Summer was unexpected, and I’ve been floundering.
Right after I posted my last post for FHDoJ — yeah, way back on the 23rd of July, I received the crushing news that my daughter’s honorary-adopted-surrogate grandmother died. Not only was she an extraordinary grandparent to my kidlet, she was a dear friend to me. It was a blow.
I slumped around in August trying to pull a post out of my toes with laugh like you mean totaunting me from the sidebar. Oh, I could tap out a twitter in 149 characters or less, but write a post? I had nothing.
September rolled around. And on the 7th day, my soul friend, my go-to-gal for laughing, cross-stitching, commiserating, eating street meat, and generally trolling-for-trouble…died. And on September 11, when many had their eyes and hearts turned toward 9/11, we said good-bye.
I never wrote about Cancer Buddy here. She was an avid reader of my blog, and she came here to laugh and laugh often. When it came to my writing, she was the Dallas Cowboys of cheerleading teams.
I was privileged to share a ten-year journey with Cancer Buddy, as she did battle with mantle cell lymphoma. This is an aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, relatively rare. The United States has about 3,000 cases per year.
My friend was, in every sense of the word, a warrior. She grabbed everything she had and fought like a berserker of old. She fought the disease, the side effects, the fatigue. But mostly, she fought the fear. I was with her the day our stylist shaved her head and buzzed the words No Fear into the quarter inch that was left. We all cried. But, damn if CB didn’t have the most beautifully shaped head on the planet. She was hawt! We laughed about that, too.
Over the next years, we went to countless treatments and medical appointments together. We laughed so hard waiting for specialists to arrive for consultations, we thought they might cart us off to a quiet room. We found humor in everything. Correction. We both hated the bone marrow biopsies. I’ve sat in on so many, holding my bud’s hand, I feel like I could perform one myself. After the last one she said, “You’ve got to video it next time, E, so I can see it!” She was a bit of a ghoul about medicine….latent doctor tendencies.
After the first year of chemo cocktails, my greatest fear was that Cancer Buddy was going to kill me with Timmie’s coffee and apple fritters. It’s all she had a taste for and I, being the soul-buddy I was, matched her coffee for coffee, fritter for fritter.
Cancer Buddy had a fat screen TV with movie quality sound, so one year I took a copy of The Banger Sisters with Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon over to her place and we buttered-up some popcorn and laughed ourselves sick. This was pretty much the norm, but this particular day, CB had a hunky craftsman working below stairs putting in a new door to the garage. When he came upstairs to go over the work, he said that he had never enjoyed himself so much hearing two women laugh they way we were laughing. I’m glad we made his day. Looking at him made ours.
We made memories. Bunches of ’em.
This summer things changed. The body decided it would no longer respond to treatment, and we were headed into a undefined period of palliative care. But my friend, with her penchant for leather jackets and high heels; my friend with her love of classic cars and speed; my friend with her gifts for stitching and tailoring; my friend with her love of life and family and deep faith had no intention of having her body ravished by this ugly disease, and she died.
And I’m floundering. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not thinking — I must tell CB this. I must send CB that. But she’s not there.
My good friend @KeziahFenton sent me this video.
To console. To comfort. And it did. It does.
Cancer Buddy would be royally pissed to know I’ve been floundering, because she was the poster girl for Get ‘R Done.
I can do no less.
Love you, buddy…