2011 was a strange year
lots of not very nice things happened to close friends and to us too
however my friend louise was dealt the worst of all, her attitude and strength has made everything else seem so very unimportant
back in june, we took a mini holiday, just before we went on our other holiday. the holiday that ronnie refers to as on a plane with matt and lou (different lou). we headed down south for a couple of days floating around the new forest and peppa pig world. it was on our 2nd day whilst outside the ballaloon ride in said peppa pig world when my friends partner ross called
i am never lost for words never, but the news that i was about to hear actually made me spin, my legs could not hold me and i collapsed in tears to a near by bench. all clichés i know i know, but it really does happen like that
lou and the smalls had gone up to the house in suffolk for the half term. lou loves digging and planting and had been working out in the garden all day and thought perhaps she had over done it a bit and perhaps got a little bit of sunstroke, not wearing a hat you see in the mid day sun. her head was simply banging you. she necked some nurofen and slipped off to bed early as soon as the smalls were settled. however the next day her head was still banging, so some more nurofen was consumed to ease the pain but the head seemed to be getting worse. lou trotted off to the doctors and said what she thought had happened and that it wasn’t going away and what would should she do. the doc checked her over and informed her that she might actually have a mild ear infection and that could be what’s giving her all the grief and prescribed some antibiotics. by the time ross travelled up after work on the friday lou was beside herself this headache had gone on for the best part of a week and showed no signs of letting up, and with two smalls screaming around the place she was in tears.
by the saturday night she was in a&e, ross had noticed her speech slurring and that she was on repeat. this was not good.
she had a brain tumour and it was big and it was angry. she was given morphine to help the pain and allow her to get some rest and some much-needed sleep. she needed to be operated on and fast. by the time she came round on the sunday, she had absolutely no idea of what had happened to her in the last 24 hours. ross then had to explain to lou that she was very very ill and they needed to act fast. ross was broken already and to have to tell that news to a loved one whilst trying to keep things together must have been the hardest task ever. lou’s mum was already looking after the smalls, george was only 5 and agatha was only 2 at the time. lou went straight into surgery. they got out all they could and by tuesday she was home, learning to adjust to what had happened, what was about to happen and the effects now on her vision.
it was wednesday that i got the call and i have never felt so helpless in my life.
we were so far away and about to go even further, but ross thought it was best that until she was settled that visitors should be kept to the minimum. also keeping the germ factor down to a minimum too.
the first time i saw lou i didn’t know what to say, what was best to say or how to be. so i said nothing, just gave her the biggest squeeze and chatted and drank tea like it was any normal day. i figured that actually in the last week lou had probably talked a lot about cancer, tumours, treatments and other life changing topics that she probably would like a break from it all. instead we had tea and biscuits and then went down the pub for some suppa together. i’d let her bring it up if she wanted. and i just waited for when she needed to talk about it rather than prodding around foolishly. we talked about wigs mainly, and being able to out in disguise. lou’s hair is slightly bonkers as is her dear self, feral would be a good description, it’s curly and wild. the smalls have also inherited this trait.
the results came back from the hospital the following week of what had been removed, it was bad news, the tumour was very aggressive and therefore intensive treatment was needed urgently as this would come back and come back quickly.
lou then entered a gruelling 6 weeks of daily chemo and radio therapy. but not on bank holidays mind, your not critically ill on bank holidays you see according to the NHS. following this then weekly doses of chemotherapy for a further 3 months.
the strength that louise has shown and her attitude to life has been astonishing and the most amazing thing i have ever seen. her dedication to life, ross and the smalls has left me speechless. she is amazing, truly amazing.
“this wasn’t part of the plan? how bonkers is this? what else am i supposed to do? i need to get this sorted, life goes on you know”
louise is still having treatment, and if i could have one prayer answered it would be that my fantastic friend louise out lives the lot of us. x