Monday, March 15, 2010

Back Home to Reality

I have been chided for not writing.

I have not felt like writing. I didn't know how to put down in writing what has been happening. But I will give it my best.

We had a wonderful trip to Florida. Spent the first night in Tampa with an old friend who goes all the way back to junior high. We hung out and went to an Irish pub where the 3 of us were a team in a trivia game. Thankfully, my husband and my friend are much better at trivia than me. I have forgotten pretty much everything I know. I'm a perfect specimen of a menopausal woman. My brain has pretty much left my body.

We spent night 2 with my old boyfriend. We were together for about 6 or 7 years, starting in our college days. We keep in touch very occasionally. When I told him we were coming down, he said he and his wife wanted to take us to dinner, and we were welcome to stay there. It was nice meeting the wife of over 25 years, and spending time with them.

The remainder of the trip we stayed at my husband's old high school friend's condo. He was happy to have us, we were happy to be there, and it was very relaxing.

I had been very nervous about leaving my 20 year old son home alone with the 15 year old dog and 3 cats. I thought I'd be a wreck the whole trip. But it was quite the opposite. It was like living in a fairy tale world for one week. Now I know why people take vacations. It is very, very nice to live with no stress, if only for a short week.

Upon arriving home, our fairy tale world ended. First we walked into the house to find clear signs of a party that had taken place. I wasn't surprised; my son admitted to me on the phone that he had one. I just wasn't prepared for the mess that awaited us.

He also never brought the garbage can in, and there was a nice letter from our city telling us we are in violation of whatever code for leaving it out. The letter even included a nice picture of our house with a picture of the garbage can on the treelawn.

Then came the call. My friend from the beginning of time - we lived 3 doors away when we were born and have therefore been friends for 52 years - was diagnosed with cancer. She had an ultrasound and the tech brought in 2 doctors, who both looked at the ultrasound and stated it was cancer. I thought well they must be wrong; who diagnoses cancer without a biopsy? Yet what kind of doctor says "it's cancer" without really knowing it's cancer?

We have always enjoyed doing dumb stuff together, and laughing at everything. Yes, she has been the subject of many of my posts. Going to see Deepak Chopra and laughing hysterically through the whole thing. Going to garage sales. Doing queer stuff that would not be fun with anyone else. I always expected that we'd be doing this together through our 80s. I could not picture growing old without her.

Then came the days of tests and the horrendous wait for results - did it spread?

That news was as good as it could be. The cancer was contained to a breast. She will start chemo soon. After 6 months of chemo comes surgery. I had never heard of that order, but apparently that's how they do it.

I guess 52 doesn't seem that young if you look at it objectively. But no matter what age we are, we will always view ourselves as being young, even though our bodies and are minds are starting to go.

The next year will be a hard one. But the news could have been a lot worse.

So, that's what's been going on. The ups and downs of life, in the span of a few weeks.


Anonymous said...

I am glad that your trip was relaxing and that you guys had fun. Don't wait another 20 it often!

Getting news like that about a dear friend is not easy. But with that news comes the desire and need to help whenever you can, doing whatever is needed, whenever it is needed. And speaking firsthand, your friend is indeed lucky to have in you a friend who knows the true meaning of the THAT part is great news. Friends don't get any better than what she has in you~ a.o.m.

Anonymous said...

Wish I had arrived here sooner ... now I can only echo what a.o.m. ahead of me said. Will be thinking of you in the weeks to come.


Traci said...

Your friend is lucky to have you by her side. She shall be in my prayers but I am very glad to hear that her diagnosis is as positive as it is. All my best to you and yours and I shall look forward to reading when you feel like writing. 'Til then take care.

Sandy said...

So sorry to hear abour your friend. I'm sure you will be there for her every step of the way. I have a close friend I can't imagine growing old without and this made me so sad.

And take it as a lesson, don't wait another long time to take a vacation with your husband. We never know what tomorrow will bring.

Jeanie said...

I was the chider. At least one of them. I'm glad you wrote again, and that you shared not only your highs but also a very big low. It allows all of us the opportunity to wrap our cyber arms around you, too.

I've had more than one friend who had that diagnosis or some variation of it. It's so scary for the person -- and she is so lucky to have you.

But I know firsthand how scary it is to be the friend. It's so hard to see someone you care about experience something so hard, and while you can do all you can to help, to be there -- you still worry.

You won't worry alone. I'll worry alone with you. Lots of us will.

Sharon said...

Thank you. It was a beautiful post. And one of the things that will get me through this is our plan to continue having fun until we are at least 90! I still have our "fun journal" to be given back to you on your 60th birthday, so that takes care of my first eight years post-diagnosis right there. So our plans for the future are something that will keep me going -I'm just sure of it! And, of course, we'll have to hang out with our grandkids together some day - and it looks like that's going to be a while too!

I am so lucky to have you as my friend for life!

I am glad you had fun on your vacation. As you know, I enjoy them myself, and you really can put things out of your mind.

I feel especially lucky that my day to help Pepper was early in the week so that I didn't feel obligated to clean up after the party!

We have two of those $80 cheesecakes in our refrigerator. Party in the next day or two. My appetite has not decreased with the chemo - at least when it comes to cheesecake!

Ellen said...

Your vacation did sound wonderful but too bad reality set in so quickly after you returned home.

I wish Sharon all the best and will keep her in my thoughts and prayers. She is a very lucky woman to have you as her best friend.

Eva Gallant said...

Glad you had a good trip! We all need a vacation now and then! Sorry about your friend. Hopefully, she will be alright. Thanks for dropping by.

Mich said...

Glad to hear you had a good time in FL. We were there, too, during the first week of March.

My heart is heavy for you and Sharon. If a good attitude counts for anything, she should be JUST FINE. Humor is the best medicine. Keep laughing.

Delaney said...

Life has a tendency sometimes to bite us in the ass and make us know that life is real with real problems and pleasures. Glad you had a great trip and sorry to hear about your friend. Wishing for the best.

Together We Save said...

Glad you had a good trip!! said...

I'm glad you had a fun trip. My sister had breast cancer 8 years ago and is doing extremely well. Sending light and love to you and your friend.

Another Deepak moment might be in order for you two. Laughter is the best medicine.

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

Sorry about your friend! Sounds very promising though!

We had a fabulous, to good to be true vacation in Florida last year and came back to find out Mr. P was out of work. Things worked out in the end, but I'm convinced Florida must hold a jinx after reading your post;-)

MissKris said...

You spent the nite with an old boyfriend?! Mercy, where my mind is going with that, considering MY old boyfriends! None of whom I have ANY desire to ever see again. I find that pretty amazing and I think it tells volumes about the person you are...lots of GOOD things.

I feel your pain. Our son did the same thing one time when Dear Hubby and I were gone for the weekend. Broke our hearts.

I will pray for your friend. The year is only a few months gone and we've had a lot of tragic news about friends and loved ones, too. Sigh... My very dearest friend on earth was desperately ill a couple years ago - we've been best friends for 42 years - and almost died 3 times in that time span. I am so thankful the good Lord allowed her to pull thru...I can't imagine this world without her in it.

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