I was privileged to meet this loving, positive woman in December of 2015. She was my roommate at Foothills Hospital – each of us having had surgery performed by a capable and compassionate oncological surgeon. We cheered each other on as each would work hard to get to the bathroom in hopes of embarrassing ourselves by leaving a foul smell after a great big poo…didn’t happen for either one of us while there, but that’s not the main theme of this post.
This woman was a proud stay at home Mom and it was clear how important family was to her. I was priviledged to have been adopted, feeling sometimes like a sister, sometimes like a fellow soldier in battle, sometimes that other “adopted” daughter, but most preciously she became a special friend. We went through the same chemo protocols, though our diagnosis and, eventually, prognosis were not the same. In her first call to me when we were out of hospital she exclaimed “we are in this together – you and I are special friends now and I know we will be for life!”. Neither of us expected our friendship would be cut so short.
I was able to visit her in hospital last Thursday after my one year check at Tom Baker. I spoke about her with my psychologist and how sometimes I was feeling somewhat guilty, here was this loving woman with a family, children, grandchildren, and a husband who loved her and she wasn’t going to be able to grant them their biggest wish of even more time together. We spoke about how special she was to me, and how her diagnosis was difficult on so many levels – losing a friend, witnessing the “in your face” that my last year or so could have been so different as well. My psychologist hit the spot when he asked if I thought that maybe, perhaps, she would be happy for me and my news. She was! Here was this woman, dying, with so much love left to give, and yet she was still thrilled for me that my news was so different from hers.
Sending my love to her in heaven and her family here on earth tonight, knowing she will be with me every time I step out of my Oncologist’s office victorious yet again. It is with tears tonight and a warm heart, and shared resolve, that I remember her.
Wishing you each that special stranger that can come in and impact your life as we did each other’s, and may your time with them be more plentiful and always cherished as our loved ones should be.