I saw something on FB the other day which prompted me to email a friend.
A friend who I met in college. We were in each other's weddings. I saw her in July when I was in NY. She took the day off of work and brought her boys to GG's pool.
We ordered pizza and drank iced coffees. It was a great day.
She emails back that she's been in the hospital since Saturday. She has a tumor on her kidney and it's being embolized that day.
They think it might be harmless...I go with that.
I wake up yesterday morning.
I realize I hadn't heard from her.
I send her sister an email because I don't want to stalk someone while they're in the hospital. That's just rude, right?
Her sister soon writes back and in one of the shortest sentences I've ever seen, announces that her sister has cancer.
Punched in the stomach...
Tears spring to my eyes while I try to tell myself that she's joking...she's got to be joking (she's kind of known for having a sick sense of humor...that's where our mutual respect comes from, but this is a little too much for my taste).
I quickly fire off a message and tell her to call me.
Shit! My phone was upstairs.
I go get it, check my computer again...my friend had written me back.
Her message included words like "growing" and "aggressive" and "renal cancer."
Punched in the stomach...
I call her sister back and sit sobbing along with her on my basement steps. Crazies are fast asleep and Husband is out for a run, so I'm the only in my house whose heart is breaking with this knowledge.
She was peeing blood. They thought it was a bladder infection. They told the boys last night. The older one went into his room and shut the door to talk to his mother who was in a hospital bed. How could it happen to her of all people? The boys are devastated. Her husband is a mess. Our mother can't hold it together. She might be able to get in for surgery tomorrow...they had a cancellation. We can't believe this. How could this happen? How could this happen to her?
I get off the phone and write my friend back. I used words like "helpless" and "kids are resilient" and "anything I can do."
That shit sounds so trite, doesn't it?
What can I do though? She's thirty-six years old, mother of two, holds an important position at her company, is the main breadwinner of her household, holds her family together with her logic and straightforward way of telling you you're acting like an asshole and need to get it together. What can I do for her?
I talked to her during the day, but she abruptly got off the phone. You know how it is when you're in the hospital...someone is always coming in to do something.
Especially when you're getting your incredibly diseased kidney removed the next day.
We texted a few more times during the day. She was surrounded by her family. That gives me peace.
I called her last night when I was done tutoring...her phone was off. I left a message because I just want her to know that I'm thinking of her.
I fell asleep crying last night...part of me so scared because it could as easily be me...and part of me more scared because it's her.