to collect my photos from the shoot, and then over the river to collect the veg box for my friends who are currently putting me up.  All was safely achieved, and I went home.  I had a mutual moan with Hannah's about how shit our respective days had been, ate some comfort food in the form of a jacket potato with beans and fresh bread and butter, and chilled.

The photos were beautiful (more on that another time - I'll show you a few soon), and by the time it rolled round to being time to go to the pub for surf club, I was feeling much better.  I trundled up there, and was a bit surprised to see nobody there I knew, but realised this meant I would be able to reclaim my valuable parking spot at Hannah's and not have to move the car in the morning.  See - every cloud has a silver lining.

This morning, I walked to work, enjoying the sun, and still with a bounce in my step over how lovely the photos had turned out.  I felt good, and shiny, even if the scales did show my the dreaded 13st this morning - the wages of too long spent not paying attention.  But even there, I'm slowly returning to my exercise routine, and I'll be running regularly soon, and it's within my control.

I was complimenting one of my colleagues on her new hairstyle just half an hour ago - a lady I know and like and enjoy chatting too, and her response was this: "well, I  might as well tell you, I've got cancer". 

Secondary cancer.  Just a couple of weeks ago, she went for a routine mammogram, and they found a large lump.  Last week she went back for the results, and they told her it had doubled in size, in just those two weeks - it was very aggressive cancer, but the good news was her lymph nodes were clear, and they would operate. 

But this Tuesday, further tests revealed that it is in her blood, and has already spread to her lungs. 

In the space of a week, in the space of that instant even, all hope has been taken away.  They won't be operating, because it will just keep coming back.  All they can do is treat it, and see how long that works for. She'd cut her hair so it wouldn't look as bad when it started falling out from the chemo.

She's dying. 

I can barely take it in.  How can that happen?  She's not even 50 yet, doesn't smoke, lives pretty healthily, but she's dying anyway.  The only question now is how long she fights it for.

Everything else tastes like ashes today. 

We should take care of everything we have, because I've just learned today, that it takes approximately 5 seconds to have it all snatched away from you.  Appreciate the hell out of what you have, kids, because in the end, it's all you have.

Live well.  Love well.  Take care of yourself and those you care about.  Forget about what doesn't matter and just focus on what does.


Seren said...

You're so right. It's easy to get bogged down in the day to day niggles that life throws at us and lose sight of the important things. Thanks for a salutory reminder.

On a lighter note, I am looking forward to seeing the pictures! Hope you have a lovely weekend.


Badger said...

Hear hear!
I was just telling a friend about an hour ago (she was feeling down), that the one thing we have learnt from our fathers deaths' (both from cancer, mid 60's) is that life is too short. And that whilst she had planned a weekend of solitary navel gazing, that she should get out amongst it, if only for an hour.
Enjoy your weekend!

Tammy said...

That is soooo horrible and sad!!!;(
I can't even imagine...I have seen my mom and step-dad getting older and dread when they have go..I worry that I won't be around for my kids because of my weight and the health issues that go along with that. I worry about my kids...I am VERY grateful for everything that I have. Love to your friend.