These folks are going to feature throughout this blog.
These people, whether I have known them since I was six or for 18 months have been absolutely amazing. They, along with my family, have been a tower of strength. Never in my life did I think I would feel as much love and care as they have shown this last week and a bit. I just had no idea. I had no idea that people loved me. I knew I loved them, because I am a giver.
As the time passed in UCH pre-diagnosis, these people were pulling together. I am sure there have been many phone calls that I do not know about. My beloved L, would bring me a cup of tea for breakfast so I did not have to drink the NHS hospital infused version en route for work, others would come on their lunch break, some would surprise me, which would include a visit or two from Northampton, but more importantly they all made their presence known, even those trapped in Majorca or Edinburgh. Those who could not be there in person were on the phone, reassuring me that everything would be okay and if (when) it wasn’t, it would not matter, they would still be there. For me.
Then the probable diagnosis was made – Myeloma. And then the messages and visits came from everywhere. I mean everywhere. From those people you see and speak to everyday, to your childhood best friend who even though you don’t see often now, you still love just as much as when you were 8 watching Basic Instinct, to the boy you just can’t decide if you want kiss or slap, to your fag break partner who has unexpectedly become one of the most important people in your life…
It was overwhelming. I cried. A lot. There was snot. And moisture. And double chin.
I tried to inform those closest to me and stay strong and my thanks to them for staying strong when I told them. I could just about bear the news, but I could not bear hearing them sad. I am selfish like that. It’s just me, me, me….
Informing L and Kirby was probably the hardest. On the phone. Listening to their shock on a broken mobile line and wanting to see them both so badly, and hug them, I could hardly get the words out “I have cancer” and trying not to say the words you should never say, but you know you are all thinking, “I could die.”
Massive credit to Middlesborough and WM who sat not just with me in the hour after, but with my mother and sister, listening to me cry and inform people, some of whom they have never met. I will be eternally grateful to you both for that.
Those people who have sat around my hospital bed where in moments of self pity, I have bawled my eyes out, thinking about the impact this is having on my life, on my ability to go out, on my ability to fall in love and start a family, on my ability to go to the cinema…. Those whose comfort I batted away because… Well…. Touching makes this real. It makes this tangible. You know. I am so sorry to you all but ultimately thankful that you were right there the next day and the next for more.
……I can’t articulate how awful it is to be the cause of a friend’s sadness. I wish this was not happening to me and I could spare everybody from it, but it is happening and I do not know how long this is going to last for.
The weekend after my diagnosis made me realise that my diagnosis was not just about me, as much as I may try….. It was also about my loved ones and how they were going to manage. Everybody was and is so busy worrying about me and protecting me, but who was and is worrying about them?
I have spent the last week, trying to work out how I could just put my arms around all of them and tell them that I am going to be okay and thus everything is going to be okay – Some of us do not like change.
Obviously I can’t and selfishly, after trying my hardest to be there for everybody and worrying, I am simply not healthy enough to do it. I am not healthy enough to receive multiple visitors or to reply to all messages and phone calls within a certain timescale. I am, for the next few months at least, going to have to prioritise getting better and unfortunately this may make me a bad friend. A bad friend at a time when i should be repaying everybody… I cannot go out for pints. At the moment, I cannot even physically embrace somebody. The sad thing is, I think I need them now more than ever. I need them in order to do this. But will I be healthy enough to see them? I mean, who knows what sort of viruses they are carrying.
Time will tell.
If the last week has taught me anything, I am fairly certain they will all be there at the end, whenever that is going to be, bringing me food, fruit juice and banter.
I really hope so.
Anyway, enough self pity please.