A Mother and her Two Daughters

22 December 2010

A Letter to My Friend with Breast Cancer

Dear Dian,

Sue shared with me the good news about your surgery and the pathology report – clear margins and no cancer in the lymph nodes.  Yippee!  If there's such a thing as “good news” when it comes to cancer, you’ve hit the jackpot baby!  Me and you both! 

I cried thinking about everything we've been through this year.  It wasn’t exactly the year we had in mind, was it?  Could we even count how many hours, how many days we’ve spent in waiting rooms, clinics, examining rooms and hospitals?  And how could we even begin to count the many sleepless nights, or the days when we couldn’t keep our eyes open.  And while our bodies ached from the side effects of surgeries and cancer-fighting drugs, we never let it interrupt or damage our souls.  In fact, if anything, our souls have been stretched. 

We’ve heard it over and over again this year: “Cancer sure helps you put life into better perspective.”  It’s really become quite the cliché.  But you know what?  I think you and me have had a pretty darned good outlook on life and the human experience, long before cancer invaded our bodies.  We’ve always been strong women, fiercely determined mothers.  Our grit and resolve has likely propelled us to successfully maneuver through this very tough year.  And let’s not forget our abiding faith in God and the comfort we have found in Him. 

And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand

You and I both know that suffering is a universal experience, not exclusive to cancer.  Anyone who believes they should be immune from adversity, misfortune or ill health is simply not living in reality.  Undeserved suffering, in one form or another, goes with the territory; it’s a part of the human experience as any other aspect of life.  When sorrow comes, why would we dare ask “why me?” – unless we ask the same question when happy times come our way.  But you and me - we’ve turned our pain into wisdom and we’ll always be the better for it. 

We did it, Dian! We’ve been tough cookies this year, you and me – stronger than all the locomotives on the train tracks.  We’re still here, and we have every reason to believe we’re going to be here next year and the next, and the one after that.  I’m thinking we should start talking about the nursing home and maybe even being roommates, because I think we’re going to live at least one hundred years, maybe older.  How does that sound, Dian?  Like fun, huh?  And we’ll make sure that Jan and Sue and Dennie and our other girlfriends join us too.  What fun old ladies we’ll be – you, and me and the rest of our gal pals.  Remember what Charlie Saxon used to say?  “Let’s get naked and dance in the street with our hair on fire.”  Yes, that will be all of us. 

Yippee for you.  Yippee for me!  I love you Dian, and my only wish for you right now is to do what makes you feel good, to be with those who give you energy, and to be sparing with your limited energy.  Oh yes, and to be comforted by the love of God.  If we stay in control of our body, our mind and our faith, the healing will happen much quicker. 

Hey, you know what?  I think you’re great.  I care about you immensely, I love you very much and I’m here for you in whatever way you might need me. 

Have a Merry Christmas, Dian, and a Happy New Year too.  Here’s to a better 2011, 2012, 2013 . . .

With much love,

1 comment:

  1. "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God." --Aeschylus


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