Thursday, December 22, 2016

Losing another one to breast cancer

Yesterday was a very hard day for me. I lost another friend. Linda and I met almost immediately after I'd been diagnosed with breast cancer. We connected through an internet breast cancer site and found we had so many things in common. Many people might have a hard time understanding how I can call her my friend when I've never met her in person, but through internet conversations, emails, cards and letters, and Facebook, we forged quite a friendship.

Linda and I shared the same type of cancer, invasive ductal carcinnoma and we both were diagnosed stage 2. I was stage 2B and she wasn't sure, but thought she was stage 2 A, barely a difference where we were concerned. We shared our treatment plans and spent days comparing notes on how we were feeling and areas we were struggling to overcome. We also shared encouraging words and found our faith to be another common denominator.

Linda took a different route with treatment than I did. She did everything exactly as the doctors recommended. She went through chemotherapy, radiation, and anti-hormone therapy, while I only chose to do radiation although I tried the anti-hormone therapy for several months. Although Linda did everything her doctors told her to do, her cancer spread to her bones, liver, lungs and brain. She fought the good fight and she won for she's now home with Jesus and in no more pain.

When facing me own mortality, it was difficult to learn of Linda's death. It's only been 2 1/2 years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I guess I'm suffering a little from survivor's guilt. Why did Linda pass away and why am I still here? The only reasonable answer I can offer to that question is based on my faith. I know God has numbered my days and He numbered Linda's too. He is the only one Who knows how many days we have allotted on this earth. I can't help but think about my future as I think about Linda's death. Although I'm sad she's no longer with us, I'm thankful she's no longer in pain. Her suffering is over. She has a new body and she's forever in the presence of her King.

I don't want to dwell on "what if" or what tomorrow might hold instead, I'm reminded of a specific verse in the Bible, Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  So my goal for the New Year is to learn to live in the moment, to cherish each of the 14400 minutes in each day and live them to the fullest. That's the best way I can think to honor my friend, Linda, and I think it would make her smile knowing that I've chosen to live my life that way.

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