Recently a very close friend of mine underwent some serious breast cancer surgery. One minute she was healthy, holidaying with her family and enjoying what her life and future had to offer, then the next minute, after a routine scan, she heard those words: "I'm sorry, but you have cancer." A few short weeks later, she was in hospital having life saving surgery, and Boxing Day saw her start months of chemo and radiation treatment. But not once did she complain and ask "why me?" She is one tough chick! Even when 'the red devil' was burning it's way through her veins, killing all the cancer cells in it's wake, she didn't complain. It was merely a means to the end. And then there were the days after chemo, when she couldn't lift her head off the pillow. But still she didn't complain. Not to mention when she couldn't eat because of mouth and stomach ulcers from the treatment, or the hot flushes she was experiencing because of the hormone therapy. And in her true spirit and nature, it was only when coffee started to taste different, that she cursed cancer, and was concerned that she would never be able to enjoy coffee again. Not the fact that she was now wearing scarves because she was bald, or all her eyebrows and eyelashes had fallen out and chemo was leaking from her eyes, but that coffee no longer tasted good! (fear not, we experimented and found that week two after chemo was the best time for coffee and burgers. And didn't we take advantage of it!)
Through the whole ordeal, she stayed strong. It was only part way through her chemo that I saw a glimpse of her true suffering. And even then, all she said to me was: "I'm sick of having to be strong." I couldn't even go to her and see her that day, as I was sick with a head cold. Not that I was being pitiful, 'wah wah I'm sick', but, I had to stay away. The risk of her catching my cold was too great.
To her very credit and strength, the next day, she picked herself up and dusted herself off, and said, "Let's get on with it." And that she did. She came out the otherside. Her hair has returned, and thankfully, her tastebuds have too! She is back into coffee and chocolate with avengence. She is also back running and swimming, but in someone that has only truely been in her place can understand, life looks all that bit different. Trivial things that would have once been a priority, now take a back burner.
She has been given a second chance, and that is why I wrote my short story 'Second Chance' for 'Tied In Pink' a breast cancer anthology. My story was written for you Shaz. Now is your time, to do what YOU want to do but never had the courage.
I implore everyone to go buy 'Tied In Pink', because every time someone buys it, funds are donated, and it gives someone else with breast cancer the opportunity to have their second chance.
'Tied In Pink' is available for purchase on Amazon.