If you had a year to live ……

What would you do differently ? Would you challenge yourself ? Do all the things that you desire ?

Life and it’s twists and turns. What if you didn’t know it was going to be your last year, and it was thrust upon you, removing your independence, mobility, pleasures and pastimes, the person that you believe yourself to be, the motivation and drive to fight against the pain and discomfort. 

I feel deeply saddened when I consider my neighbours year in comparison to my own, and note you should never compare. I’ve been tinged with survivor guilt at intervals during my journey which ran alongside her own struggle. When I started to pick up strength and she continued to weaken I admit it made me feel bad, but I have this time to live and one day, that too will be my path, for death is inevitable. I’d feel bad when she told me I was stronger than her and reassure her she was as strong and could do this.

So as the calendar approaches another month and it’s been 14 months since her terrifying diagnosis, I’ve seen my neighbour beaten down by the beast, become engulfed in the disease and resigned to her death. The only glimmer of fight was when they told it was terminal half way through, she had a burst of I’ll prove you wrong and took back control. 

Is there a difference between us ? She always said I was stronger than her, physically, well the beast stripped her body of her fight , but mentally she told me it was unbearable from when the words were uttered.It slapped her hard and she never really got up from that initial blow. She was terrified and the beast seized this chance and took grip of the situation.

Sure I swear a lot, my first thoughts last May in comparison were f*** you, it’s not my time, you aren’t taking me, my children need me and that’s been my mindset even when the Drs thought I was in denial. No denial, full awareness and desire to live. I had wobbles, I still wobble, and  I understand and I know from my mum’s journey too, that when the beast wants to take you and it’s destroyed your fight, then take you it will. My mum told the Reaper to s*d off on several occasions before he ran in and took her. My sister and I would chuckle at that, and see in the papers another celebrities battle was over and my mum lived on. Celebrity death swap. 

It’s a bizarre feeling when a friend or neighbour is approaching death and you are the other end of the scale. I do feel I’ve betrayed the rules of the club, that I’ve rushed out on the deck and jumped on the life boat, whilst she remains on the sinking ship. I know that one day, I’ll go down with my ship (hopefully not with a big beard) and that’s not now.

So to my friend and my neighbour, the third person within in 2 months to be leaving this life taken by this beast. I wish you peace, may peace be with you, may your pain and discomfort be removed and may this  painful & distressing year soon be over. Please forgive me as I live, and live for you too. I make another promise to another fallen soldier that I’ll not waste this second chance I have and use it to help others that arrive on this journey too. 



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