I grew up in Seattle and lived there for 47 years. About four years before I moved to Arizona I met Sheri through my son's sports. We lived a block away from one another and became fast friends. We spent a lot of time just hanging out, dirt bike riding, and having cocktails. Once I moved to Arizona our visits became few and far between, but always at least twice a year, but we always talked at least three or four times a week. She came down every fall and we went to Yuma and stayed at a casino and spent time at the pool, in the hot tub, going over the border to Algodones Mexico, and just relaxing. Then of course any time I went home we got together. She came down in March for a long weekend. Because I don't have a pool we decided to get a hotel for the pool and the hot tub, and because it was within walking distance to all the restaurants just in case there was any alcohol involved. Which, there's always alcohol involved with Sheri. She's the queen of the B-52s. She always had to give the bartender instructions on how to make the perfect B-52. While Sheri was here she mentioned that she had a head ache but didn't say much more about it. We had a great weekend and she went home.
Three weeks after Sheri was here she called me and said she was going in on Friday for an MRI because she'd been having head aches. Head aches so bad they would keep her up at night and caused her to have to call in sick to work. I tried to reassure her that everything would be fine. Friday afternoon, Sheri called me from the imaging clinic and told me she had a brain tumor and was being sent directly to the hospital. When she arrived at the hospital she was seen by many doctors who wanted to admit her and do immediate surgery. Because her mom, Carol, lives in Oklahoma and her brother Rick spends winters in Yuma, she said she had to get her family home, get her husband and kids up to speed before she could have the surgery. Carol went home, Rick went home, and ten days later they operated. They took out a baseball sized malignant tumor of the worst kind of brain cancer there is. Glioblastoma is what she had. I've spoken to her exactly twice since her first surgery. I don't know what happened. I don't know if it's the surgery that did it, or the cancer got loose or what but she has been a mess ever since. She's had to have two more surgeries to relieve swelling and fluids, she can't talk, she can't walk, and as of a few days ago she's no longer eating or drinking. Her mom tells me it's near the end. Poor Carol has been at her side 24 hours a day for four months. Tim still has to work full time so it's been good for him to have Sheri's mom there. Sheri has spent most of the last four months in the hospital and is now in a "rehab" facility. Carol told me that I'll probably be getting "the call" soon. I am so broken hearted. Sheri has been the sweetest, dearest friend I've ever had. She's always been there for me. She has all my secrets. All my stories. She's the one I've called for the past nine years. She's been my person. I know this isn't about me, but not being able to be with her or see her, hug her, hold her hand, has been awful. Most people would get on a plane and go visit but that's not in my budget and never will be. Sheri, this is my goodbye to you. I love you and appreciate you more than you will ever know. I just wish I could tell you in person.