I have just taught my Tuesday morning class with a heavy heart. Because there was somebody missing today who couldn’t come. A friend who has cancer. She texted me this morning with news of her latest scan results: “All bad news. Been in bad pain since Sunday. Yesterday was told liver not in good shape. They are moving fast with pain relief and start new chemo on Thurs. Won’t be in class as parents coming over to try and help me / me try to help them and still in some pain. All cried and talked out now but will speak to you soon my friend. The girl ain’t beaten yet x”.
And it made me cry. Because life is so unfair. She is so young. So beautiful. She’s got one of those shiny souls that just ooze through every pore and she’s done so well. In the time that I’ve known her we’ve worked together through one round of chemo strengthening and stretching her body, she’s done a photography course, she’s travelled the world with her lovely husband and she’s now started the training to be an instructor teaching the same form of exercise as me. On Saturday, when we did a workshop together I encouraged her to take the whole class herself. I was there in the background to step in if she needed me, but she didn’t – she did the whole two hour class without any help from me and she was magnificent. What a triumph of achievement. What a long way she’s come.
She of all people makes me wonder what life is all about. She has a strong faith and I believe that this has helped her hugely. She also has a deep internal strength and an understanding that sometimes she has to be stronger than she wants to be because of the people around her who love her deeply. You can see that from her text about having to try and help her parents.
When I first met her I wouldn’t have dreamt of writing about her on my blog. She was a very private person who didn’t want to talk about what she was going through. Now it’s different. We’ve spent a lot of time together discussing the various aspects of our lives. “Control the controllables” she has said to me on more than one occasion. I know she reads my blog and I hope she won’t mind me writing about her, but she has her own blog now. Full of thoughts and recipes and stuff in general. She’s come a long way in the time that I’ve known her and whilst she’s got a long journey ahead of her she is still full of hope and surrounded by love.
It must feel exhausting at times like these to have to keep going. To feel that you are up against another brick wall that you have to climb over or break through. She observed once that from the outside looking in, people assume that you are incredibly brave to deal with the shit that life throws at you, but that it’s not really like that. When you are going through a trauma, you just have to deal with it as best you can. I have just read a fellow bloggers story – Rosie Scribble’s post entitled Miracle Walker – all about her daugher’s’ struggle to walk – she makes some relevant points: “there was little choice but to face each day, no matter how tough life is, the world keeps turning and you just can’t give up”.
So, my lovely friend, “When life gets tough, keep going, an hour at a time, a day at a time, one step at a time”.
We’ll all keep going with you.