Many who have mesothelioma don't know anyone and like to keep it that way, in my early days I tried every forum to find someone else with this cancer but for years no one came back. Then slowly I started making friends and have kept in touch through the good and bad times of this terrible cancer.
On Friday at 2.00 pm a friend from my blog and then facebook died. I can't believe it was only in April this year she was diagnosed, the growth was small and within 2 weeks of being diagnosed she started chemotherapy.
Denise was frightened, I know we all are, but she was sure she would die. We all tried to reassure her that this would be a long way off, how wrong we all were. I got to know Denise quite well over the months, speaking quite often on the phone, her sense of humour was a strong point and she did make me laugh but she could not shake this fear of dying.
The standard regime of chemotherapy didn't do anything to halt the growth and like many before her, she went to Barts. A new regime would be used, unfortunately Denise took ill before she could try anything further. No one will ever know why it happened so fast. I am pleased to say that over the last few months she did so much, visiting places with her family, indeed you could never find her at home during the day, she was always out and about.
I was lucky to meet Denise and her partner at the Conference in October, I am still shocked that four weeks later she has died. The one blessing is that she didn't suffer, pain had stayed away for most of the time, but that is no consolation to her family.
We just never know, we think we have become accustomed to this cancer and we expect everyone to live a lot longer than a mere 7 months, this has been a big wake up call to the mesothelioma community as a whole and to me personally. Another tragedy that should never have happened.
I hope that her family can find solace in the fact that she didn't suffer but to lose a parent who was young and vibrant is a cross to heavy to bear.
Rest In Peace Denise.