The thing about setting yourself a 500-word-a-day challenge is that it sends you into the micro-level. Often I don’t know what I’m going to write about until I start. Mind cleared, phone out, ready to dictate or start excercising the thumbs. Now, it’s time for the question. What am I going to write about? Here comes the good bit. Satisfying to do. This is because every single time I do it – the small becomes the large.

Another storm blew through this weekend while Jack’s cousin, Michele, and her mum, Jill, drove from their home in the Midlands through the Cambrian Mountains to visit Borth.

’Why on Earth did you drive through the storm?’ This was after Michele had turned and twisted through walls of pouring water. Storms in Borth are one thing, but storms in the Welsh mountains are on another level. Complete winding darkness.

Her reply – ‘I couldn’t miss coming to Borth. I don’t know when I’ll come next.’

Michele is in the middle of treatment for breast cancer. To say Jack’s cousin is nice is an understatement. Classy, peaceful and graceful. A fine example of a human being. Not too many lucky breaks either. You know how life tends to defecate on the good people? Or maybe it’s more striking when the darkness contrasts with the light.

We got it. Spat at the unfairness for her. Not that she’d want us to. Since of part of being an awesome lady is being pragmatic. This means Michele is on the move and her attitude is that there’s no time to sit around and feel sorry for yourself. There are appointments she had to go to, chemotherapy to have, lunches to prepare for her family. A full mastectomy planned for May. ‘I just want it done. Over with. Gotten rid of,’ she said.

Our hearts hurt for her. Delph also got the stinkiest cold and couldn’t risk going near her. Lulu joined the rest of the family for lunch while Delph and I stayed home. Then Lulu presented last night with stomach flu. Puked seven times before 2 o’clock this afternoon. I’m hoping Michele doesn’t catch it. Life may not be fair but I’ll never forgive it if she does.

She slept well on Sunday morning, before they drove home. We were pleased for her, then barrelled into Vronnie’s when she was still in her pyjamas. We sat round while she wondered what to have for breakfast.

I wanted to tell her, that after she has her mastectomy in May, she’ll be known as an Amazona. In Poland anyhow – women with breast cancer are known as Amazonki. This is because of the Ancient Greek mythological tribe of warrior women called the Amazons. They were the fiercest fighters and, in order to fight without constraint, they were reputed to have disposed of their own breasts. Mammary glands got in the way of a bow and quiver.

With all the hullabaloo of them leaving, I forget. I messaged her after she left. I felt like a bit of prick doing it. ‘You will have warrior status,’ I mean, who am I to say? Do I have breast cancer? Michele wrote back though, and if she was annoyed with my comment, she covered it up with signature classiness. She said she loved knowing she’d be a warrior soon.



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