He was only 18 when I was diagnosed the first time but showed extreme maturity and was with me through everything, even when it took me 10 hours away for treatment. (Obviously volumes could be written on this subject but we don't have the time and that's a whole other story.) When we broke up, we were crushed in our own ways, but we moved on in our own ways too. He found the love of his life (whom I adore) and I found a drive and passion for life I didn't know I had. I also found the freedom to make choices for the benefit of one person: me. We did not however remain friends and not for lack of trying. Who's to blame is not important, but I was excluded from the only world I knew and felt safe and comfortable in. I up and left for Costa Rica for a summer by myself and became a person worthy of the adjective: independent. He got the friends in the "divorce", whether or not they agree this is how it felt, but I was ok with that because I felt guilty for breaking up with him.
Fast Forward to now. I HATED going to Granny's diner for breakfast when we dated because they refused to serve me poutine before noon. Well, said ex arranged a breakfast with all of the friends to send me off properly, with poutine before noon. Don't get me wrong, some of the friends I stayed close with, some just didn't want to get involved in the situation, and some just did not understand. It wasn't that I never saw them, but there was a divide. Today was the first time since the break up we were once again a unified group. We were the LBC. (Not to be confused with Long Beach California.)
It was discussed that something as scary as cancer shouldn't be what makes people realize whats trivial and put their lives into perspective, but then again that's what it takes sometimes. I was just so overwhelmed with love because this group of friends was my family growing up, and they are my army again. The people who've come into my life have come for a reason. Sometimes good, and sometimes bad, but always to teach me something.
I've received numerous letters, texts, emails and phone calls but two stood out. 1. because they were from the people you least expect but 2. because I had impacted their lives and not even realized it.
::Excerpt number 1::
"You are one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. You are a beacon of light in a rainstorm and you give me and other people courage in themselves to find things in themselves to make them better people."::Excerpt number 2::
"Hey man, I don't know what's going on. I know of your medical history.
I just wanted to reach out and tell you, having known you only a short time. You are on a VERY small list of most positive people I know. I have no bad things to say about you. You were an incredible breath of fresh air in a rather volatile job environment. Stay positive. It will make everyone better. It made things better for me."
In the beginning I wasn't ready to get my ticket for the positivity train. But when I realized how I had touched people, I also realized I wasn't ready to let them down yet either. So my good bye breakfast was my reminder that I'm not alone, and this isn't for nothing. This fight is the reminder for everyone that life is short, and that everyone in your life is there for a reason, whether you like them or not.
I got in the car with my dad, and my cat and we began to drive. Armed with blue berries (antioxidants) and Swedish Fish (Dad loved these) as well as a journal, for when I needed to release my thoughts, and was loaded with my army of friends' phone numbers in the back to remind me I'm not alone. We chatted, in our god awful assortment of accents and caught up even though we live in the same house.
I arrived at my moms, unpacked and now sit here waiting for tomorrow. I know what it brings, the answers to questions I wish I didn't have to ask. Has the cancer spread or is it localized. The needles, the blood work, the surgeries. I was hoping for the results for whether or not my leukemia is back too, but they were lost, and so those have to be redone as well. Basically, the first day of the rest of my life begins tomorrow because whether or not I have a long rest of my life depends on tomorrow. My mind is ready, my body is the healthiest its been (aside from the whole cancer thing) and I'm ready.
Its Go Time.