“It really is incredible what light can emerge in a dark situation” – Celebrating friendships this Galentine’s Day
Saturday 13 February 2021
Charlotte Rowley and Elizabeth Wright share with us how they have both formed new friendships and strengthened ones while being affected by bowel cancer for Galentine's Day (13 February) – a special celebration of friendships.
Charlotte Rowley from Staffordshire: I remember reading Alice's story on Bowel Cancer UK's Instagram and instantly copying the link to send to my husband. It was our story; almost exactly what we had gone through and resonated with us on so many levels.
Alice had bravely shared how her partner was currently recovering from bowel cancer at only 35 years old. I felt a genuine need to get in touch with Alice and managed to track her down on Facebook. I messaged her to explain that we had gone through the exact same thing with my husband back in 2017. I said that I understood if she didn't want to reply, but that we were here if they needed any support or a chat. Instantly, a friendship was formed!
We messaged a few times, asked questions to one another and just 'checked in'. Alice inspired me to share my husband Dan's story and to help others. Alice and I have chatted on Zoom and it was like we had known one another forever! I was in awe of her positivity, humour and compassion.
It really is incredible what light can emerge in a dark situation. We have formed a lovely friendship and support network for one another. I feel so blessed that our paths have crossed. To anyone who needs support – we are here.
Elizabeth Wright from Surrey: In the three years since my diagnosis, my life has transformed beyond belief. With countless treatments, surgeries and medication, at times it has been hard to feel like anything more than a cancer patient. But I am blessed. Blessed with strong friendships with women who are kind, loyal and inspirational, all in completely, wonderfully different ways. And I am blessed that these connections have only strengthened since my diagnosis.
So, ladies, for Galentine's Day 2021, at a time when we cannot meet up for a brunch or a cocktail, consider this my love letter to you:
Thank you for keeping me grounded, for helping me to remember the true 'me' when I'm struggling to find her.
Thank you for the thoughtful acts, big and small, from sending messages of support to helping me pull off a wedding five weeks after major liver surgery. A hug when most needed. Making me laugh when I'm down. A chat to distract me when my mind wanders to dark places. For seeing me at my most vulnerable. For saying the things I need to hear and, sometimes, saying nothing at all.
Inevitably, there will be more twists and turns in the road ahead, but knowing how you have helped me overcome what has already passed brings me so much hope for the future.
You are part of the fabric which makes my life complete. I cannot wait until we have a proper catch up over pizza and wine, or tea and cake. To hug, laugh and cry together.
But, until that day, know that you have blessed my life with your kindness, generosity and humour.
Finding friendships and support this Galentine's Day
- Join our welcoming online community for everyone affected by bowel cancer to ask questions, read about people’s experiences and support each other
- Read our real life stories of people affected by bowel cancer
- Find others affected by the disease on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter social media pages
- If you're under 50 affected by bowel cancer, join the Never Too Young project group Facebook page
Charlotte and Alice chatting on Zoom
Elizabeth surrounded by friends on her wedding day