In February of last year, my dear friend was told she had cancer. Bone cancer, to be precise.
It was a blow out of nowhere. One day, she is fit and healthy and playing basketball. The next, she is being told she will need to have life-changing surgery on her leg and endure countless rounds of chemo.
Once she got over the whole shock of it, she told me that losing her hair, enduring the seemingly never-ending sickness of chemo (aka “poison parties“), and even sacrificing a fair amount of mobility were very low on her radar. She was fighting for LIFE. A life with her two vivacious daughters and wonderful husband. THAT was the focus. THAT was the goal.
To meet that goal, she was going to have to survive through a very, very difficult year. In fact, it would be a very difficult year for the whole family.
But now? Now that year is over and I am SO HAPPY for her!!! It is like Spring time has come early and she has been released from the grip of a never-ending frost.
This week, she rang the bell. For those who are spared knowing what this refers to, when chemo/cancer treatment ends, you are invited to ring the bell. It’s a real bell. I wouldn’t be surprised if that bell was covered with kisses and tears. I can’t imagine how it must feel to finally get to ring it. But she rang it this week. It’s done. Over. Finito.
The old saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” is ringing loud and true in this case. This Friday’s song then goes out to you, my dear, sweet, sexy, gorgeous, awesome-hugger, book-lover, and STRONG chick extraordinaire. And it also goes out to everyone else out there still on this journey or just starting it. Give it your all … we’re right here behind you and waiting patiently for your turn to ring the bell too.
P.S. Yes, I’m following the #DropJenny debacle. It’s head-shaking move to have chosen an anti-vax crusader for this event but The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation does AMAZING work. I write them a cheque every year and will continue to do so.
Edited at 4:59 pm to add: Jenny got dropped! Hooray for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and Bust a Move Ottawa! The replacement for Jenny is Tommy Europe. (I went to university with Tommy — trust me, he will MUCH nicer on the eyes than Jenny.) Let’s all support this excellent fundraising event where 100% of donations go directly to the cause.