Cancer, please don’t take my friend.

I don’t know what to say but know I need to say something. I’m lost. I’m angry, scared and upset. A friend of mine has been battling breast cancer and a myriad of related ailments for a few years now and it seems the end is near. I’m scared for her, as I know she’d be scared too. I’m upset that her two boys aged six and eight will grow up without a mother. I’m lost because I have no idea what to say. The tears are flowing, and my heart is aching for her, but I can’t put how I’m feeling into words. I just know I need to write.

My friend (we’ll call her “S”) had her second son the same month as I had my first, so we were in the same birth group on a parenting forum. From there, she drifted off when the majority of us moved over into a private Facebook group. Our group stayed active and from her Facebook profile it appeared that S had suffered a miscarriage. I contacted her and reminded her that we moved over into a private group and that we were there for her if she needed people to talk to. She accepted my invitation and one of the first posts she read was one from another friend whose boss was dying from breast cancer. This friend urged us all to check our breasts.

From that moment, things moved fast for S. She found a lump, then had a mammogram, then a biopsy and was scheduled for surgery within a few weeks. She had an extremely rare type of breast cancer which had grown very fast. S received treatment, which appeared to be successful and after a long battle, she was in remission. The medications and treatments had led to weight gain, hair loss, and her body would never look the same again following a double mastectomy and reconstruction, but no matter what, she was always so positive and to many, was the most beautiful person in the world.

I guess what gets to me the most are the similarities between S and myself. It could very easily be me saying goodbye to my loved ones. She’s a few years older than me, had two boys first, two years apart then had a miscarriage. I guess I looked at her and thought “that will be me two years from now” … until the cancer hit. For her, that lost baby is the reason she was able to get treatment in time and extend her life, to gain a few extra years with her boys. For me, I was blessed to go on to conceive the girl we both always wanted. Why though? I was certainly no more deserving than she was.

Tonight I fed my baby girl with tears falling on the pink muslin wrapped around her. Then I burped her on my shoulder with the only movement coming from my sobs while I pondered how extremely lucky I am. S has been given a few days to live. To hold her boys, and say goodbye to many who have been blessed to have known her. Why do bad things happen to good people? I’m scared for S and I can’t imagine how hard these next few days will be for her. How do you spend those last few days with your boys without being an absolute mess? One thing I do know is that S will do it. She is one strong woman and she will do what many people couldn’t. She always has.

To any women out there reading now: CHECK YOUR BREASTS!

This post is dedicated to the most amazingly strong and inspiring woman I will EVER know. I love you. xx

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