Friendships come in all different forms. We all have our close friends, friends we see once in a blue moon, friends who live far away but talk to regularly, ‘Facebook’ friends and of course long lost friends.
Little did I know a friendship I’d made through my school years was about to help me out the week before I’d start my Chemotherapy treatment.
Through a post I’d made on Facebook letting my ‘friends’ know about my situation a friend I’d made some 20 plus years earlier (wow that makes me feel old) reached out to me and said ‘I know that place all too well’ referring to Western Park Cancer hospital. After a few message exchanges they told me that their partner had been treated at the hospital a few years ago, thankfully they were back to full health.
I don’t think this friend realised at the time just how much the message and words of encouragement meant to me and how them sharing some light in to their personal journey gave me some much needed strength.
A day or so went by and after some debating with myself I decided to ask them if they thought their partner would be willing to answer a few questions I had. ‘Of course’ they replied. Not only would they answer my questions they also agreed to meet with me. I felt so lucky I was about to meet someone who had been on a similar journey just a few years before and they were willing to share some of their experience with me to help calm my fears and nerves.
We met at a coffee shop the weekend before I started treatment. Not only was it great to see a friend I hadn’t seen in so many years but it was great to see how fantastic their partner looked and sounded. ‘It feels like I’ve been reborn’ they said. They went on….’Seriously, you will look back at this in a year or so and it will just be a blip in your life’.
Hearing such strong, confident words really gave me a lift and although our treatment regimes were slightly different, the experience they shared with me gave me insight I never thought I’d have.
The words this person shared with me stuck with me throughout my cancer treatment, the days I hit dark places Robin would remind of some of the things they said and it would help ‘kick my ass’ back in to gear.
The reason I chose to share this experience of sharing ‘advice’ about a cancer experience is that it helped me so much. We get given advice from different people in our daily lives but how much do we actually take in, listen to or act upon? The advice I was given in this case formed part of my ‘survival’ kit.
To the friend who reached out after so many years, thank you!
Next… ‘D Day’ – The start of my treatment at Western Park Hospital.
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