I love my sister.
She is my confidant, my sounding board, and my security blanket. Whenever I call with a problem she always asks, “do you want me to come over?”
So, when Melinda called me last week with some sad news I wanted to go right over, though being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, well…
Melinda had just found out a dear old friend had been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. As friends, they grew out of their hip huggers and into the comfort of their own skin. Being of the same age and aging together creates a depth of comfort, support and a profound compassion for each other.
I could feel Melinda’s deep sorrow for both her friend and for herself. I wanted to be of some comfort and have the right words to ease the sadness and shock, yet all I could manage were I am so sorry. That’s all, I am sorry.
Where was my Super Hero cape? Or my Mary Poppin’s bag? Where were my words of wisdom? Haven’t I read enough, researched enough, peddled enough, and walked thru the doors of Dana Farber enough to have something up my sleeve other than I am so sorry? Having been on both sides of cancer I can’t help but think I should have some wisdom in easing my sister’s grief, or at least some insight.
Cancer still is that “C” word. It still delivers the punch that takes more than just your breath away. It is common yet it still bowls us over every time we here of someone’s news. The “C” word causes a ripple effect from the patient to their loved ones to their loved one’s loved ones and then to their friends and so on. Cancer will be in your life, some how some way, a troubling but very true fact.
So what can I do for my sister and for her friend other than the words “I am sorry”?
From my experience, just hearing family and friends say they were sorry was enough. All it takes is a bit of common sense. Be there and be honest.
AND what I will also continue to do is raise money for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute a leader in cancer research, prevention, detection and treatment by participating in the Pan Mass Challenge.
Please help me help all of us, here’s how to donate.
THANK YOU to Mark, Jim, Isabel, my Mom and Steve for already donating.