Thursday, May 28, 2009

Too much to handle

I have lots of topics that I want to blog about, but honestly, don't have the energy. I know, its my typical lament.

One thing in particular is weighing me down right now. These are just random thoughts, so bear with me. I came back from a nice dinner with the fam last Sunday and checked my Facebook page (see earlier post about addiction). Anyway, a really good friend of mine from high school had posted some shocking news. She is undergoing her first round of chemo for breast cancer this week. The plan is 4 rounds of chemo and then a mastectomy. She had the first round of chemo yesterday and it made her "tired, woozy and nauseous".

J is my age, almost 32, and only been married for 2 years. No kids yet. I don't know if that will ever happen now, because of the chemo and drugs. She is a vet, so she has knowledge in the medical field, which I think might make things worse. She knows what all of this means; she knows the true stats; she knows how horrible some of the meds can be. However, she also has the avenues to get the most up-to-date information and options.

J was a really good friend in jr high and high school. We have been sporadic about keeping in touch since (a couple of emails a year) and I haven't seen her in several years--she lives several states away.

J is hands-down the smartest person I know. Absolute genius. Graduated either first or second in our class of 400+ students. Was told sophomore year by our chemistry teacher that she should be teaching the class, not taking it!

I hoped that the next surprising news that she would be posting would be that she and B were expecting a baby. Certainly wasn't expecting this news, as I'm sure J wasn't either. Her journal states that all of this has happened since she woke up on May 9th with a swollen breast.

She has always been fit, and taken really good care of herself. Not that cancer gives a crap about that, but it leads my thoughts down the road..."if it can happen to her, well, what about me." Me--overweight, sugar overloading, no veggie eating, no exercising me. I think that whenever someone in your family or circle of friends is facing something like this, it causes you to evaluate your own life and mortality. It doesn't seem possible that this can be happening to her. I know the stats, and I know that women younger than us are diagnosed as well. While I have had family members diagnosed with cancer, J is my first friend to face it. And she is the first person in my life (I think) to deal with breast cancer specifically.

It also reminds me of something I dealt with in 2002. I found a small lump in my breast in the fall, and immediately went to the dr. She sent me for a mammogram (lovely experience at the age of 25) and ultimately an ultrasound. I remember going on a trip with my hubby while waiting for the results, and wondering if I would ever travel again. We made a specific trip to Disneyland because I had never been there, and I wasn't sure if I ever would again. I wondered if I would have children. What else would I miss? Luckily, it turned out to be a fibroid and nothing cancerous. But to even start down that road is terrifying.

I don't know what stage J's cancer is, and I don't know what her rates of survival are. My God, that feels macabre to put that in writing. I have never met her husband, but I'm sure she picked a good one and I hope that he is taking incredible care of her. All I know is that she is one of the strongest people that I know and I am praying for her every day. If you are the praying sort, please include J in your prayers.

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