Monday, November 23, 2009

A plague with a dangerous tongue

I think I would rather hear someone has died than the diagnosis that they are bound to. It's like slapping a big warning on someone's body that warns they're a disappearing act. I'd rather she just dies and be gone instead of watching all the health and happiness flea from her body and soul. It's not glorifying and even the strongest person cannot defeat this deadly plague that is the human condition.

My good friend invided a group of girls over for our usual wine themed "Ladies Night". It was the regular type of get-together that we have everytime; sharing laughs and stories. Only last night was interrupted by a heavy undertone. All night we could see there was discomfort in her body language and physical pain at certain times. Almost the ache of a heavy soul. She shared with us last night that she was diagnosed with esophageal cancer about three months ago and by her check up with her doctor earlier yesterday, it is evident that the illness has begun to spread. Like wildfire, this is a grotesque killer, only now it is personal and has pried its way into the very body of one of my greatest friends.

This friend, is a gorgeous and generous person in both body, intllect and passion. There is not one person more qualifying for me to carry on in the impression of. I have many friends that I consider to be good people and by Mother Earth, god or whatever superstition it is that we name our religion, I am blessed to have encountered. She is beyond a blessing in my life. It is a simple task for a friend to offer a ride or come by occasionally at her expense to console a friend druing a crisis; however, it is a completely more emotional connection to take in someone (as she has done with me and vice versa) and say virtually, that "Hey, I am not going to go away. I am going to be here when it's invonvenient for you - invonvenient for me too" I think in most ways she is my rock - that person that I can lean on no matter where I am or what the problem. I used to figure that she would be a girlfriend at my wedding day, proposing a toast. I figured she would be around forever, to help me shop for children's clothes and pick out a good school if ever that day came as she'd already gone through it with her children. Unfortunately, cancer is day after day replacing my wonderful friend and likewise, taking over my own body and mind, replacing it with sadness.

The weight of her physical pain is above me. The weight of that choked up feeling you get when you need to tell someone face to face something but can't - that she is going to have to deliver this statement not only to myself and our mutual friends, but to her children, her family, her lover. I cannot even imagine telling someone that you are going to die and there is nothing anyone can do. I have seen this disease take over the lives of friends and family memebers before, people who's lives were throuwn into mine by biology, work, or educational decisions. She is someone I searched for. I made it a point of getting to know her and love her as a friend and mentor and now she is going to die.

Instead of focusing on all of this and addressing the physical and finacial struggles that lie ahead of her, she just mobilized everything she has - her spirituality, emotions, intellect and the remnants of her physical strength. She said to me in an effort to keep my tears back once everyone else had left, "Mel, the world is sickened; it isn't just me. There is pollution of pollution threatened with AIDS, racfisms, homelessness, all kinds of pain and illnesss. Cancer is just one point. One art in my body and it's just an art that is bigger than my body can handle."

I cried the whole way home and took miles of backroads just for something to do - someplace to go. I couldn't figure out who to talk to because I can't make this any better. I suppose that's why this is here, lying in the depths of cyberspace, with no direction. I, too, lacking direction.

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