Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Best Friend

"but there is a friend who sticks closer
than a brother"
~Proverbs 18:24b

Over the course of my life, I've had several people that I've considered to be my best friend. Circumstances change, people change, and friends tend to drift in and out of our lives. Thanks to Facebook, I am back in touch with many of the BF's of my past (if you're reading this on FB, you know who you are! )

But, for the past 16 years of my life, there's been one constant friend in my life - my best friend Sue. We met at church when Ashley was just a baby. We had an instant bond. I looked at her and pretty much knew that we'd be friends. At the time, of course, I had no idea what all we'd go through together - but I knew, right away, that we'd be friends.

We have a lot in common; and in the areas where we don't agree, we compliment each other quite well. We sound alike (which could be the result of so many hours spent talking on the phone), and have even been known to make each others' phone calls on occasion (you know the ones I'm talking about - the calls you just don't want to make!)

Over the years, our friendship has grown and changed - but, through it all, Sue has remained my very best friend. She was there for me when I had my tubal pregnancy - and even came to check my incision when I called to say there was something wrong (and, trust me - that was a huge sacrifice on her part!) We've both left the church where we first met; and we've learned that church wasn't the glue that held our friendship together - God is!

So, suffice it to say, I was quite shaken this past summer when she found a lump that turned out to be an ovarian cancer mass. She had a hysterectomy, followed by 3 chemotherapy treatments, and was declared cancer-free. Even when she lost her hair (and I can only imagine how hard that must have been), she never looked sick to me.

Then, a few months ago, we were out for a girls' night together (our first since before the cancer). Sue was having some back pain. One thing led to another - a doctor visit, another CT scan - and the scary prognosis - it looked as though the cancer may have returned in her lymph system. There were a few very rough weeks there - back to the surgeon, the news that she would need to go through chemo treatments (again!), and another surgery to come (to remove the infected lymph node). Sue was in a tremendous amount of pain and it was horrible to see her that way.

I went along for her chemo treatment. We were able to smile and laugh a bit. Honestly, I was afraid they might kick us right out of there! The next week was another rough one. But then, like a miracle, she called the following week and sounded like herself again. She stopped in later that week; and, I thought she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen (she was a sight for sore eyes, to be sure).

We continue to walk this road called cancer, one day at a time. Some days I'm scared, I confess. There have been days when I have literally cried out to God, begging Him to spare my friend and make her well again. I don't want to lose her. I hope she feels the same way about me! Cancer is a scary thing, and it has no favorites, that's for sure.

But, I've learned a lesson or two through this trial. I've learned not to take things and people for granted. I've learned to be thankful for every new day.

Sue, if you're reading this, thanks for being my friend. Thanks for being you! Thanks for always accepting me as me. You're the best and I love you to pieces. I'm looking forward to better days ahead and lots more memories in the making.

"a friend loves at all times"
~Proverbs 17:17a

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