This is a very personal post – I wasn’t even sure if I should write this but it’s been constantly running through my head since I found out. This past week I was informed of the passing of a friend and fellow brain tumour warrior, B. Probably the shortest friendship I’ve ever had as we only met in July 2020 but a guy who gave me so much inspiration and whom I instantly connected with. I wish I’d had more time with him but unfortunately our journey’s have taken different paths.
B and I shared some key life basics/credentials – he was my age, married, had a love for F45 fitness training and had recently become a father. I can’t claim to know everything about him but I do know we were able to open up to each other in a very honest way that only people in our situation would be able to – we were literally finishing each other’s sentences off when we first met! That’s not to discredit any of the amazing support my family and friends have given me, but sometimes it takes someone in your shoes to understand what’s really going on in your mind and I’d like to think, in fact I know, we both appreciated each other’s support.
B and I both found out about our unwelcome guests after suffering seizures which completely knocked us out – B’s tumour was unfortunately more aggressive and he lost a lot of the functions of the left side of his body. I’ll never forget how he described retraining himself to pick up a spoon with his left hand just as he was teaching his daughter how to pick up a spoon – there was something so beautiful and so heartbreaking hearing it but he just made me laugh a lot in the way he told the story. I guess from our short friendship, that’s how I see him – he got dealt a really rubbish hand in every sense but he fought to make the most of it.
I had messaged him towards the end of the year but hadn’t heard back and from what I understand, things took a turn for the worse quite quickly. When I found out that B had passed on, I didn’t think it would really effect me considering I’d only known the guy a few months… but how wrong was I – I was completely numb. I’m still pretty numb… I have a whole host of emotions flowing through me now from just being shocked at how quickly things changed, being heartbroken for his wife and young daughter, being sad that he wasn’t able to have more time to be a father to his little girl… through to thoughts about myself. Truth be told, after a long time I’m feeling quite scared about my own battle. How much time do I have? What’s going on in my head – are things changing and I don’t even know about it? What will my girls do without me?… and then I go back to Jeremiah 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Every time I’m scared or I fear I have to remember to trust the big guy – he loves me, holds me and has a purpose for me. So I’m going to stop worrying and I’m going to lay it all back at the foot of the cross and get on with being the best I can be.
When we first met up, B bought the coffees on the premise that we were going to meet up again and even picked out a cafe/dessert place for us to try, but a combination of his treatment and the various lockdowns meant that I still owe him that coffee and a cheesecake – someday I will make it up to him.
Until then, thank you for the support, the encouragement and the inspiration – rest in peace and rest in strength my friend…