That describes yours truly upon reading my friend’s CaringBridge page.
Her recent CATscan came back to show that her recurrent breast cancer continues to spread like wildfire and is now in her liver.
The doctors give her maybe a year to live.
I’m sad for about a hundred reasons but I’ll only list three:
a) It didn’t have to go this way – her docs mis-diagnosed her from the get-go and had they caught it in time, she would have had a fighting chance.
b) She’s brutally honest in her posts about her condition and how she’s feeling (angry, hurt, etc) and I find I have nothing to say other than that I love her, am keeping her and her husband in my prayers and …. that’s it. What CAN you say? There are no words. Just none.
c) she’s my age and it again reminds me of my mortality
I can sit here on the couch and say that I have no fear of dying precisely because I am not in a place now where I am forced to confront that issue. Who knows what I’d feel if I were?
For right now, I feel transported back to October 2005 when I went to my cousin’s to celebrate my birthday with Lauren and the family. It was after Lauren’s cancer had come back and we all knew the diagnosis was grim. I sat on the couch, hugging her and crying all over her. Cousin O’Love came over, sat down and hugged us too and there we sat, all three of us hugging, knowing that our time together would be short.
I know, to the core of my being, that there is more to all of this than what we see. I’ve experienced it.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel the deep, deep wells of sadness that news like this brings.
Each soul chooses its path. My friend’s soul has chosen hers. All I can do is be there and hug her. And remind her of the fun times we used to share when we worked together at a local department store – all the foibles we shared.
Sigh. There are no words.
Sending a giant hug, and soft shoulder for your sadness.
We are immortal. Some of us really do KNOW that, but it’s still hard to say good-bye. Then again, life here is often hard — never ever easy. I wish it would get easier. Honestly.
I wish there were a pill we could take, giving us the power to leave with grace and joy, at our chosen moment. This business of having a year….it seems so gruesome and sad.
I am so, so sorry.
I am so sorry.
You write: “Each soul chooses its path. My friend’s soul has chosen hers. All I can do is be there and hug her.” Accepting that must so hard. I don’t think I’ll ever be up to it. Recognizing your limitations and working within them to comfort and support your friend is so difficult and so wise and so important. She is lucky to have you.
I was honest on my own blog about knowing I might have cancer. You told me I did not and while I appreciated hearing it and wanted to believe you, I didn’t. (You probably knew that, too.) Anyway, I was kinda fine with the thought of dying in the macro sense — you know, the Heaven aspect of it. But on my last day of work, pre-surgery, I was riding the train to work and I looked at the sun bouncing off the Chicago architecture I love so much and I started to cry. I wasn’t (and am not) ready to say goodbye to all that I love here. (Fortunately, strange women crying on Chicago’s Green Line isn’t all that unusual and I don’t think anyone noticed.)
Anyway, 2011 gave me a narrow window into your sadness and helplessness and your friend’s anger and I am just so sorry you are going through this.