Today I share with you a very honest and personal story. I feel compelled to celebrate my true friend Abi, whom I have known since she was born, she is a couple of years my junior. I remember looking into her moses basket and seeing a black haired doll-like thing sleeping contently. Little did I know that the small ‘doll’ would keep growing into the woman whom I now hold as one of my closest friends.
The subject matter of this story may be a sensitive one for many of my readers, so please be aware and take care of yourselves.
Cancer- the Voldermort word of the ‘real’ world, or at least that is how I perceive it.
Abi is currently a medical student and I owe it to her that the Melanoma living and growing in my right ear has been caught at the manageable level of stage 1.
On Easter day (2016), it was the morning after my 25th birthday. It is safe to say that the celebratory, excited mood of the previous evening left many a sore head among friends and family but non so sore as mine! Shamefully I awoke with a self-inflicted hangover. At the time it was unbearable, however today I believe it might have ‘saved’ me in a roundabout way.
When Abi popped in to see me on her way home I was laying on the sofa like a wounded dog. I had that sad, sheepish face that dogs express so well when they have done something stupid. I looked up at Abi, my eyes asking for sympathy but not expecting any as I tried to sit up and look less poisoned.
Abi, being the lovely human being she is, nursed me and sat with me despite the smell of bile seeping from me. After yet another bout of sickness Abi took my floppy, soppy head and placed it on her lap and did her best to soothe me. She stroked my hair and slid my hair behind my ear, where upon she spied a mole that I knew nothing about.
She instantly questioned me about it, touched it and examined it. She made me promise there and then that I would go to my GP in Ireland and have it checked out before she went to India in a couple of weeks time. I idly said yes- I would have it checked out as she advised; after all she is a medical student!
Four months or so have past since that day and on the day I left for the UK I received a phone call from the Irish consultant who removed the mole a couple of weeks ago. I knew a call so soon after the operation was unusual. And so, on a mundane Tuesday afternoon on a commuter train, on my way to my new flat, sat alone the C word (cancer) became very real to me indeed.
It still feels strange to think that the Melanoma cells are there inside me, for I had no inkling that they where there in my ear at all. I feel a slight tinge of betrayal of my own body in a way.
However I am so happy to report that the cancer in my ear will be dealt with before it has a chance to inhabit my body any further- all thanks to my dear friend Abi who was so kind and vigilant on Easter day. I can never thank her enough; she will always be a star to me.
If you would like to find out more about how to keep safe and monitor moles you have I recommend the NHS website. I for one shall never go out gallivanting in the sunshine without factor 50 sun cream. After this ‘wake-up’ call the shade looks rather more appetising to me than before!
I leave you with two quotes as I feel they are both needed in this instance.
“Life has no blessing like a prudent friend” – Turipides
“A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.” – William Penn
Thank you for reading, if you feel like sharing any of your own experiences in relation to this post please feel free to use the comment box below, or feel free to use the Facebook Share button.
Comments on "The ‘C’ Word"
What beautiful writing Annie, Abi told me what had happened but your lovely story telling and wise quotes about friends have really brought it to life.
With much love
I wanted to do Abi proud and I am glad you are so thrilled with the post.
Jonathan, my family and all the Drivers are so very thank full for her vigilance and knowledge!
She is a very special friend and love her to the moon and back.
We had a lovely night in Hay,
Thanks for sharing and commenting.
Much love x
I’m so pleased for you, that is truly miraculous. Melanoma killed my best friend from school at 26 precisely because it doesn’t cause enough pain to be caught early. Long live both you and Abi!
Thanks for reading my blog, I was very aware that readers could have had a very personal insight with the ‘c’ word. I am sorry you list your friend.
I have been madly settling in to our new abode and working full time in a Cafe. The Cafe had been great for making friends and taking my mind off the skin cancer, however Jonathan has been following up progress with the hospital until we made a break through last week. I met the plastic surgeon who will be doing my operation (it seems the ear is a tricky spot!) but the surgeon seems to have good experience, we looked him up online and “plastic surgeon to the stars” was mentioned!
I intend to grasp life and enjoy the moments, I still feel I have been given a unique chance.
Let me know if you fancy a trip to Hay, you are most welcome 🙂
I hadn’t seen your reply until I read the follow-up post – I’m so glad it’s all sorted out, and well done on a lovely poetic description of your new ear! I’d love to come and visit you both in Hay – but would have two small children in tow if that’s ok 😉
A shock for you but thanks to Abi and the treatment you have had all will be well I do hope so.
My goodness vigilance is so vital we never know.
Thinking of you
Thank you for getting in touch, it has all been a bit of a whirl wind since finding out but I am due to have my operation soon. I will be glad to get it over and done with. In the mean time I have a full time job in a Cafe a minute from our flat and gave met some lovely people. I am enjoying life here! I hope all is well with you?
Thank you for reading my blog and for your valuable support as ever.