My Best Friend H

H has been my best friend for nearly 20 years. In the 1970s we had both been punk-ish, I wish we had known each other then. We would have been dangerous together 😉

Until recently H was an IT consultant. Ridiculously clever, funny, sassy, a right laugh.

We have brought our kids up together, gone through many ups and downs together, got pissed together, many many times. We always joked about how we were looking forward to sitting next to each other in an old people’s home together when we were old. We would be the troublemakers who would sit drinking gin and tonic together, being a bit raucous, talking about all the stuff we used to get up to when we were younger. Putting the world to rights, having a laugh. 

I found out this week that that is not going to happen. 

H wasn’t able to come to my 50th birthday party in July because she wasn’t feeling too good. She’s never ever been one to complain. She’s made of strong northern stock. Doesn’t get ill, doesn’t complain, just gets on with things. She had been having headaches and had been to the doctor’s a couple of times, but they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. On the last visit they had offered her anti depressants. She declined.

Another friend of H’s suggested that she visit a dentist about the headaches, maybe it was tooth related pain. She did, the dentist said she needed a tooth removing. I went along with her a couple of weeks ago to get it removed. When we got back to her place afterwards her doctor rang up and said that they had had received the results of a chest X-ray, she needed to go to the hospital to see a consultant to discuss the results. 

We both knew that wasn’t good, but tried to make light of it. They were probably just being over cautious right?

H went for the appointment with another friend the day before I went away on a family holiday. When I hadn’t heard from her by the evening I knew it was going to be bad news. I text her saying as much and she replied saying it wan’t good news, and that I wasn’t to worry, we would talk about it when I came back from holiday. 

I went away on holiday upset because H had lung cancer, thinking that when I got back she would tell me about the operation and chemotherapy that she needed to have, and that she would be ill, and that was bad, very bad.

When I got back from holiday I gave H a ring. 

She said that she had lung cancer, it was inoperable, she also had secondaries in her brain. The doctors were waiting for the results of tests before deciding what her treatment would be, a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. 

Stupidly, it had not occurred to me that it could be that bad. I swore a lot. We arranged to meet up.

I went round to see H yesterday. She looked a lot better that she had before I went away. She had colour in her cheeks and more energy. We decided that was probably because she has been on steroids for a week and that they have got her pain killers sorted out now. 

We sat and talked about the serious stuff. H is such a strong person. In the same circumstances I think I would be a complete mess. We also talked a load of shit too, she’s been watching Celebrity Big Brother, and persuaded me that I should watch it too 🙂

H said yesterday that she has decided that as she doesn’t have much time left she wants to enjoy it as much as possible. What a TOP woman. 

We decided that we are going to do stuff that we should have done all along rather than devoting most of our time to worrying about work or kids. We are going to go for some fab days out together starting next Thursday. I can’t wait. 



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