Life is a Highway


From the day we are born, we’re on a journey. All of us are headed to the same destination (aka Death De Mar) but we each take different routes along the way.

Throughout our travels, we encounter challenges. We all experience love, joy and happiness as well as sadness, tragedy and hopelessness. Life can be good and a total bitch in equal measure.

Sometimes the road is bumpy as hell (with annoying roadworks and potholes) and we feel frustrated like when we get stuck behind a tractor for an eternity (or Stop/Go man takes the piss) and sometimes it’s smooth and enjoyable. In my experience, the moment that I acknowledge happiness, life throws down a stinger.

The ‘Big C’ became part of my journey when Dad was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer, on my birthday as it goes.. You could say that his life choices of slumming it at the ‘Greasy Spoon’ cafe (despite my mother’s nagging) and smoking were a contributing factor in his illness. His choice not to act on his early symptoms, combined with him being misdiagnosed twice, cost him his life and my insistence that Mum saw her GP on her mentioning a bloated tummy and brown discharge (at the age of 65) probably saved hers.

Cancer made short work of my dad but I liken my mum’s experience to swatting an irritating fly. In her case, one well aimed whack got the bastard and she lived for another six years to die of something completely unrelated. Mother 1 Cancer 0.

Our journeys aren’t just about us.

As with any journey, who you travel with can be more important than your destination.

Cancer has entered my life once again but this time it’s my friend who is suffering from this horrendous disease. I haven’t known her long but our boys play together so we’ve become friends. She has advanced cancer but If you saw her you wouldn’t imagine she’s ill. She looks well. She’s certainly fitter than me and by her own admission, she doesn’t even feel ill. However, the scans tell a different story…

I have been around cancer. I’ve experienced the effects of cancer but I don’t know how it feels to have it. Nobody can know unless it happens to them.

My friend is a wonderful lady. By her own admission, she chooses to be positive. Despite the indifferent attitude of the cancer specialists, she’s giving it a run for it’s money and good on her, I say.

She told me that some days she finds it hard to get out of bed to face the day, which is totally understandable. So I made her a card with a quote which reflects this along with her desire to be positive.

Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.

I am deeply sorry she’s going through this. I can’t stop this from happening to her but what I can do is be there for her for support. Nobody should ever have to go through this alone. Cancer is an incredibly difficult journey to to be witness to so one can only imagine how it feels to be living it.

Most of us have times in our life when we struggle to face the day, for whatever reason. I’ve got lost a few times and questioned what it’s all about but ultimately, all roads of thought lead back to the fruits of my womb. My body resembles a clapped old three wheeler (think Trotter van) but I look at my boys and know it’s all been worth it.

My latest run in with one of life’s proverbial potholes resulted in me having to assume the ‘On your side, bend your legs and face the wall, dear’ position while my GP swiped her index finger around my rear-end. No doubt I’ll end up having a camera up itย (oh-the-joy) before the year’s outย  but as long as it gives me peace of mind that my botty probs are simply an IBS flare up or yet another menopausal perk, I can cope with a bit of bum invasion. Dignity, me dears, went out the window the day I went into labour. These days, ‘dignity’ is a song by Deacon Blue!

Nobody’s journey will be free from heartache. Bad things happen but It’s what we learn from the experience that matters. Reading stories about the Holocaust has taught me that hope can exist even in the most horrific of circumstances. Our freedom to choose our own attitude throughout any given circumstance is something that nobody can take away from us. Nobody can make us feel bad about ourselves without our permission!

People enter our lives and the journey changes direction. It’s like a Sat-Nav that keeps re-calculating. However, in the journey of life, there isn’t a reverse gear. We don’t get to go back and do things differently. We can only learn from our mistakes and move forwards. Maybe if we knew how our lives will pan out, we’d be too scared to live them? All I know is that I’ve made it to almost 45 years of age so far and count myself lucky. The journey so far has been full of tears and laughter and with each sharp bend of the road, I’ve learned a little bit more about life.

