This isn’t my story. This isn’t my fight. But this is my blog. And I waited until I was given permission to write and publish these words. So for you, CancerGirl, you are an inspiration to me.
The moment is frozen in my mind. That moment when I didn’t know what to say.
It was at one of the Boy’s football games. CancerGirl and DynaHusband had begun coming to his games this season, to support the Boy and his efforts. We had grown to be close friends, the Couple That Could and me and the wife…we bonded over foodie love, Disney, the Boy and randomness. It didn’t hurt they were literally 100 steps from our house. We love them, the Couple that Could.
I see them walking up the bleachers and I go to meet CancerGirl, only then, she wasn’t CancerGirl, she was just my friend…I asked, “so….what did the doctor say?” As tears welled up, she could not talk and I just knew. They had found something.
All I could muster was “you know it won’t be anything, just like me….you will twist yourself inside out for nothing…I have a good feeling, you will be okay.” She nodded, I hugged her. I stood there, hugging her for what seemed to be forever, with tears in my eyes, saying a prayer for my friend. For her to be okay….
About a week later, I got a text: “Mastectomy is the word for the day.”
I replied: “Shut up.”
I reminded her that she DID want a boob lift, but this was not the way to do it. I saw her later that day, I looked at her and said, “You get 24 hours to be sad. After that we fucking fight!”
And I hugged her. And DynaHusband, who looked like he had been punched and boiled. The wife told him any time he needed a break, she had a car and knew where a bar was, they could just go. They told us they weren’t telling many, just to not make it about a “cause” because there are always the people in your life that make YOUR cancer all about them. This needed to be about her. And him. Period. Anyone else could just go pound sand. In fact, I believe I said, “who cares? You are fucking fighting for YOUR life…you owe no one ANYTHING!!!!” and I still mean that. To.my.core.
We told DynaHusband, “she will have MANY taking care of her; we need to also remember to worry about you. You need love, prayers and our strength too. Don’t be brave by yourself.” And we meant it. Every word of it.
So, we get through the coming days with lots of inappropriate boob and cancer jokes (there are a LOT of them), a little sadness and lots of prayers. In my effort to make things easier, I set up a Foodie Calendar…a way for all the people who love the Couple That Could to do SOMETHING to help; we feed them. (If you know them, they don’t cook. Ever. I don’t even know why they have a kitchen!) And the amount of love and support and food that came to me for this was astounding. People came out of the woodwork to help her, at her work, her friends, family…all of them. Each one, telling their stories of love and support for CancerGirl. And we kept them fed. Holy moly, that was a lot of food…from family, friends, their favorite restaurants. Methinks I am going to start a food calendar for me.
Then it’s time.
DynaMom comes to the rescue. EVERYONE should have a mom like this…DynaHusband’s mom…I know her name, but I can’t get it to come out of my mouth, she’s just “mom” to all of us. So CancerGirl does the damn thing. Double mastectomy and reconstruction. DynaHusband calls us to let us know she’s good, she’s resting and will be home in a couple of days.
Once she’s home, we gave her a couple of hours and headed over. Now, I will tell you, I was expecting someone who looked like they had been hit by a Mack truck….she did not look like that. AT.ALL. I actually asked, “are you sure you had surgery?!?!!?” It was crazy, she looked great and was awake, in very little pain and I was impressed. CancerGirl had turned into WarriorGirl. We asked incessantly “can we do anything?” and only ONCE did DynaHusband ask for any help….to watch over her while he went to run some errands. Let me tell you, she slept the whole time…easiest babysitting assignment I have ever been given. Although, she did have control of the remote, which resulted in my being stuck watching the Cinderella remake with Brandi and Whitney Houston. Kill.me.now.
She bounced back remarkably quickly; we were at their favorite hangout two weeks after surgery so DynaHusband could dress up like Santa…a very pervy Santa, but she was smiling and having a good time. It’s been the rule since this whole thing started, we have fun. We enjoy every moment and fuck cancer!
We are there with her, through the chemo, the up days, the down days. And we are honored to be there on the day that she claims control, that the chemo isn’t going to win. As we sit and watch, she has her head shaved…and smiles a smile that lights the room. I sit and watch, astounded by the sheer bravery she has to do that. I had thought of doing so in solidarity; yet, ultimately deciding against it for a couple of reasons, (1) it’s her battle and story, (2)I have a weird freckle on my head (3)I didn’t want to answer any questions. She had no choice….either she shaved it or watched it go down the drain. I don’t know that I am that brave.
She has a perfect baby head.
There were to be wigs in the beginning, which lead to many pervy jokes. Duh. Slowly, she began to go all naturel….no wigs, just baby head and a bonnet. As her comfort level grew, she smile shined. It wasn’t long until we never saw a wig….to be perfectly honest, I don’t think we ever saw her IN it. We began searching for hats for her…everywhere we go, the Wife was looking for hats…it became part of the day….hats for WarriorGirl…hats, hats, hats…hats with pom poms, hats with ears, hats with flowers…so many choices…
It became habit, when we would see each other, my hand immediately rubbed her fuzzy head, half expecting a genie to pop out and grant me three wishes…but it never happened. *sigh*
She didn’t post anything on Facebook for the longest time. The one time she did, I immediately texted and said, “uh, that’s on FB!” and it came down….we set her up a blog, so she could relate how she felt, what was going on and how she was coping. That was the only written word about the fucking cancer (with the exception of the veiled FB post for those “in the know”). Until recently.
About a month ago, WarriorGirl had her picture taken with her smile and baby head…and it was beautiful! And just like that, the battle was public…WarriorGirl had the fucking cancer. Only she had beaten it. There was love, support, concern, and celebration.
In fact, when I told the Boy (who *hearts* them!) that she had posted a picture on Facebook, he wanted to see it…and his exact words were “Its about time!” (I love the Boy….)
About two weeks ago, DynaHusband finally acknowledged what he had been through. I can’t imagine, watching, not begin able to fight FOR HER, but to simply sit by and allow her to do this. He’s the goods. The example any husband should strive to be; he’s that guy…and we can see how much he loves her, just by the look in his eyes. These two, they make me happy…watching them be a married people…gives me hope for the breeders. He wouldn’t tell us before how hard it was, in fact, he made sure to tell us he was “okay” and “good” any time we asked. He wouldn’t leave her side ever. He was her chemo buddy, her nurse, her transporter, her maid and her protector.
Nowadays, the chemo is over, the head is bald and she is still smiling. She will continue to survive…she will continue to be shiny. She will always be a Warrior in my eyes.
To the Couple That Could, I say this…we (the wife and I) are blessed beyond any words for the friendship you give us. We love you to from the tops of our heads to the tippy of our toes. We are grateful and honored to have walked through this battle with you, that we are on this side of the war and we (you) are winning. Thank you for all that you share, all that you do and all that you are to us.