Three years ago Jarrod came with me to what we believed was a routine post-surgical follow-up appointment.
It wasn’t routine. My surgeon gently informed me that the mass they had removed was not a benign fibroid, but a cancerous growth.
I remember his words mushing together into the background roar you hear standing near the ocean. I tried to take notes, but I couldn’t focus. They had sent the mass to another lab for a second opinion, but I needed to see an oncologist soon.
I remember thinking my doctor looked so sad, and being grateful for the shared emotion.
The day is fragmented in my memory. I have a memory of literally calling Laura from the parking garage. I texted Tiffany that I’d be late coming back online to work and she kindly told me to take all the time I needed. We made an appointment with an oncologist before we had gone a block. I texted Jennifer Gerres because she was from SAA, knew what cancer was like, and would help me. That’s what I remember thinking, SAA girls are there for each other. I asked Dad if we could do a conference call with Mom, as I didn’t think I could tell her alone without collapsing into tears. It was a surreal conference call. Quinn helped in ways that I honestly believe are why I found my way to Hopkins and am alive today.
Then we knew we needed our friends because we were scared and friends are how you cope with huge monsters. Buffy was always more fierce when she embraced her friends.
So, in the age of social media we reached out via Facebook. Friends showed up and embraced us and cheered us and assured us we were not alone.
I will always be grateful for that night. It has powered me through these years in ways for which I cannot find words.
Thank you to everyone who has been with us, in person and online, and helping us to fight and stay as sane as possible.
We love you and we thank you.
Anyone who thinks friendship isn’t magic hasn’t fought cancer in Silver Spring.