Old friends…

You can rest easy – this blog post isn’t about Alex, other than to tell you he is fine 🙂

I knew a girl in high school – she was a year ahead of me, though, as so often happens, I haven’t seen her more than twice since we finished school, we were friends while we were there.

I heard a while ago that she was fighting breast cancer, and just a few months ago I ran into her sister who told me she had died.

A sad enough story on its own, but she was married – to one of my former class mates in fact – and had 3 young sons.

She started a blog for her boys, I would encourage you to read it, but I recommend you do so with a box of tissues to hand.


One of the reasons I mention all this is one of the posts she put up, she had found an analogy written to describe going through cancer treatment which is pretty spot on, I’m not sure where it came from though.
I’ll put the analogy at the bottom of this post..

The other reason I bring this up is Phil is participating in the Ultimate Pie Challenge, raising funds for the Childhood Cancer Association.
CCA has supported us all through Alex’s treatment, providing services and support which we would otherwise have not been able to afford, and they were services we could not have easily survived without.

I’m not asking you to donate to CCA (well ok yes I am but there’s a but) but I would ask that you find a charity close to your heart that helps support cancer sufferers and their families, or that does research, or that in any way shape or form aims to find a cure for the creeping horror we have called “cancer” and give them a dollar or two.

Every little bit helps.



What’s it like to go through cancer treatment? It’s something like this: one day, you’re minding your own business, you open the fridge to get some breakfast, and OH MY GOSH THERE’S A MOUNTAIN LION IN YOUR FRIDGE!


So you take off running, and the mountain lion is right behind you. You know the only thing that can kill a mountain lion is a bear, and the only bear is on top of the mountain, so you better find that bear. You start running up the mountain in hopes of finding the bear. Your friends desperately want to help, but they are powerless against mountain lions, as mountain lions are godless killing machines. But they really want to help, so they’re cheering you on and bringing you paper cups of water and orange slices as you run up the mountain and yelling at the mountain lion – “GET LOST, MOUNTAIN LION, NO ONE LIKES YOU” – and you really appreciate the support, but the mountain lion is still coming.

Also, for some reason, there’s someone in the crowd who’s yelling “that’s not really a mountain lion, it’s a puma” and another person yelling “I read that mountain lions are allergic to kale, have you tried rubbing kale on it?”

As you’re running up the mountain, you see other people fleeing their own mountain lions. Some of the mountain lions seem comparatively wimpy – they’re half grown and only have three legs or whatever, and you think to yourself – why couldn’t I have gotten one of those mountain lions? But then you look over at the people who are fleeing mountain lions the size of a monster truck with huge prehistoric saber fangs, and you feel like an asshole for even thinking that – and besides, who in their right mind would want to fight a mountain lion, even a three-legged one?

Finally, the person closest to you, whose job it is to take care of you – maybe a parent or sibling or best friend or your husband/wife – comes barging out of the woods and jumps on the mountain lion, whaling on it and screaming “GET LOST MOUNTAIN LION, STOP TRYING TO EAT MY MUM/FRIEND/HUSBAND/WIFE,” and the mountain lion punches them right in the face. Now your husband (or whoever) is rolling around on the ground clutching his nose, and he’s bought you some time, but you still need to get to the top of the mountain.

Eventually you reach the top, finally, and the bear is there. Waiting. For both of you. You rush right up to the bear, and the bear rushes the mountain lion, but the bear has to go through you to get to the mountain lion, and in doing so, the bear TOTALLY KICKS YOUR BUTT, but not before it also punches your mum/friend/husband/wife in the face. And they are now staggering around with a black eye and bloody nose, and saying “can I get some help, I’ve been punched in the face by two apex predators and I think my nose is broken,” and all you can say is “I’M KIND OF BUSY IN CASE YOU HADN’T NOTICED I’M FIGHTING A MOUNTAIN LION.”

Then, IF YOU ARE LUCKY, the bear leaps on the mountain lion and they are locked in epic battle until finally the two of them roll off a cliff edge together, and the mountain lion is dead.
Maybe. You’re not sure – it fell off the cliff, but mountain lions are crafty. It could come back at any moment.
And all your friends come running up to you and say “that was amazing! You’re so brave, we’re so proud of you! You didn’t die! That must be a huge relief!”
Meanwhile, you blew out both your knees, you’re having an asthma attack, you twisted your ankle, and also you have been mauled by a bear. And everyone says “boy, you must be excited to walk down the mountain!” And all you can think as you stagger to your feet is “I never even wanted to climb it in the first place.”