Cancer, quite simply, sucks. It is a cunning, baffling, and formidable foe that strikes without warning and leaves its mark on all those it touches. I dipped my own toe in the cancer waters when I was diagnosed with an early stage of cervical cancer, but thanks to swift, excellent medical treatment, I escaped its grip unscathed and have been cancer free for almost fifteen years. Unfortunately, for a dear friend of mine, the battle rages on today.
Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer about 18 months ago, and she fought back and kicked cancer to the curb. Or so we thought. This past December brought the dreaded news that the cancer had taken up residence in 8 of her lymph nodes, and so began the renewed physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual fight, in addition to more rounds of chemotherapy. No-one deserves this, especially someone who is as amazing as Michelle.
If I could, I would rid Michelle of this horrible disease myself, but I can’t. I would do anything for her, but this is one thing that I can’t fix, which makes me feel utterly helpless. Since I can’t cure what ails her, I am committed to doing what I can do to support her through this, and recently, I had the chance to do something to give her a much needed and deserved boost and to remind her how much she is cared about and loved.
I made my way north of the Mason-Dixon Line, where she now lives, and I took with me a very special care package, a basket of decadent treats from Kentucky, where we both are from and where I still live. It is said that there is no place like home, and since she cannot be home, I wanted her to have a sweet reminder of a place near and dear to her heart to cheer her up. From the big smile on her face and her genuine words of gratitude, I’d say that my mission of kindness was accomplished.
In addition to presenting her with this special gift, I also gave her plenty of hugs, words of support, and lots of laughs, as we recounted funny stories from a time when cancer was not part of her life and created new memories with some of our college friends who joined us for the evening. We focused on her and on having a great time together, not the cancer, and for that moment, she was not a cancer patient, she was our beautiful, bubbly, and extraordinary friend.
While this care package did not cure her cancer, I believe that laughter and love had something to do with the great news that greeted her a few days later. Her recent scan showed cancer cells remain in only one of the eight lymph nodes, and we celebrated with prayers of thanks and happy tears. The fight is not over, and until it ends with Michelle proving victorious, I will continue to kill her cancer with kindness, one cell at a time . . .
Author – Kristi Jo Jedlicki resides in Kentucky, where basketball, horses, and bourbon reign supreme, and not necessarily in that order. She says she is “a perfectly flawed southern girl who dreams big and has stories to tell. I am simply myself, and I am many things to many people, including, but not limited to:
- a better ex-wife than wife
- a mom to two extraordinary daughters
- a southerner raised by Yankee parents
- the youngest of three daughters, who puts the fun in dysfunctional
- a loyal friend to a diverse cast of characters
- a social worker
- a writer and blogger
- an avid lover of music of all sorts
- a big dreamer, despite living through some nightmares
- a pessimistic optimist or an optimistic pessimist
Kristi is also the writer and keeper of the That’s Another Story blog, which she hope entertains, educates, and/or encourages at least one person along the way, as she strives to change herself and the world one day at a time.