That's why its of the utmost importance to be open and honest with the people you love in order to maintain a continued support network. I am incredibly lucky in that I have a wonderfully supportive family and friends who have been by my side at every turn. So, in a semi-regular new feature on my blog, i'd like to pay tribute to a few of the best women in my life.
I first met this hot piece when she was around 14 years old. That sounds much more sinister that it really should – let me clarify that I am not a sex-offender - I was her colleague, then her boss then her friend. (The best job of all was (is) the latter).
Our friendship grew during long shifts spent together working long hours for little money, but mainly our shared disdain for the human race. I am a little older than Nichola. So our first friendship was more like big sister little sister. Although she has lots of them already mind you so maybe I was more like an unofficially-adopted one. I talked to her when her wee heart hurt and when she was experiencing all the drama that goes along with growing up. I watched her blossom into a beautiful and intelligent woman and felt a strange pride that I was lucky enough to be around for it.
Our friendship is fairly similar now in that I still feel big-sisterly towards her, but she is my equal in every way. (Except age of course – I’m still a pensioner and she is still a spring chicken). We share anything and everything (except men as we don’t really have the same taste there...). We talk openly and honestly and she makes me laugh until I require a Tena-Lady.
Although she has been in poor health herself for a long time, earlier this year she ran a half marathon to raise money for people like myself with Crohn’s Disease. She is amazing, inspiring and so full of life it makes me beam just thinking about her. She is hilarious and extraordinarily talented in so many ways, but most of all utterly unaware of how wonderful she is. She is a bright light in my life and for that reason and a million more I cherish her.
It can be scary when your boyfriend’s best-friend gets a girlfriend. What if I don’t like her? We’ll have to spend loads of time together? What if she doesn’t like me? Thankfully I do like my boyfriend’s best-friend’s girlfriend (now fiancée). I like her a lot.
She lives with a man who is a carbon copy of mine in many, MANY ways, therefore we always had something in common from the beginning. She is fun-loving and hilarious, beautiful and intelligent and I am very happy to have met her (and even happier Steph brought her into our lives).
Because God/life /whatever created us, is a cruel bastard, it gave lovely Deanna cancer. It made her have to quite literally fight for her life, and she is still fighting. She is all the things ‘sick people’ actually grow tired of hearing: inspirational, brave and motivational. She probably doesn’t feel it a lot of the time; too busy being in pain or feeling like the Grim Reaper is chilling in bed with her, but all she does and all she says prove otherwise. It IS brave to share your story with the world like she is. It IS inspiring to watch her overcome obstacles that her body keeps putting in her way. And it IS motivating to see her look to the future with courage and hope when most of the time enthusiasm is a hard device to muster.
It’s very odd when someone you care for gets ill. When my brother got Cancer I felt for a while it was a snippet I’d heard of a story-line from a shit film – it’s an out of body experience hearing it happen to someone you love , it takes a while to sink in. So I can’t even begin to imagine how it feels to be the owner of the body it’s happening to. Somehow words become meaningless, flowers and chocolates seem useless tokens and you feel utterly helpless. You feel guilty for feeling helpless, then guiltier still for thinking about yourself if even for a split second.
But Deanna has never made James or I feel this way. She has made us feel included and allowed people to attempt to support her, if even from a distance. She has been private and respectful of herself and her condition, laughed when she is able and has spoken out in the most breath-taking ways about the heartbreak her illness is still capable of inflicting on her and her loved ones.
I didn’t really want this post to be all about Cancer but sometimes life is like that. I wanted to tell you that Deanna is one of the finest women on god’s earth and I’m thankful she is in our lives – I hope she keeps fighting because she has a bright and brilliant future to look forward to, and there is much more Nutella to be consumed than I can possibly manage on my own. Believe me I’ve tried.