2008 Reflection

This is not actually a reflection on my year that was 2008.  That is all here already, in the posts on this blog.  This is more for the people I cherish who have had a totally different 2008 to me.  Those that have had battles and challenges they never saw coming, and that will leave them remembering 2008 in a completely different light to me.

Because while I was excitedly planning my life with my partner, getting engaged, planning a wedding, starting a whole new career path… some of my nearest and dearest were coping with terrible, life-altering news.

One of my favourite people in the world was told that her chances of conceiving a baby were hampered by all manner of things from only having one viable fallopian tube, general fertility problems, to strange and rare conditions of the uterus that will impinge on her chances of bearing a baby to full term.  Yet she’s never given up, always searching for new options and treatments and ways around these obstacles.  She’s inspirational.

Another one of my more gorgeous friends who has helped me in ways I cannot even measure was diagnosed this year with an aggressive form of arthritis.  Struck down in the prime of her life (she’s only 34) with this crippling condition, the challenges do not stop there… the only thing that will help her to halt the progression of the arthritis is a form of chemotherapy medicine that she has to take once a week, for the rest of her life.  That in turn means that she has also had to deal with the confirmation that she will be unable to bear children of her own.  I literally broke down into fits of sobbing in the car after she told me, because she has been so instrumental in my son’s life and has always said she ‘wants one just like him’.  I am literally still in shock that someone that does so much good in other people’s lives could be dealing with this – it blows my mind.  She is so strong and brave, she amazes me every day.

A new work colleague, within weeks of me starting my new role, was diagnosed with testicular cancer.  I’d only known him such a short time when this happened and he instantly struck me as such an incredible individual, but seeing my colleagues crumble when they heard of the news via one of the most incredible letters, read out by our Managing Director – made me realise just how special and amazing this guy really was.  The positivity that exuded from every pore on his body, as he fought through surgeries, chemotherapy and test results – all the while asking to be kept in the loop on work because he was bored – just floored me.  Most people that I have encountered with cancer really turn into themselves, but this man was open, staggeringly positive and maintained a presence within our lives at work, even while dealing with ‘beating the beast’.  There is a good news light at the end of this story though – as he’s been given the all clear and is literally running his way back to optimum health as we speak.

These three are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the story of 2008 for some of the people I cherish.  For all of them, I have said to each that words simply cannot do justice to how much I feel for each of them, or demonstrate how much I would love to take some of their pain away.  Maybe it’s the mother in me, but I just wish I could wrap them all in cotton wool and make it all go away.

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