Thursday, 31 May 2012

30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 29

This week I got a phone call from a very dear friend of mine.  A girl who I have known since I was 11, have grown up with, and who I love as my own sister.  We talk all the time, but it's usually through Facebook or text message.  So when she rang my phone, I knew it was an important call.  She was ringing to tell me that her Mum, Deb, had just been diagnosed with a tumour in her lung, after four years in remission from breast cancer.  She told me that Deb was going in for further tests, but her xray had shown a rather large dark spot and it didn't look good.  Everyone was in shock.

The following day she rang me again, to let me know that Deb was being admitted into the private sector of the hospital I work in.  Deb was to have a biopsy and further PET scanning, and that she would ring me when she was back in her room.  I made my way over to them after work.  I hadn't visited my friend in about a year or so, but it made no difference to us, we loved each other all the same.  We sat and chatted about Deb's options, what the doctors thought the prognosis might be, and what she wanted to do with her treatment.  We talk about their family, and about how they wanted to celebrate whatever time they all had left together.  I was so glad that I was there.

The next day Deb went in for the tests. I sat with my friend in the hospital room, waiting for her Mum to be delivered back to her.  Doctors came and spoke with them, and explained the spread of the tumours was systemic.  There were dark spots in nearly all of her major organs and large bones.  It was devastating!  This beautiful woman, who a long time ago I called my Second-Mum, and is so full of life, was now fighting to save it.  The doctor couldn't give her a time frame, nor a treatment plan, until all the biopsy results were back the following week.  The only comfort they were granted is that there are medications that can slow the growth and hopefully give them more time together.  I held my friend, cried with her and her family.  This simply was not fair.

That night, as I sat crying on my bed, describing to Hubby the day just gone, I asked him to tell me what I should do.  I felt useless.  There was no way I could help them.  No way I could make any of it easier.  My heart was breaking, so I couldn't imagine how they must feel.  I told him how they had started talking about ways to share the rest of Deb's life; the adventures they wanted to have before it was too late.  And he asked me what I could do to help with that, and so I remembered a conversation I'd have with Deb's sister about wanting nice family photos to hold onto.  This was something I could give them.

I sent an email to my beloved Zan, from Zanabelle Photography.  I explained that I wanted to gift them portraits shot by her.  I wouldn't trust anyone else with such an important, very personal task.  Zan wrote me back, saying it would be her honour to help me help them.  And that she would do it all in the name of love.  I was moved to tears.  

Today, and always, I am grateful for my friends.  My friends mean the absolute world to me.  They are generous, kind and selfless.  I am truly touched that one will help me give to another.  Zan is helping me give Deb a gift that her family can treasure for a life time.  A picture they can look upon and remember the beautiful life she lived.  And a picture Deb too can look upon and know she was never alone.  

I am grateful for the years I spent in Deb's care.  Messing about with my friend, taking over living rooms with our sleeping bags, eating her out of house and home, and for loving me as her own.  This life she is living will be cut far too short.   But it has also been a wonderful life, full of family and friends.  I am grateful I get to share that.


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