‘My friends get me through my cancer hell with hugs and ALL the fighting talk’

I’ll get by with a little help from my friends

Everyone needs good friends in their life.

Who else can you really escape everyday life with? Share gallons of wine, dance in a club, gossip with, climb bloody mountains with?

I am so thankful for mine.

I needed them from Day 1 of diagnosis.

I’ve never been one of those to say “ooohh you find out who your real friends are when you’re going through a tough time” because some people are just terrified and don’t really know what to say.

I have found myself really needing particular friends though and they never fail.

I remember my recurrence when I was living in hell for a week (AKA my bedroom, my solitary self imposed confinement).

The door knocked and next thing I know, my bedroom was filled with four of the best.

It felt like my movie moment and it didn’t stop there, more friends came with goodies, with meals for us, with hugs, but mainly with FIGHTING TALK.

And it was just what I needed to pull me out of hell.

I don’t like the phrase ‘fight’ or ‘battle’, I’m not strong or brave and I don’t see people who haven’t made it through cancer as people who lost against cancer.

Sometimes it’s luck, sometimes it’s new treatments and sometimes it’s just your body responding differently to medicine.

Mostly it’s the fact that cancer does not give a toss who it destroys.

However, when I have my friends behind me I feel like I am ready to take on everything.

Of course Ivy and Michael and our super families help incredibly.

But the importance of my ‘army’ has always been so incredibly special to me.

They’ve walked miles upon miles to help in my quest to raise as much for Cancer Research UK as humanly possible and they even came along to help sing my own version of ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ where I changed the words to ‘Do they know it’s booby time’.

I remember a terrible phone call I’d had from the hospital where someone had told me they’d had a meeting discussing my case that day.

They told me they had all been in agreement that they were very surprised that The Christie had even mentioned the word ‘cure’ to me because to them, it seemed like an impossibility.

Michael had gone away for the weekend and it was a Friday evening.

I lost it. I cried and asked why did they need to tell me this?

I felt that if a whole room of specialists agreed that cure wasn’t an option, how the hell was I meant to have any hope whatsoever?

The next thing I know, my door is knocking and there they were….laden with wine, snacks, hugs and swearwords. God I love them!

We’ve talked of holidays to celebrate being alive and we have our WhatsApp group, which always keeps us going.

I think it’s so important to really reach out to people who want to help you when you’re going through difficult times.

My one piece of advice to someone who feels like they want to help someone you love is don’t just ask if they need anything, just do it.

Bring a meal round, leave it on the doorstep.

Tell them you’re taking their kids for a day out.

Send them treats, make plans for the future.

So many people offer us help but we usually say we’re fine thanks because we just feel like we don’t want to put people out.

We loooove it when we open the door to a nice lasagne/cottage pie/fillet steak and lobster (I’m dreaming).

Having good friends is like having your own little corner of the world you can escape to.

They’ve always got my back, they always seem to know what to say – and if they don’t, they know the right joke to crack but mostly, they make me feel loved right up to the very brim.

Ahh I bloody love ‘em.

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