My old friend and collegue Lee Cawley sent me a message today that took my breath away.
His wife Mandy, passed away after the most incredibly brave fight against cancer I have ever heard of.
I knew it was coming, in fact the last few months it seemed to be ever more likely as Lee reported lots of hospital visits, but after what I think is about 10 years of fighting, undergoing major surgery, drugs, chemo, drug trials, every damn thing, the cancer eventually won.
I wish I had some way to express how sad I feel about this, I remember the shock when Lee told me when she was 1st diagnosed and have kept up to date with her progress year after year, heartened by news of improvments and saddened by the many setbacks.
There was never really any doubt her cancer was terminal, they just didn't get it in time, but to fight for so long, and still not win is heartbreaking for all concerned.
There are the times when I wish I was religious, cos if nothing else if gives you something to say, I don't have the right words just now. I am just incredibly sad for Lee who shared that fight with her all those years.
A brave lady, Mandy Cawley, RIP, you earned it. Keep Strong Lee.