No Cancer, You Can’t Have My Best Friend
Why does it seem like everywhere I turn someone I know has cancer? A couple years ago my father was diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer which thankfully was contained and removed (he’s now enjoying retirement). Then there are at least four people I know which makes me question if something is truly in the air outside that’s making our bodies at out. It’s been a minute since I have spoken to my bestie and for understandable reasons. She is back in Maryland, I am up here in New York. I have a newborn who not only zaps my energy but consumes most of my day – while she has two step-children and a lively four year-old daughter on her hands.
She has been talking about coming up whenever she had a free weekend to see her godson so naturally when I got a text from her the other day I thought it was to pencil something in.
“Hey girl what’s going on?” she wrote.
“Nothing much just trying keep this little boy entertained. What’s up?”
“I have cancer.”
I literally had to stop and look up at my ceiling as if I was going to receive some profound insight on what I just heard. Did she just say cancer – like she is a Cancer? No that’s not right because her birthday isn’t around that time. Hmm.
“I’m sorry but I must be reading a typo,” I replied. “I thought you just told me you had cancer.”
She later went on to explain her reasoning for breaking the news via text and not by phone (she didn’t want to get too emotional) which I completely understood. Then the reality of it all sank in. My best friend has lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. She’s in her early thirties, is married to someone who has a potentially terminal disease (yes, her husband is sick as well) and has three kids. There are no words to describe how dumbfounded I feel but more importantly how she feels with it all. This woman is the most selfless person I have ever met with such a warming spirit – always putting others above her own wants and needs.
How can I encourage her or comfort her when to me it feels like she was dealt a serious blow? Sometimes I hide behind humor not having the right words on what to say and how to comfort. Then I thought to myself, sometimes silence is the best key and being there – even if I’m a couple hundred miles away is what matters (obviously I plan to visit).
No matter how this goes down, she will be encouraged to keep calm, carry on and maintain her faith. Cancer might be in her body but it will not defeat her sense of who she is and all of the rich contributions she has added to my life and the lives of others. She will not be defined by this and will use her moments of misery to be a ministry to others. So, no cancer, you can’t have my best friend. She is too fabulous to be knocked down and refuses to give up hope or walk through life without a fight.
Have you had to support someone though cancer? Tell us about it here.