Saturday, October 18, 2014

just like that

Three weeks ago this Sunday the girls and I went to visit one of my clients under the guise of seeing her puppy. Now I have to say that when you do the work I do it is very very personal and clients share a lot. A lot. Over 15 years this lady and I have gone through many things together. I always joke with her that I should have hit the ground running the first time I set eyes on her as nothing about her care has been textbook. NOTHING.

I knew that the Sunday text to come over was out of character. I was busy painting the banister and the kids were doing stuff also. I packed everything up, leapt into the shower and took off. She hadn't been feeling well for a few weeks. I still have the text from me to her that says, "ok enough. please make an appt to see dr." She had seen the doctor the Thursday before and when I got to her she wanted me to read her MRI results.

They weren't good, at all. My girls and her daughter went for a walk with the puppy to keep my girls out of the loop. Her and I sat on her bed and read the report word for word. After a couple of hours the girls and I left and I went back the next morning for her appointment. Things were different. She was nauseous and positioning awkward at best. We made arrangements for the usual follow up appointment on Weds but It didn't happen.

I received this text the next day: don't come. In ER. cancer.  breast. liver. bone.

And just like that life changes. BAM

It takes the wind out of your sails.

I went to see her on Monday. 2 weeks after seeing her in her home and I pushed her wheel chair down into the garden so she could get some sun on her face to help with the serious case of jaundice. We talked about serious things and we did what we do which is laugh and make light. We ditched her dad for a few minutes at her request so that she could breath.

53 years old and in a fight for her life. She is in one of the best cancer hospitals around. She has a team of doctors on 3 continents working and researching. Each day the news gets a little grimmer. The list now includes blood and lymph HOWEVER it isn't over. This fight isn't lost. Cancer research is changing daily. When you have access to the best you have a much better chance. It isn't going to be easy and she knows this.   Chemo 3 times a day is hard on a body and she is paying that price.

I received a call from her Mum this morning, "S needs you, she feels like hell".  And so it has begun. Constant trips to one of the most sobering places on earth. A hospital that changes lives. A place where  no one is immune and bald heads are the norm. Shuffling instead of walking, sipping instead of gulping. People shy away when the diagnosis is that of cancer, they withdraw. Don't withdraw. offer a smile and a hand. I make sure from the second I drop my car with the valet that I SPREAD the biggest smile on my face and put a bounce in my step. I tone it down in her room but I keep it positive.

Life can change in an instant. Her life is changing every second. Her kids have this look on their faces of fear and it isn't skin deep. I hug them and thell them to call me if they need anything. Of course what they need, a healthy mummy, isn't something I can do.

"S" is the CEO of a company. She is on the top of her game, always. Nothing gets by her.

One little detail that she overlooked. Her mammogram.

No point in telling her how stupid that was, I think she might have figured it out. Don't skip your mammos ladies. It truly isn't worth it.


  1. I had my very first mammogram this year and I will do it every single year. I'm so sorry about your friend - her life changed in an instant. I'll be saying a prayer for her.

  2. Cancer sucks! Praying for your friend.

  3. this post broke my heart. I will be praying for your friend and hoping she pulls through. And I am sending you huge hugs.

  4. Having known S as a friend and a lover this story breaks my heart. S was the most beautiful caring loving person you would ever meet, she was never too busy to give you her time she touched so many peoples lives in only a way S could. A was always a fighter she never gave up on something or someone she believed in. For such a beautiful person to be taken by such an illness destroys me. Please ladies get your mamo's done I beg you. SL