My friend, Jose…I met her eight years ago this June. I answered an ad looking for a bookkeeper for her son…scheduling the interview Dan told me his mother was just diagnosed with cancer.
For the next two years I was at her place every Thursday doing Dan’s bookkeeping…watching her go up and down with treatment…eating healthy…because she was eating healthy…and cheering as she beat colon cancer…and was off to Mexico to celebrate.
Over the next year or so, I slowly dropped clients as it was getting too hard for me and…three years ago, it was Dan’s turn. I remember sitting in the office with Jose while she cried, “I’m never going to see you again”. I put my arms around her and gave her a big hug telling her, “Of course you will…I am dropping Dan not you!”. We talked her and Ken into joining our RV club and we started seeing them with us at various campgrounds and rallys.
Jose never seemed to recover from the cancer…part, I still believe to PTSD. She was so focused for so long on beating cancer that, when it was all done….silence. She tried volunteering at gardens and other places, different kinds of anti-depressants, different kinds of therapy and was unable to shake the depression or to recover from the side-effects of chemo.
Turns out it was much worse….we lost her in April to ALS. There is nothing more infuriating or frustrating than to lose a friend to another disease when she fought so hard and valiantly to beat the first one. She didn’t lose me…I lost her.
When I was diagnosed with cancer…I thought right away of Jose…she would get me through this…I would be okay with her and Ken’s help…they did it for her…they would do it for me. She is not at my side…she is not a phone call away…she is not here…today, we said goodbye.
I have felt a steady pressure on my right shoulder since she passed away…I know it is her. I know she is with me…when I start to leak or get down…I feel the squeeze and I know her….Jose is with me.
Murphy seems to have taken a holiday too…don’t miss him! Saw my family doctor to update her as I have been dealing with surgeons, oncologists and specialists and not her lately and to just touch base. I got the results of all the final tests…amen!
Reminder….when I had the PET scan they found a “hot spot” in my pelvic area and recommended further testing….ergo, ultrasound (pardon me…vaginal ultrasound). Since I was having a CT scan of the chest, abdomen and head my doctor had the oncologist tack on pelvic area. Got the scan results yesterday…head is clear (no jokes…glad the cancer has not spread to the brain!) and the “hot spot” in the pelvic area shrunk from the PET scan to the CT scan…not cancer…probably just a cyst that my body is taking care of by itself.
Hydration with a anti-nausea booster this morning (one more to go)…said goodbye to Jose and now I am going to go lie down.
Still swimming…tearfully…but, swimming.