Sunday, August 24, 2003



I know I said in my last diary that I'd be giving you a tale of how I managed to wreak havoc when completely re-decorating our bungalow, but I think I'd like to talk about a very special friendship I've enjoyed for many years instead.

A 'best friend' called Denny is the person who stood side by side with me through a month or so of scary brain surgery! I'm mentioning it now because last month saw the 5 year mark of remaining tumour-free!

Denny lives in Dorset - we both believe in God and love each other unconditionally!

We've both survived painful divorces and drink problems and life would not be the same without her.

She has lent us money when times were difficult saying it was a privilege to help!

The news of my having a brain tumour grabbed us both by the neck and practically strangled us right then and there on the phone! She was so far away and wanted to come up here and be with us like so many others but me and Arf decided that we could cope better by living as normal a life as possible so we asked to be left to do this!

However, each morning, I would receive a card or a letter from her as neither of us were computer nerds at this point! Her initial reaction was to give me as much inner strength as she could although she found it hard to keep her emotions in check; there was a chance that I may not survive the operation or that I'd be severely brain damaged (those who know me may well laugh and tell me I couldn't possibly be more brain damaged!).

As the days passed so, so slowly, her books and prayers plus letters she sent to me became almost like my own diary!

She seemed to sense exactly how I felt and knew precisely what to say about issues that were yet to happen!

My operation was cancelled three times due to emergencies. Because my consultant only operated on Mondays and Wednesdays I would come home for the days in-between, as normality was essential for me to cope and it meant Arf could at least go to work for a few days and earn some money as well as getting away from 'brains'!

One article she sent me was about God's Perfect Timing. This was proven as I had a large artery which was feeding the tumour and the time spent waiting for the operation meant that the tumour started to die and therefore removal was easier!

Not a day went by without some message, flowers, a little novelty or a phone call from this remarkable woman.

She even asked for prayers to be said for me in her own Church and I have the magazine with her words of love in my little box of memories!

After the operation I couldn't wait to see her! I was sitting on the bed waiting for her when I sensed a wave of pure pleasure and I turned my head to see her standing in the doorway of the ward, beautiful in pale green and a smile like the Cheshire cat! Her arms were full of flowers, strawberries and cream and fresh figs (because you know what happens after an operation!). A

s she walked towards me, tears poured down her face. We hugged like it was going out of fashion! Neither of us could speak for ages and when we did, it was complete garbage and babbling was the only word to describe it, but we'd done it!

She looked at me and said I was shining as if a light was all around me - our eyes said it all! I had indeed been blessed. She didn't see my bald head with tufts of hair sticking out. She saw only her best friend alive and well. We are still 'best friends'. We still tell each other everything and comfort each other when life seems bleak.

She looks after her husband who is older than her and has developed dementia and cannot be left on his own. She loves my Arf too!

Have you got a Denny tucked away? I do hope so! See ya! Sandie xx