Friday, November 04, 2011

Being There

I think I have mentioned on here that there have been some big bad scary things happening to many people I know. (Oh, yes! Right here.) One of these things is that a good friend of mine (let’s call her “R”) has been diagnosed with cancer. She is a tough cookie and is convinced she is going to beat this. She is a single mom with two kids and a very strong support system of family and friends who are rallying around to help her out.

She has started chemotherapy and is on her fourth round—and her hair has begun falling out. On Halloween night, we got a whole group of kids together to take them trick-or-treating around her childhood neighborhood, where her mom still lives. R. was dressed as a punk rocker, with a Ramones T-shirt and a fantastic hot pink and black long wig. I told her I think she should wear the pink wig every day. She told me she couldn’t stop looking at my hair. I really wanted to shave my head right about then.

She told me amazing stories about how her kids have been helping to take care of her. I had suggested that we take the kids this weekend for her since she was scheduled for treatment again on Thursday and she gets so sick afterward. (Her mom and sister will be taking care of her, she won’t be by herself.) “[The 7-year-old] might go,” she said. “But [the 11-year-old] won’t leave me.” Her sweet son, who is already taller than I am, breaks my heart in his tenderness with her.

It’s been challenging with R. I reach out and sometimes she will accept help and sometimes a wall goes up and I have to just step back and let her work it out. I hope she beats this.

1 comment:

Bridget said...

I had a friend pull out of this same situation this past year. I always felt at a loss for words when I was with her. I ended up going the Hunter S. Thompson route and figured that "half of life is just showing up" but I tacked on "for friends."

"Being there" is a great way to put it, Lisa.