A difficult week. But not as difficult as theirs’.

This has been a difficult week. On Monday, a good friend from the past five years told me she had breast cancer. This was after loosing a young grandchild to a long drawn out battle with organ failure this summer. I didn’t ask, but I got the feeling she didn’t want many people to know, which I will respect, I knew they were testing a lump she had found, so I had some preparation but it still comes hard. My heart cried for her.  When we spoke on Wednesday, she told me a rough schedule for her surgery and treatment. I offered to come help take care of her afterwards and she requested I come for several days. Of course, I said, “Of course.”

Then later on Wednesday, I got a call from another friend of mine,  my best friend since college thirty-one years ago. She was telling me that she had breast cancer. There had been no warning for me and a great blow to my stomach stole my breath. When I could breathe, I told her I was so sorry. She said she was going to approach this as something very treatable and from a very positive place. That I will honor, also, but only as soon as I grieve a bit. She has had a bit of time to wrap her head around her diagnosis, but for me, well, my fear (just a fear, not a reality) is loosing her and that I hadn’t had any time to process yet. My heart broke for her.

You see, nearly ten years ago this February, I got this call about my mother. Long story short: she is a survivor, but it was difficult for a widow living alone who HAD to work, also in her last two semesters of her bachelors degree, one class at a time over twenty five years, to go through chemo and one class, summer break and a mastectomy, then radiation and her final class. She graduated from Wichita State University and walked for her diploma with two canes and her cap taped to her bald head. She was the talk of the town in Wichita, doing TV, radio, and newspaper interviews. I am very proud of her, but it is a complicated pride, complicated in the way that only the long distance relationship between mothers and daughters can make things.

That was yesterday, at least a thousand hours ago, and yet I still feel disorganized, sad, helpless, heartbroken and lost in time. I write this post to process a bit, so that I can move on, so that I can accomplish what I need to accomplish and be available to my friends, should they need me. Perhaps my writing will be rewarded with resolution as I sleep, and perhaps I will be rewarded with dreamless sleep tonight.

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