I’ve kept something very close to the vest the last several months, because a good friend reads my blog. My good friend with 5 types of cancer. Our good friend who has fought, and fought, and fought for her life for 4 years.
She and her husband moved away just before she was first diagnosed, so we’ve had to be supportive from afar. We get down to see them quite a bit, but not enough. It’s never enough.
She went into remission after year 1 and was told she could get pregnant. She did, right away, and at 4 months pregnant, her one cancer had turned into three. She had to get chemo while pregnant or she would have died. She pushed the cancer back, delivered her son, and moved on.
Then, she got a fourth cancer, the kind you may or may not survive. She kept fighting, getting into various trials that gave her more time. Then, she got a fifth cancer.
We’ve known since the second round of cancers that her chances were slim, but we kept our hopes up because she always seemed to get better. We knew she wouldn’t beat it 100%, but it seemed under control.
It’s no longer under control. Her husband called me a week ago to tell me that they’d stopped all treatments. We were brave, scheduled a visit for this weekend, and committed to me caring for her for two days next week. We held our breaths, hoping she’d make it past our visits.
Her dad called me tonight during dinner. She’s dying. There is no way around it, and to hear a father say, about his daughter who just turned 35 years old last week, “she may die tonight, maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day. It’s over.” Well… What do you even say? I stayed brave, offered our love and help, and told him we’d see him this weekend. Then, I hung up the phone and cried.
I don’t think I’ll see my friend alive again. I want her family – her sisters, parents, husband and son – to have privacy and every moment with her that they can. We are going to be the runners, the ones to keep everyone fed and caffeinated during this ordeal. We may play babysitters for their young son, or we may not. And we may not do anything because they may not want anything.
But we will be there.