Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Breasties! Then & Now

Friends come to us at the most unexpected times and this friendship is no different. We met in the chemo room last year and soon realized we had much in common. Lorena, a spitfire in her own right, resonated with me from the second we met across the room, tethered to our chemo chairs and poles. Her spirit came across loud and strong! She had an obvious fire in her belly with her cancer-picked-the-wrong-girl attitude and an immediate bond was formed.

We have the exact-same line-up of surgeons and oncologists down to our second opinion docs. She's a repeat offender with breast cancer like me (her 2 rounds, me 3) and we both speak other languages. Most importantly, I knew that we both shared the gonna-have-a-knockdown-with-cancer mentality.

So, when we reconnected recently outside of the chemo room for coffee, we dove right in where we left off (minus the chemo poles!) a year ago. First order of business, our hair! I'm sure people in the coffee shop couldn't figure out why two gals hugged each other and then immediately started touching each other's heads. "Yours is so soft!" "Mine grew in coarse." "Mine grew in curly." "Mine sticks up!" "Mine has grey now." Laughing through it all, we sat down and were off and running. I even noticed that 3 different people sat down next to us but then quickly changed tables. We didn't care. We both looked at all three of them and then quickly returned to our own world and chatter.

In one hour, we managed to chitchat about several items on our mental agenda. Minus a few chemo-brain moments on both our sides, we jabbered on about our new energy levels (or lack thereof), nutrition, our achy joints from meds, combating fatigue, newly diagnosed breasties and the like. But mostly, we just connected about life, our immense gratitude to be alive and kickin' and how we need a damn cure for this disease. We talked about how we both know the statistics looming over our heads but how we both have chosen to ignore them.

The takeaway was that I walked away from my breastie-coffee-date feeling more like myself again having connected with my sister from another mister. Having chatted it up openly and honestly about how we're truly feeling without judgement and minimizing from anyone else really elevated me. We didn't complain, we simply spoke about the facts and how we'll keep moving forward in gratitude. In a nutshell, we collectively smiled with thankfulness for each and every day.

So, thanks to Lorena for your kick-a$$ attitude, your contagious rockin' spirit and for just being you. Note to self, must have more coffee dates with you!

Lastly, thank you cancer for this friendship; a definite silver lining with round 3!

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