Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sadness in the Nutshell house

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.





12 comments:

  1. What a sweet tribute to your friend! Prayers for you and your friend tonight.

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  2. So sad to lose a good friend! It must break your heart to not be able to go say a last goodbye :(, but I think she will understand.

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  3. I'm so sorry to hear this, Carolyn. :( It's very hard to lose someone so close to you. In 2005, I lost my dad to cancer. Thoughts are with you.

    Julie

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  4. C, I am so sorry for you. Yes, I understand when you say "its not about you" but it is about you too because you love her. Losing someone you love is so hard. I think it is ok for you to take a little time and feel bad for your loss too. Send you all my best thoughts and prayers...Take care, Linda N

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  5. I am so sorry for your sadness and the impending loss of your friend. I'm just sorry. Sounds like the world will be short one glorious person. I hope you'll be okay.

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  6. I am very sorry. This just sucks! It's hard enough to start losing people in our parent's generation but to lose one's friends is just not something I am ready for yet. My prayers are with you and Sheri's family.

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  7. Carolyn, I'm so sorry, but I agree with the other comment that Shari would more than likely understand. That is just not a neat, encapsulated cancer. My father had it, died in '89. Medicine just hasn't advanced enough to get what they described to me as spider web growth from the main turmor. And it is harder to lose someone in your generation; I lost my younger brother 2-3-08, well that's when I found him, he'd been dead a while from cardiomyopathy, cirrhosis, basically he shut down. Not pretty. He'd lived with us for 3 months of sobriety before he left and went back to the bottle. If you need a shoulder, my email is on my webpage, let me know, I'll give you my cell. Hang in and know you're loved by many you aren't even aware of.
    Janet

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  8. I know exactly how you are feeling. I went through a very very similar situation with my best friend, Linda. She developed stomach cancer and I was 500 miles away. It is hard not to be able to be with them. I know my friend understood and I know yours does, too. Prayers for her family and you, as well.

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  9. My heart breaks for you right now as one of my good friends is under the knife for a double mastectomy as I type.

    She shares all those great memories with you and I'm sure she knows you love her even without saying it. I wish I had some stellar advice to offer but I'm blank. Keep her and her family in your thoughts and do what you can from afar, even if it's only to pray.

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  10. I haven't seen any recent posts from you and came here to read that your friend lost her fight. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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