Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The "C" Word


No one has actually said the words.
Breast cancer.
Thud.
The words fall beause they have no meaning. I can't equate those words with my friend. Yes, I followed the saga from lump, no big deal, to mammogram, to biopsy, to now.
But that isn't my story to tell.
All I can say is that I'm scared for my friend, but I can't allow myself to think for a moment that she's not going to be the same person who meets me every Saturday morning at the trail.
This isn't some mother of a basketball player who I wave to across the gym. This isn't the woman who drives the silver car, you know, you see her pull into school a few minutes late every morning.
This time it's different because she is my friend. She's my friend who has spent years convincing me that I can run a marathon and I can write a book, no, I should write a book.
She has hiked with me on the Appalachian trail and she has run with me through snow and rain and beating sunshine. She has stopped to listen to bird calls, to watch geese take flight and to pick up a nursing bat that lay in the middle of the path.
She has listened to me whine about my marital issues and my kids' problems and she has shared her own.
Now she has to face something horrific and she will face it with guts and love, but I wonder what I will do. Because, even though my family has survived tragedy in the past, my modus operandi is avoidance.
And I don't want to be that person, the one who asks her other friends, "Hey, how's she doing?" because I've been too busy to actually spend any time with her.
So, I resolve to be there for my friend.
But I don't know what that looks like. I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say. I feel like I'm floundering when she needs me most.
Is there a right way to do this?

4 comments:

Lucia said...

(I'm not sure what stage she is in) hopefully in the curable stage.

Be there for her, support her. Call her, visit her, have coffee or tea or water or whatever she wants, listen to her fears, give her hugs, cry with her. When my sister in law was going through breast cancer, I truly learned the meaning of friendship through her friends, they were there every step of the way and there for my brother and his 4 boys after she passed away. Not all Cancer is a death sentence! But to have your friends and family around was I know for her the most joyous thing ever. Every little thing counts when you are going through this. It's not contagious, it's not leprosy and every bit of normalacy counts even though things aren't normal. Sometimes friendship is like marriage, for better or for worse through sickness and in health...I will keep you and your friend in my prayers.

Paulita said...

Lucia, Thanks for you wise words. I'm sorry for your brother and his loss and I'm sure you were a comfort to him.

BFF said...

Since you are, bar none, the best friend a person ever had I am positive you will do the right thing, say the right things and be the right friend in this time of need. It is terrible

Linda said...

Just being available for talking would be the best thing I would guess. I think fear would keep you-and me-avoiding her, not knowing what to say. There are many survivors now of breast cancer-focus on that. Tough situation to be in.

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