There are a few more miles left in this ol’ jalopy yet (despite a biological age of 102) and I’d like to think I’ll manage a cheeky sideways skid when it’s ‘destination reached’ aka, the big scrap yard in the sky. Knowing my luck, I’ll be towed in on the back of a recovery truck but a girl can dream, eh?

Until then, it’s on with the ride..

I think it’s my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may. ~ Leonard Nimoy


24 thoughts on “Life is a Highway

  1. Death De Mar – that’s a new one ๐Ÿ™‚
    Seriously though, it’s a one-way ride and so many people seem to forget no-one’s getting out alive, but we should do the best we can for each other while we’re here.
    Nicely done missus, as ever. x x x

  2. Great quotes and it sounds like your life so far has been quite a journey! Sorry to hear about your friend – you sound like just the sort of friend she needs though. Here’s to some ‘open roof, gliding through beautiful countryside’ types of journey up ahead for all of us. xx

  3. A lovely written piece by you again Tracy. I bloody hate cancer, it seems to hold all the ace cards and picks on anybody, the good the bad and the ugly. I watched a tv programme the other night about 3 children with cancer and it ended with 2 out of the 3 dying, those poor kiddies, parents, family & friends. I have my own little theory that perhaps there is a cell or something of it in all of us and something for whatever reason makes it explode. I remember when my dad had it, lung cancer & brain tumours, I was snuggled up with him on the sofa, my head on his chest. All I could think was that the awful cancer was growing inside him, overtaking his body and it had no bloody right to be there. Your friend is lucky to have you, sometimes people need to talk to people outside of their family, you can listen and not judge, we all need friends like you Tracy in our time of deep need. Xxxxx

    • You’re right, lovely…cancer doesn’t care who it attacks. In a perfect world, it would only happen to bad people who do others harm but it doesn’t work that way. So often, it’s people like Ian Brady who live on long after their victims have died. Life is so unfair but we can’t stop it from being so. All we can do is enjoy, as best we can, the life we have. Loves you. xXxXx

  4. What a brilliant post, it’s just as well we don’t know what the journey holds for us in advance. It teaches us to enjoy the good bits when they’re happening and also get through the bad bits. Like you, I’m astounded when I read about the ordeals of Holocaust survivors and wonder how they ever got through it. The human spirit is stronger than we think.

  5. Such a beautiful post about a far from beautiful subject. So sorry to read about your friend and hope she manages to get one up on cancer.

  6. “Nobody’s journey is free from heartache”. Too true. What a beautiful, poignant post. I’m so sorry for what cancer has taken from you, and I send best wishes for your friend – and for your bottom test. Dignity went out of the window a while ago for me, too! I think you’re right, if we knew what was ahead of us we may be too scare to live our lives. We have to get on with it, and be thankful for what we do have, however bloody hard that may be sometimes xxx #ThePrompt

  7. Oh lovely lady, so much sadness conveyed with a sense of humour and beautiful words as always. Wish I could give you a huge hug right now. Hope that the camera doesn’t find anything untoward.

    (try and) Have a fab weekend hon xx

    • Thanks lovely, I hope it doesn’t find anything ‘orrible there either but the other side to that is early detection. I’m doing something about it and I’m quietly confident it will be my IBS staging a comeback. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      You have a good weekend too, m’dear. ๐Ÿ™‚ Xx

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend, one of my oldest friends is currently in hospital for his first round of chemo, it’s a shitty disease. I’m glad to hear that you are being proactive, we all need to be better about that. I love your analogy to a sat-nav recalculating, our path in life is very much like that, and as others have said, it really is better to not know what’s coming x Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

  9. It’s a horrible thought, but inevitable that at some point we will be affected by the big C. It’s so sad to hear of a young mother, in particular who’s struggling against it. I hope she wins the battle. This is a heart breaking but beautifully written and very poignant post.

  10. A wonderfully written post. So sorry to read about your friend, sometimes part of our journeys are so unfair. I hope she finds strength to fight & win.
    The last quote sums it up perfectly x

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