Best Friends Forever

Friends Forever
L-R: Liam Dunne, Barry Colgan, Murf, Fergus Lawless. 
John Ferguson, Alison Murphy, Declan McKenna. 
Photo © Aidan Murphy

A person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of family relation.            

Look up the word 'Friend' in the dictionary and that's what you will find. I know two of these individuals since I was 4 years of age (take a bow Barry and Fergus). The rest of the group I know mostly over the past 18 years. We don't do this meeting up bit as often as we should, but thanks to Barry pulling it all together, last night was the chosen date for the diary, with a central location of  Maynooth in the neighbouring county of Kildare, the agreed HQ.  

I pushed yesterday's afternoon nap out till 5pm, the intention being I would be in form for the 9:30pm meet up. Let me go back to 8:30pm yesterday evening, Aoife is gone on a sleepover to Aunty Margaret. Myself and Alison are just chatting how much Aoife was looking forward to her nights sleepover, how she was planning on leaving the light in her own bathroom in Margaret's home switched on for the night and the next thing I know,  I just burst out crying. My first emotional upset over the festive period. With Aoife not around, did my situational awareness have a bearing on this?Between my sobs I murmur "I am so afraid of this not working out, I can't leave you both, jesus No, It's like being on death row". Straight away I begin to question if I should even go out with the gang last night. A flashback ensued and I thought of that solid advise I took recently from a good friend "The only thing that is guaranteed Aidan is tomorrow mornings sunrise and tomorrow evenings sunset", a wise statement, one that Arizona based Michael Glen recently imparted to me. So I wipe my eyes, got off my behind and jumped into the shower. 

I was only expecting to stay perhaps an hour in Maynooth. Just as we got in the door of The Clockhouse and it was busy but not jammed, excellent. Most people clearly elected to go out tonight (New Years Eve) instead. With a comfortable seat and a cold beer in hand, it was time for catch-up with the gang. From some of them only hearing of my illness very recently, to me hearing the exciting news of another of the couples recent house move, I was enjoying the evening thoroughly. Of course there was plenty of interest on how I am currently coping. I could see the genuine concern in the eyes of those asking. With a close knit group like this I owed back honest and perhaps stark answers of my lead up to where I am right now, I duly delivered. 

The Metropolis of Maynooth. 
The HQ for last nights festive beers. 
Photo © Aidan Murphy

But I wanted to explain more. Some of my very close friends had previously hit on this and as such I wanted to share this among this circle of friends. Hit on what you ask? Hard to explain fully but it's like the last 10 years or so and indeed up to very recently, specific circumstances and situations aligned or synchronised themselves to me. These contacts or situations were and are assets that is allowing me to now deal and better fight my tumour. Like being good friends with Jakki, the senior oncologist staff nurse in the Bons Secour Hospital, my current employer PayPal, standing by me, my own (mostly self-taught) IT skills which lets me utilise to the full the benefit of using for helping me in my battle. The relationship I have with St. Pio and one of my friends (within 24 hours of my diagnosis) personally delivering the original cloth Padre Pio used to say daily morning mass for his own late mother. I could go on and go deeper here but I hope you can see where I am coming from with this. As I said last night when trying to explain, it's like you are into sailing and there's a storm on the way that you don't know at that time, but you are given a different and much stronger vessel to sail at that moment and subsequently you duly weather that difficult martime mayhem and come back to port bruised, battered but generally unscathed

From going to bed nightly at circa 9:30-10pm to last nights pub outing where numerous beers were consumed, followed by a 3am horizontal check in (which I might add was totally self induced), I think it's generally agreed by all that Yes!, I thoroughly had a ball last night. Thinking back, I very nearly pulled the plug on myself not going. Mindful of that, let me for the record state, if you going thru similar, do not get cocooned in a rut. Pull yourself out of that chair or bed and force yourself to get out and about and get yourself back to how you used to enjoy a night out. An interesting observation here but most people are not aware that, Yes, even those of us on Chemotherapy are allowed enjoy a pint.. or two. 

All that is left for me to do now is sincerely thank you all for your support and help, in particular the latter few weeks. It has meant the world to me and I don't utter that phrase lightly. Please god 2017 will be the road to recovery for me. Yes, I'm totally focussed on this but I do need your continued support. Fighting cancer is a big team effort, no surer thing. I'm blessed and very appreciative with the team I have in my corner. Rest assured I will be fighting all the way as we enter 2017. 
Lets rock this following year together !

Happy New Year to one and all. 



  1. A great Read Aidan , See you next year for the Santa Drop

    Best Roy

    1. Cheers Roy.
      Onwards and upwards to 2017.


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