2.17.2016

SO MY FRIEND HAS CANCER | CANCER CARD NO. 1

I met Renee 6 months ago. Right off the bat we became friends. I'm sure the fact both of us working together as Room Moms for our kids' kindergarten class helped in a sense that it introduced ourselves, but really we just clicked. We clicked like we've always known each other forever, and I admire us for that; I love her for that.

To sum us up, we basically joke about anything, everything and anyone. We meet up once a month with a few other Mom friends in our group over some beers at a local bar, and in between we text and talk almost everyday. Except for the days our kids bring home the same vicious stomach virus, in which case there's no talking, but you better believe we bitch about that when we are both off the Porcelain Royal Throne. 

We make fun/bitch about how hardcore Kindergarten is and how the kids need to apply to college next week. There's a handful of ridiculous Moms at school we joke about (I know, I know, terrible, but seriously we'll call a bullshitter out). She vents about details involved with her Girl Scout Troop. I complain about Volunterring in the Caffeteria, and how it's the worst unpaid job (Jesus we're such Moms). We cuss. A lot actually, because we can when we're together, and we "shouldn't" at home (raise your hand if you do though, i do). 

It's refreshing after going on 6 years of being a stay-at-home mom, losing old friends the typical way my age loses friends; don't live near, busy lives, no kids, younger kids, too many kids, marriages, life happens, to finally make a friend whose also a SAHM with a child same age, and experiencing the same newness of school with me. She's just generally a great human who I'm proud and grateful to be friends with. I have very few close friends, and it really is amazing how close we have become. She doesn't realize how much I needed her in my life.

Going back to that "Porcelain Throne Hugging Virus" I previously mentioned.. That was last week. On my turn to get it (seriously the ENTIRE class got it at a birthday party) it sadly occurred on the day Renee and I had the class Valentines Party planned, and damnit I had to miss it. 

Renee offered to pick up the activities from my house, but let's face it one day out of the count left my home... Lets just say a wreck... Tornado damage... Everywhere. So I mustered up the energy to take it to her. And that's when it all changed.

Out of the blue she just flat out said, "I got off the phone with my doctor 20 minutes ago. I have cancer." She stood there teary eyed. I stood there in shock with the word cancer on repeat going through my mind. I felt like a horrible friend at that moment. Horrible because the only movement I could make was a light hug (had a virus and all) and speechless. 

All week I have been going through the emotions I'm assuming are normal for anyone finding out someone you love having cancer? How in the hell do I know, this is all new to me, us, her. Not knowing what's going on is about all I know right now. In fact right now I'm tearing up for the first time. Very first time about this. Must be a new stage of emotions that just struck, since I'm still going through whatever it is I'm feeling. A few days ago I was bitter. I keep going over and over in my head, how I don't think I reacted the way I was "supposed" to. I haven't said what I was "supposed" to say. I haven't asked the questions I am "supposed to ask... I didn't know what I was supposed to do.

I'm not joking, I googled "what to say when your friend gets cancer." True story. I know I'm supposed to let her take the lead. I know I can only be there when she needs me. But going through my own emotions of this I HAD to know what it was I'm supposed to do.

Then the other night it hit me. I put down google searches. I tossed the idea of how things are supposed to go out the window. Nothing about cancer is normal. And there is no norm to cope with someone. The only thing I'm "supposed" to do is not to change. Stay the same me. That's who Renee needs right now. So at that point I determined what I'm "supposed" to do for her is to continue with our joking relationship.

So bringing humor to cancer it is. That's right. I'm going to make fun of cancer. Now, I know cancer is not a joking matter, but the seriousness of this can be left with her dr. Renee is going to think about this every single second of the day. My role is to make sure she laughs by maintaining our joking relationship. Her whole world is changing right now, she won't benefit from me changing also. 

Laughing now is what will get her through scary times later.

I'm going to make her "Cancer Cards." Basically funny cards bringing  humor to her days when she's already thinking about cancer. I plan to do little surprises for her to keep her spirits up and know cancer doesn't have to be scary all day. Know she isn't going through this alone, she has supporters. And most importantly I'm going to keep us the same and make sure she still feels normal.

PS. We nicknamed her tumor "Lumpy." 

I'll post cards as I give them to her.

Cancer Card No. 1




Update: she found her first card in a stack of photos I gave her (I almost didn't think she would ever look through those pictures to find it!)




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