Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fuck You, Cancer...

Almost four years ago, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wrote about what an ass her surgeon was here and about my own fears of medical procedures here. I didn't write much about cancer but I did know two things: it sucks, and the treatments are hard to get through.

Because of this experience, I've innocently and ignorantly thought that this was what cancer was like: It is really, really sucky, and then it ends and you can go back to your regularly scheduled life.

I haven't written very much about my childhood best friend on this blog. I did write this post four years ago as I was expecting her to visit my appartment in the big city all those years ago.

In that post, I mentioned her mother. Her mother was a wonderful figure in my childhood, one who I admired and who I thought was very, very cool.

A year ago, my childhood best friend's mother was diagnosed with cancer. I did my best to support my friend T, and the cancer treatments ended. Hurray! Life could go on as normal!

Two months ago, her mother was again diagnosed with cancer. T (Which is what I call her in real life... My T) told me about her mother's state and level of care and I was nothing but confused. When you get cancer, you get treatment, right? And then you go on to live your regularly scheduled life.


A little over a week ago, I was at my first horse show with Sargeant and my phone kept ringing. I didn't recognize the number, so I didn't answer. The number kept calling and after the show I was left alone with a beer, my thoughts, and my ribbons and the phone rang again. I answered it and it was a voice I didn't recognize saying "Amanda?"

I didn't know who it was so I answered as though I knew who it was and the voice continued to say "I'm sorry to bother you when you're riding, your dad said you were at a show. I'm sorry to bother you..."

And I recognized the voice as my T. The girl who was my main person from the age of four through twenty two. And I knew it was her but it didn't sound like her and she continued to speak

"But my mother died this morning and I didn't want you to find out from the papers. You can keep riding, I know it's important to you..."

And I froze. I just kept saying "What? What!" into the phone.

I said I needed to be with her and to sit with her so my mother and I immediately left the barn and my mother dropped me off at her appartment. We sat in silence, numb and scared, together, drinking diet pop and smoking cigarettes, tears rolling down our cheeks in a state of terrified wordlessness that I cannot describe.

My best friend lost her mother. The girl I grew up with no longer has a best friend, a confidante, someone to shop with and someone to tell all her thoughts and fears to. Her mother was someone you could have beers with, someone you could tell about the guy you're dating, someone you could joke with, someone who made you feel like you were the smartest person in the world.

She always laughed at my poorly placed jokes, she always told me I was the smartest person she knew. She was always on my side, always in my corner and I could tell her just about anything and it wouldn't stun her. And no matter what I said, she supported every word of it. But this is not about me.

The girl I spend my childhood and teenage years with has lost the most significant player in her life.

I have no idea how to support my friend through this, how to say anything that would mean anything of value. I don't know what to do except to sit beside her in stunned silence because this is not what was supposed to happen. This wonderful, exhuberant, intelligent, caring, hilarious woman is gone from this Earth and my friend will never talk to her again.

I've deliberated over posting this since I heard of her death. Since I've known that she is gone I can honestly say that there has been an emptiness inside me, thinking of the horror my dear friend is going through.

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Blogger Miss Rachel's Creations said...


i[2]y is an organization that provides support for individuals age 15-39 with cancer. but you can also find support here for family members of people with cancer.

i hope this can lead to some help for you and your friend.


11:16 p.m.  
Blogger Annette said...

Words don't mean much at a time like this, but your mere presence will be remembered and appreciated always. You don't need to talk. You just need to be there. And you are.

Hugs to you and your friend. Cancer definitely sucks.

7:50 a.m.  
Blogger Siuan said...

I'm sorry for you and most especially with your friend. I can think of a lot worse words to describe cancer and I'm sorry it has touched your life so.

1:06 p.m.  
Anonymous Jummy said...

I'm so sorry for T's loss...I know how important T is to you and I'm sure you just being there for her was exactly what she needed.

I'm sorry.

1:46 p.m.  

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