As well as the amazing events of Friday and Saturday, we had a more sober event to attend on Sunday afternoon. Last Wednesday, OH found out one of his close workmates was in hospital with a heart problem. He had only just come home from work and told me when we got a phone call to say he had died. This guy had been part of our lives for close to 30 years. His daughter went to school with OD, OH and he used to share rides home from work occasionally, and they worked in close proximity. His funeral was held on Sunday afternoon. His death has been a real shock to OH and his workmates and even to me and the rest of the family. R and his family were just always ‘there’ – as I said to his wife V, even though we didnt hang out together apart from the occasional work function they were always just part of our wider world.
Through dealing with the death we also reconnected with another of OH’s old workmates, now retired, who has been dealing with breast cancer for about the same amount of time as me who has now developed mets to her lungs and we spent the rest of Sunday visiting her.
In some ways R’s death has helped me put my situation into perspective after feeling a little low about my 3 year ‘cancerversary’. As OD put it, although I have cancer and the prognosis isnt good, I’m still here and we have a chance to deal with it as a family. J, R’s daughter, never expected to be attending her fathers funeral on Sunday, so in a lot of ways OD considers us more fortunate than R’s family.
I am still here and as I said when I went to counselling at the Cancer Society yesterday, part of the reason I am coping so well is that I embrace life, considering myself to be ‘living with’ cancer not ‘dying from’. That day may come but it is not tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or even next year.