My list is gone. That long list of insanity and ambitiousness from Mission: Impossible is complete. (In truth, two things had to be carried over to a new list, but we made excellent progress thanks to some amazing friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.)
My chemo fears are gone. With the first treatment under my belt, I am no longer afraid. (During the last half hour of my drip, I played "No Longer Slaves" by Bethel Music and sang along. I thought I was singing softly, but Tony had to hush me a bit. (Smile.) He said I was loud... but hey, who cares?! It was definitely a combination of the Holy Spirit and an awesome Ativan, but I felt so free of fear I wanted to sing out! Thank you Jesus for no allergic reactions, no unpleasantness at all, and a fantastic support team. Truly amazing. Much better than I could have anticipated. Our prayers -- your prayers -- were answered! (I'm still Angry that I need chemo, but God and I are so cool with that. He loves me any way. And I ADORE HIM. No. Matter. What.)
My best friend is gone. Tear. Make that TEARS. Renee and I have been friends for over 25 years. Our friendship began over common interests like black rubber bracelets, an affinity for black clothing, and 80's hair bands. It grew through scrunchies, Beverly Hills 90210, and shoulder pads. Somewhere along the way we became more like sisters than friends. We don't always have to agree. Her family is my family. It's just that way. We've weathered marriage issues together, lost loved ones together, and went from talking about our parents (insert know-it-all-teenage eye-roll) to becoming our parents.
I can't remember how many times over the years I've said to her, "Oh my God, Renee!!!" I think I said it first when I hit a teacher's parked car in the parking lot at our college orientation. (Still sorry about your car, Dad.) I said it again when I felt something like chunky dust hitting my cheeks during a fireworks show at that same college orientation. "Oh my God, Renee!!! Something is falling on my face?!" Oh yes, that was fireworks debris. Only person in an entire 1,500+ crowd who had debris fall into an eye and severely scratch a cornea -- me.
Renee was there to go to the hospital with me (escorted by campus security) and call my Dad (again) with more bad news. (Sorry, Dad. At least it wasn't the car that time.) Renee was there to lead me through a crowd of partying students as I wandered through the dark with my dazzling, white-patched eye. She led me by the arm across the outdoor dance floor while students did the Humpty Dance, and she drove
I moved away 16 years ago so we now live in separate states. She tawks like her family from the Brawnx, and I sound more like a ditsy Dixie sweetheart (even though I'll kick out some serious Yankee smack if you push my buttons. And then it really pushes my buttons when my husband gleefully says, "Do it again, Honey!!!") By the way, equal opportunity fun-poking, Yanks and Rebs. Be cool. Wink.
Any way, it's more than fair to say Renee and I live pretty separate, pretty different lives these days. We don't get to talk or text nearly as much as we should. Life goes on. Her there. Me here. After we lost her Dad and my brother within a few weeks of each other, we both fell off our individual rails. We're still recovering from those losses.
But when I called and said, "Oh my God, Renee. I have breast cancer," she was there.
And then she was HERE for me -- with me! -- for my first chemo. Here to rub my back, clean my toilet, fill out my financial forms, entertain my kids, and cry with me. Sometimes we cried so hard we couldn't look at each other. I could hear her. She could hear me. And it was okay. Just crying. Separate but together. (We used to cry like that on the phone over teenage boys. Insert old-married-lady eye-roll.)
So my friend -- my BFF, my girl, my sister -- was here and now she's gone. But not gone for good. Gone for now. With new memories and more life to add to the story of our friendship. I love you, BFF. And I know you love me, too. I so deeply thank you...
- Chemo side-effects are beginning -- the tingling in fingers and feet, hot and cold sweats, aches in my legs, tummy troubles, etc. Pray for comfort and rest.
- While the side-effects are kicking my butt, let's pray it's kicking cancer's butt even harder!
- Lastly, pray for my parents who will soon be heading South later this week.
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." - Ephesians 3:20-21
My medical fund can be found on a YouCaring site. Any small donation is a big blessing.