Me and my girl and boy, raising awareness and acceptance of autism

It’s been a lovely weekend, both weather-wise and because D has been very relaxed.

Partly because we haven’t gone out – no sensory overload or critical looks or comments directed at her and partly because I’d said to those people who wanted to come over that we wanted and needed a quiet time – especially as I have minded children 5 days per week.

The fruit trees in the garden are starting to show signs of blossom (no more frost please) and the other plants are starting to show signs of life too.

I look at the signs of Spring and then remember that my friend K is no longer on this Earth. She died at the end of July last year.

This time last year, she had started to suffer from very very severe headaches, but at first put them down to sinusitis.

She started 2011 very optimistic, having been told she was in remission after suffering breast cancer. She was looking forward to going back to work after having sick leave and had booked a holiday with her husband (Hubbie’s best friend). Everything was looking good.

For some reason, when they told her she was “all clear” in November 2010, they only CT scanned her up to her neck. They didn’t scan her head, why I don’t know. Because the cancer came back in her brain – or maybe it had been there all along.

She was diagnosed with brain cancer last March and started a very intense course of treatment, her husband immediately stopped working to care for her and accompany her to appointments.

We all tried to remain positive but K had done voluntary work in hospices and was very aware of the survival rates for brain cancer.

By early June, the doctors told her that there was nothing more they could do, the tumours were not responding to treatment and she had 12 weeks maximum to live.

How on earth do you deal with being told that? K was a very practical lady and immediately set about planning her funeral, getting as much paperwork dealt with as possible so that her husband would have as little to deal with afterwards as she could. Bless her.

She was also a very religious person and took great comfort in that. They weren’t blessed with children – despite several miscarriages – so they were able to cocoon themselves away as much as was practicably possible.

She died on July 23rd, having had her wedding anniversary and birthday in the June. It was the same day as Amy Winehouse died and in the following days, I kept thinking her death was more tragic than anything reported in the papers.

She didn’t reach the 12 weeks but was in so much pain and suffering that it was a release.

We have her picture on our wall and she is an inspiration. Good days or bad days, I look at that and am grateful that I knew her.

We are supporting her widower through this first round of anniversaries, poor soul.

Life is short, live and love it to the maximum. God took her early for a reason.

Rest In Peace K xx

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