• Alison

Cancer is No Joke

As a permanent citizen of Cancerland, I do spend a lot of time making fun of everything about my situation, everything from the amount of conversations I have about my bowel movements, to how having tumours is nearly worth it for the weight loss. But sometimes I’m reminded how having cancer is really no joke at all.

This week one of the beautiful cancer crusaders I have had the privilege of knowing lost her battle to stay alive and left us on Easter Sunday. Out of respect for her and her family, I won’t give any more personal details, but when her friend told me of her passing it was her who pointed out this “no joke” reference: it’s nothing short of terribly ironic that she died on April Fools Day!

She was someone I had known as my friends’, friend and really only got to know her properly through our shared diagnosis. We had chatted very freely, as only you can do with someone who is effectively in the same boat as yourself. We compared doctors, nurses, scans, hair loss, skin creams and especially the effect having cancer has on our children and being a mother faced with the prospect of not seeing your children grown up.

She was beautiful, funny, giddy, hilarious and full to the brim with a burning desire to live, her legacy is her beautiful children and all the friends are family who were lucky to have her in their lives.

Her husband is an amazing man and will ensure their children remember their mother, but nothing will ever replace hugs and kisses and just having your mum around, so saying goodbye has to be the most dreadfully difficult thing to do. I’d take chemo every day for the rest of my days to never have to do that. It’s pretty much the thing that makes me cry every time I think about not seeing my boys grown up and it fills me with such fear to think I wouldn’t be there to share all the important and normal moments of their youth.

It’s no joke that a loving mother is taken from her children by this cruel disease, and I selfishly think if the tumours do win this “cat and mouse” game we have been playing over the years, that at the very least they are teenagers and I get them to near adulthood and they will have wonderful memories of growing up.

It will NEVER be easy or right to have to leave my babies, that’s the most awful thing about having this cancer lurking around my body. And my friend’s passing is a reminder that cuts very close to the bone on that front. It’s also a reminder, as if I need it, to enjoy every day, every chat, every cuddle, every magic ordinary moment as you never know it’s going to be your last with the people you love.

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