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Friendship, Fear and the Fight

Posted in: Blog by amy on October 26, 2015

We have our childhood friends, our college friends, our neighborhood friends, and then we have those friends who just come into our lives when we aren’t even looking. When I met Sue at our kids’ preschool, she was in four-inch wedges and I was in my old-school kicks. We were an unlikely pair, but our connection was instant. Her smart, witty, blunt, authentic way made her one of those friends who I’ve wanted to talk to on a daily basis for the past decade. When Sue and I became friends, my youngest daughter Danielle was two. She met Sue and had a similar reaction to meeting her as I did — an instant connection. Danielle called her Sue Love, and that name has stuck ever since.

I love talking to my Sue Love because not only is she so intuitive and honest, but she also has always been my biggest fan. This may sound unusual, but when I’m on vacations with my boyfriend, Sue Love asks for a bikini shot: Upon receipt, she always lavishes me with compliments. She wishes for the best for me as she roots me on, builds me up and reminds me each day of all that I deserve. How many women are never envious and only supportive of one another? It truly is a gift to just have a phone conversation with her.

But the call I received a couple of weeks ago from my Sue Love changed everything: “This is not the phone call you want to get.” I held my breath and gripped the phone as she continued to talk: “I have cancer.” Bam. Just like that. The world as I knew it was splattered with fear. I asked questions. I offered my boundless support. And then I let her hang up the phone while I climbed into my bed to cry. My sweet Sue Love. I couldn’t believe it. She has had a tough life, but with her optimistic way and beautiful energy, she’s found happiness, too. She works hard, laughs hard and loves hard. And now, she’s going to have to fight hard.

What do you say when you learn that your 45-year-old friend has multiple myeloma? How do you sleep knowing that she’s angry and afraid? Where do you find answers to all of the terrifying questions about treatment, about the prognosis, about the future? I’m learning that you don’t say too much; you listen. I’m finding that you don’t sleep too much; you lay there with sadness. I’m realizing that you don’t find concrete, scientific answers; you just wait and see. So I’m waiting. She’s waiting. Her daughters and partner and mother and friends are all waiting. We’ve been reminded, once again, of the reality that life as we know it can change in an instant. We’ve been put into a position wherein our strength and courage will be tested. We’ve been surrounded by the new presence of an uninvited, undesired, unpredictable force — cancer.

Our Sue Love is going to continue forward with this force hovering over, around and inside of her. But, like I said, her spirit and energy and strength are like none other. She needs all of that now, and she certainly will use it. And, I know that during this scary, grey time, she will find moments of beauty and joy and sunshine. So, let’s all send our love and positive energy into the universe, heading right towards this beautiful soul and all of the beautiful souls who could use a little extra strength.

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11 Responses to “Friendship, Fear and the Fight”

  1. Pam Gilbert says:

    Sue Love-
    I am a Thriver. I was bitten by a big, huge dragon of a cancer as well. Mine is Leiomyosarcoma. I’ve had some time to process, that you haven’t. We don’t know each other, but I consider you my sister. I began by supporting one woman and now we have a group and support each other. If you want some support, a sounding board, help with resources anything or nothing, I am available 24/7. Amy can get to me. It’s about you, now and that’s okay. You get to make the rules for a while. Take care of yourself in all ways.
    Wishing you my very best,
    Pam Gilbert

  2. Karyn Miller says:

    Sending positive energy to Sue Love and to all her loved ones that will support her during this fight. I wish I knew this fabulous person that means so much to you.

  3. Susan says:

    You are both lucky to have each other<3! I too have a sue love that I met at age 14 and have been thru lots of ups and downs with. She always tells me know matter what happens we will get thru "it" together . One day at a time, together. She would say sending good karma your way whenever in a tough spot…so I'm sending you a universe of good karma from us both!

  4. Yana Turner says:

    Beautifully written! You are the strength that she needs right now. Amazing!

  5. Jamie says:

    Sending only positive energy for Sue (and her girls and Freddie)! I am so so sorry to hear this. I am at a loss but here to help support her.

  6. Karen Poter says:

    Everything you said is absolutely true. I know Susan will fight and win. You are a wonderful friend, Amy. Sending positive thoughts to all.

  7. Suzy Lowell says:

    Sending love and positive energy to a fellow WOODER. Wishing Susan the best!!

  8. Idair taradash says:

    I speak from experience. 9 years ago I was told I had stage four lung cancer in both lungs and another kind of lung cancer One wasn’t enough I had 2 types. It was not an easy journey but I am here writing to you! Be as strong as you can be. Ask for help even if you have never done it before. Cry and scream. It’s important to do that to. Don’t hold your angry in because we are angry. And the most important thing I felt was to love your oncologist because he/she is going to become your best friend. Tell him everything and listen to your nurses. They are so well trained to deal with all your questions and fears. Fight fight fight and don’t ever give up and you can win over this beast. Good luck

  9. Lucy Hodges says:

    I pray for your friend and for you.
    I admire your strength and Sue’s courage.
    Five months ago, we received the crushing news of my beautiful best friends brain cancer diagnosis.
    She is 44 years old and is fighting the fight. I pray every single day for her and admire her everyday life right now.
    Reading this is just what I needed today. Thank you!

  10. amy says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and for your prayers. I’m sorry that it took so long for a response — I didn’t see any of the comments until today for some reason. More importantly, I’m sorry to hear that your dear friend is struggling. I’m sending good thoughts your way and towards all of those who need strength!

  11. amy says:

    Thank you so much for the good karma, and thanks for the mantra “one day at a time, together.” I love that!

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