I debated about not doing this post, and to be honest I’m not one of those, ‘lets put all our feelings out on the internet’ type of girl, but Denise has been such a big part of my life in recent years and we have known each other for over 20 years.
Last Sunday, Denise, my sewing buddy for the last three years and before that my card-making buddy, and before that my very dear friend lost her fight with Cancer. Denise had suffered with ill health her entire life.
She had to give up work in 2006 due to pulmonary hypertension, and had a very successful Liver transplant the following year. Three years ago she was diagnosed and beat cervical Cancer, earlier this year they found another growth this time by her lungs, she was told this was a totally unrelated Cancer to the first. After treatment for this they found another lump, which was hiding behind the other one.
Feeling better but unable to walk far, we made our plans, Denise had wanted to go to the Knitting and stitching show at Olympia this year but had been feeling too unwell to go, so I checked with Cooks Coachs and we could go to Alexandra Palace in October, we would take her wheelchair and Denise announced this meant we could buy more ‘stuff’ because we could hang it on the chair and not have to carry it.
In and out of hospital over the summer with pneumonia, she was still looking forward to our trip in October, then while on holiday in August she lost the use of her legs, they found another tumour, this one pressing on her spine, she then spent a couple of weeks waiting to be transferred back to Southend from Chichester.
Once back in Southend, I visited, the trip wasn’t mentioned, I think we both knew it wasn’t going to happen. she was in a lot of pain but still showing a brave face now talking about plans for having a real Christmas tree set up on her decking, Denise loved Christmas practically the whole of December her house was an obstacle course of Christmas Trees, I’m sure last year there was at least 5 and that was just downstairs.
13th September I bought her some books and we talked Lynsay Sands and Argeneau Vampires, she was having difficulty concentrating she said, so wanted something not too brain tiring, she was also worrying that she wouldn’t get home to see her cat Poppy again. I arranged to come back to following week.
The following day she text to say they were sending her home, but she wasn’t happy about it as the Respite Team had said maybe the following week. The Hospital changed their mind, when I asked the following day if she had gone home, she was still in the Hospital.
She passed away on Sunday, she had fought so hard and overcome so much that I suppose I thought she would come back from this, that she was indestructible.
The beginning of the year she had so many plans, we had so many dressmaking plans, we were going to complete some fitting classes on Craftsy, she had just found the Swallow fabric that she had been hunting for, and we were going to dress up for the Knitting and Stitching Show – Big Vintage Sewalong.
Denise had a large circle of friends, a passion for life, Star Wars, Harrison Ford (not sure if those two are related :-)) and she was always making plans, doing something, going somewhere, she wouldn’t have been happy being bed-bound, but she would have got on with it, she would have been there with a smile and a positive attitude, and I would have been there trying to keep her amused and maybe make her laugh.
Good bye Denise I will miss you.