The countdown is on! By this time, two weeks from now, the CIBC Run for the Cure will be past. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, the CIBC Run for the Cure is Canada’s largest single day, volunteer-run event dedicated to raising money to fight breast cancer. A group of women began the cause to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Due to the sensitive nature of this type of cancer, few women and even fewer men would talk about it.
The link to my donation page for my team is here:
. Truly it is a worthwhile cause, and any and all donations no matter what size are greatly appreciated.
Cancer alone is a cause near to my heart… too many friends and family have faced it. This, however is the first year I am facing this type of cancer on a personal level. A very dear friend of mine is in her battle with it. She was diagnosed in July and had a mastectomy in August. Now she waits for next month, in October, when her chemotherapy and radiation will begin. She went through her biopsy and subsequent diagnosis at about the same time I was having my own cancer scare, which I wrote about here. Hers, however, had a much different outcome.
She is by far one of the most positive and optimistic people I’ve ever met. She has a wicked sense of humour, always upbeat and even on days I’ve seen her having a “bad day” they are still better than a lot of people’s good days. I’ve known her for over seven years now, and because we have boys the same age, we’ve gone through the school years together with them. Her and I have never gone out shopping together, or out for coffee or to a movie, but I couldn’t count how many times we’ve walked the kids to school together, or I’ve wandered across for a coffee (or a water when I would go through my phases of trying to give up coffee… and yea those phases never lasted… and yes she lives right across the street), or we’ve called back and forth keeping track of the kids. She’s that friend you always depend on being there, and I sincerely hope she feels the same way about me. Our oldest kids (her daughter, my son) are also friends, and when Metro Transit had their latest bus strike, I was hitching a ride with her husband out to work. Her dog loves chasing (and sometimes treeing) my cats. Always good for a laugh… once they’re back down that is!
Even though she is going through all of this, she still remains the same positive, optimistic joking person that I love (and Wanda, if you’re reading this, I mean love in that non-creepy kinda way ). And even though she still faces radiation and chemotherapy (which, how she explained it tonight, “Well, the radiation will turn my skin red… and the chemo will make my hair fall out. Eh… I never really liked my hair anyway”), she is participating in the Run for the Cure with our team. She does a ton of sewing, and is also making dog leashes she is selling, with 100% of the proceeds going to CIBC Run for the Cure. (Incidentally, anyone wanting a dog leash, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org). We talked about that, and we talked about the half of the pathology report that had come back. I’m not going to do into details about the results, or prognosis, because 1. It’s not my story to tell and 2. Personal is personal. All I will say is that it wasn’t the best and wasn’t the worst. But we talked very in depth about it… and through the entire conversation her optimism and jokes didn’t waver once. And that’s what I love about her.
And I could end this blog post here… because God knows I want to be as strong and positive and optimistic for her as she is being for herself. But I also want this little corner of cyberspace to be real. And honest. And the whole range of anything and everything cancer related. And the truth of the matter is, I left her place, came home and cried. And after I stopped crying I was mad. And I wanted to yell or hit something. Because, to be perfectly blunt, it’s not fucking fair. None of it is. She shouldn’t be going through this. We should be talking about kids and pets and projects and we actually did talk about all those things tonight, but that should be ALL we have to talk about. She shouldn’t have to go through this, her kids shouldn’t have to go through this, her husband shouldn’t have to go through this… NOBODY should have to go through this. She’s so young (and I know you’re going to be reading this and yes you are young!) and not that age matters because it doesn’t but it really adds to the IT’S NOT FAIR feeling. I feel like a two year old who wants to stomp her feet through the house right now…. but I know this feeling will pass. My anger will pass, my tears will pass. I will accept that this, as well as so many other things, is just a part of life and we deal with it and we face it and we OVERCOME it because yes she will overcome it. I know she will and she knows she will. It’s like she says, she’s too stubborn for it go any other way, and that has to count for something. And we will raise money for this totally worthwhile cause, and we will participate in the run in two weeks (and after she told me how fast she did 5K yesterday I hope I can keep up!), and life will go on. We will keep talking about kids and pets and projects. And we will have a huge CELEBRATION when this battle is past and she’s in remission.
Wanda, I am here for you 120%… anything… anytime. I hope you know that. We don’t do the gushy mushy talks… I know you dislike people hovering and making a fuss over you as much as I do and it’s taken SO much self control on my part not to do it! But I’m just a phone call away… heck I’m just a “pop your head out the window and yell” away. You’re one of the strongest people I know, and I know you’re going to get through this. I still believe in happy endings.