A friend who loses their battle with cancer

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When I say ‘lose’ I use the phrase ever so loosely.

Cancer is something which has and will most likely continue to affect us for the duration of our lives. It is something fierce and strong that has the capability to dictate people’s lives. Watching a loved one transform through treatments, physical and psychological changes is something which never gets easier. But do cancer ‘victims’ really lose?

Today a strong family friend took their last breath, having being given a fortnight to live. On high doses of medication, I could barely recognise Debbie. A lady so funny, happy and a straight talking so and so. She knew what she wanted, with a family and huge network of friends who loved her for being so genuine.

Cancer is something we can’t change, stop, forget about or escape.

I often think of people who have lost their lives to cancer. The ‘battle’, the ‘struggle’, the ‘fight’ – these are things we hear often in such situations. We rarely consider these people to have overcome the pain, the changes and the way cancer affected their lives – to have moved on, to a pain-free, peaceful place.

I much prefer this thought.

Grieving is natural and something which never gets any easier. It is a period which is inevitable. However, my way of thinking has rapidly changed after Debbie overcame cancer this weekend.

Debbie no longer has something inside her body which isn’t welcome; she is free – not confined to a hospital bed. No more drugs, chemo, morphine. Now she can travel; now she can fly.

Faced with cancer: Did she have a choice? No. Her life was taken from her.

I have never felt so inspired to remind myself how lucky I am every day I wake; to cherish every moment and be healthy, loving and happy. Debbie would expect no less.

What would Debbie want me to do? Sit around and shrink beneath my shell? I think not.

When life presents us with death we must continue to move forward and empower our lives, making these people proud. There is certainly even more reason to.

We must carry on chasing our dreams and celebrate our achievements. We are blessed with these angels and must continue to grow.

Rest in Peace Debbie Coxon – you are with the Angels now.


Words by Abbie-Joelle Skliarsky

Rebecca Curry is your Editor-in-Chief


  1. The Editor

    July 12, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Amazingly written. I am so proud of you for writing this, Abbie, and I’m sure many others will be too.

  2. Nicky

    July 12, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Touching, beautiful and dignified. Thank you Abbie

  3. RIhanna

    July 17, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Wow. Such great words, amazing writer.
    Well done Abbie!

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