Cancer has given me some wonderful things that I am so thankful for. One of them is the connections that I have made and continue to make with other women in my situation facing the same fate as me.
Together we support one and other. We have become sisters, friends and warriors against cancer. We have a connection that no one would ever wish upon another human being; but we find yourself thankful for that bond.
These friendships have given me so many different things. These women offer support, love, a kind ear to listen when I’m in turmoil or when no one else can truly understand. And I have been able to do the same for them. I find that when we experience something difficult alongside someone else, they become a part of you within a tiny spot in your heart. But there is a cost to these friendships as well… Death. All of us have been given the same cancer sentence, much like a jail sentence. And for all of us, the reality is that it will eventually come to an end.
Not only do I have to wrap my head around my diagnosis and come to terms with my evidential death, but along the way I will continue to lose my friends and this vital support one by one as well. Every time a friend passes I am shaken, sad, and angry that cancer has won again. I start to grieve my friend, along with grieving for myself. I start to think about all the things that I am going to miss out on, and the families of my friends left behind.
I value these connections and will not stop seeking these friendships. I will love and support them wholeheartedly and never regret holding a space for them in my heart.
Much of this cancer has been about taking both the good and the bad with eyes wide open. There is no hiding from the truths of this disease. I know going into these friendships that our time together is limited. But, that can make that time so much more cherished in the moment than it would be otherwise.