I met her on a social media site and after much back and forth messaging, we set up a tentative meet. We had decided that we were not axe murderers nor were we some sort of weird internet psychos. Well we felt we weren't.
We set up a meeting in a public place and had a picnic.
Her husband N, had had stomach cancer the year before and had just finished treatment in January 2015. It was now October.
Rich and I were getting ready for the 3 month follow up and PET scan. The guys talked about old cars and dogs.
We spent a couple of hours yacking and promised to get together again.
S, N's wife and I keep in touch nearly daily. We have each other's home phone numbers, work numbers, and cell numbers with the understanding that we can call on each other at any time of day or night.
People and caregivers who have gone through cancer don't have to pussy foot about what to say to each other.
We talk about the treatments, the chemo brain, the horrors of what they go through and... what the care giver goes through.
How we stumble from one step to another our lives tangled up in doctors, labs, radiology, blood tests, and weight loss or gain.
There is no stumbling around for the 'right' thing to say to each other. A common bond is created.
At the end of our first meet the guys shook hands and gave each other half hugs.
S and I held on to each other like lost lovers, I think we were happy to each find each other in the living flesh.
We've tried to schedule a get together for dinner or something every few weeks.
N has been feeling unwell and today I received the text.
Tonight we'll go see him in the hospital. We are all entering new territory here.
There are a lot of what ifs...or what now?
Our friendship has grown quite close and quite fast.
Between cancer friends, there is only this. Enjoy each moment with each other and don't look to hard at the future.
Treat each parting as a goodbye.
Hold on tight. Cancer is a wild ride.