So, my best friend has cancer. The kind of cancer that will change her as a person, a woman, and her whole existence. Not that hers is special or that others don’t experience these changes as well. It’s just that she is young, the same age as me, actually. 33. She is a remarkable person, remarkable. She is single, no kids, a high school english teacher, water polo and swimming coach and the athletic director. She rescues dogs and hell, even people, she’s always with a roommate. Cancer is not for her.
We met at a slumber party in 5th grade. We went to separate elementary schools but lived just blocks away from each other, which is pretty common in the city. We were fast friends, and then family. Her mom was as good as mine and vice versa. Most things in life change over the years, we have been through it all and are still together. Separated by miles but together.
Today, well, right now as I type this she is in surgery having her entire reproductive system removed as well as a few lymph nodes. She will have a round of chemo, too, but not for a few weeks.
Last week she chopped off her ‘fro- her signature look. She’s always had this hair, big and bold and natural. That hair is as much her as anything and it’s gone. When I saw the photo I broke, finally. I cried and cried and cried. I sent her an e-mail. You fuck cancer right in the ear- no one takes your hair! She laughed, nervously responding that it’s getting a little to real.
She is strong, I know she will beat it. No question in my mind.
I just hope she’s doing better than I am today. I know she’s not.