I keep saying this is not a blog about breast cancer, but I cannot post this week if it's not about one of the most amazing women in my life - my cousin Fiona.
Fiona came into our family when I was still a teenager. She married my cousin Tony and together they had two beautiful kids who are an important part of my life as well. We didn't really have the opportunity to develop a friendship early on, mainly due to us living in different cities. It wasn't until I was around 30 and living back in our home town that I picked up some casual work at their restaurant that I started to get to know Fi a little better. Sadly, before long, I was on the move again and regular contact was lost once again.
One day five years ago, Tony called me that Fiona had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I didn't know what to say or do, so I sent flowers and I said nothing. I didn't reach out aside from maybe a couple of phone calls to Tony. Being able to avoid seeing what the family were going through made it easy for me to pretend everything must be okay.
Two years later when I was diagnosed with my own breast cancer, Fiona was the first person I sought out on a trip home. She was sitting behind a desk at work when I told her my news. Tears welled in her eyes as she walked around the desk and embraced me, telling me her tears were because she knew what I was about to face. I apologised for the first time in a thousand for not having been there for her - for not getting it. Fiona is gracious and never makes me feel as though I need to apologise. I know that I do though.
Fiona was my rock, my backbone, all throughout my treatment. She sent flowers at every cycle of chemotherapy, but only visited the day after because she knew I wouldn't feel like visitors. Fiona bought me ginger biscuits and lip balm. She always knew what I would need and when.
More importantly, Fi has been there when I have been scared, even now when something reminds me that this disease is a killer, that it can come back. She understands me like no-one else, and now I am happy to say that I also understand her. We have formed a bond that will never ever break and I now get the opportunity to support her as she has done for me.
I want to congratulate Fi on reaching her Five Year magic milestone this week!! I can't wait to celebrate with you on the weekend. You are an amazing inspiration to me.
I am so blessed for having you in my life. I love you so much. Thank you for all that you are.
- I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.