New friends at 50
SHOSHI GREENFIELD, 58, is divorced and has two adult sons. She works as a sales consultant and lives in Edenvale. Her best friend of 11 years, Jashvanti Khoosal, 61, from Bruma, is a semiretired commodities trader and is also a divorced mom of two grown-up kids.
“I didn’t like Jashvanti – now J’su to me – right off the bat. I remember her looking me up and down when we first met at a business meeting and I thought, ‘Who is this judgemental woman?’ It turns out, she was just sussing me out – she’d already decided I was the kind of person she could be friends with! As soon as we started chatting though, I realised how much we had in common. At the time, we were both working hard as commodities traders, single with kids and a flair for the dramatic. A fast friendship was inevitable and we’ve become inseparable over the years, working on business projects together, getting to know each other’s families, singing karaoke on weekends and taking up ballroom-dancing classes.
We’d shared so much joy in our friendship that when J’su got terrible news in 2016, I was left reeling. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. I couldn’t believe it, but I stepped up and rallied round her as part of her support network – her kids and four sisters were also there every step of the way. Through the surgery, chemo and radiation, her positivity was astounding. She’d dance with her drip machine, and make other patients burst with laughter.
J’su and I have strong personalities, so we clash at times. As a believer in holistic healing methods, she never wanted to go for chemo. We had several arguments about it before I eventually booked us a trip to Mauritius to get our minds off it all and just have fun. When we got home, feeling relaxed and calm, J’su’s sisters and I convinced her to give
Western medicine a chance. She wasn’t happy, but did it; now she’s fighting fit.
She’s there for me, too. I’ve had the odd health scare and my blood pressure isn’t good. At some check-ups, she’s refused to let the doctor see her before he’s tended to me! We chat every day and, even if we go for weeks without seeing each other, as soon as we’re together again, it’s as if no time has passed.
We’ve been through life’s usual ups and downs together – we hated each other’s boyfriends for a while and, thankfully, those relationships ended and we kept the one that matters: ours! We’ve also been at our kids’ big birthday parties, gone on trips together and laughed outrageously all the while. It’s a joyous friendship we formed later in life, but a strong one of mutual support.”
“Shoshi has been so supportive, driving me to my doctor appointments, sitting with me during chemo and explaining all the medical jargon. My journey with cancer has been complicated. I first discovered it in my breasts in 2016. A year later, on my 60th, it had moved to my brain. Yet, somehow, I made it to remission and here I am – happy and healthy as ever. I think the reason I beat cancer is because I’m surrounded by real-life angels – my number one angel is Shoshi.
We follow a ‘worst’ with a ‘best’. After my diagnosis, we booked that amazing Mauritius trip; after radiation, we’d go for lunch at Mike’s Kitchen; after my gamma knife surgery, we went for a picnic at Zoo Lake and I rowed under the bridge in a little boat. It’s what gets me through – knowing there’s fun on the other side with my best friend.” >>
‘J’su’s positivity inspires me’
Shoshi (right) and Jashvanti, or J’SU, have become inseparable after meeting later in life