Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Friends Don't Let Friends Go Through Cancer Alone..

Everyone knows someone that is touched by Cancer, maybe it's you, a parent, a child, a friend or just someone you heard about via the grapevine. Well for me, this time it's a dear friend. This is about my friend, Bonnie. Just a mom like me( mind you she is MUCH older than I am), with a hubby, some kids, some dogs, sports, college tuition and all of lifes ups and downs. Sometimes in life, something comes along that drops you to your knees, no doubt this past January brought Bonnie to this humble place when the doctors told her she had breast cancer. Fear, anger and shock take over, then  the wait to see where this road would lead her. She waited for weeks to find out her sentence.
Finally, it was decided Bonnie would get the chance to appreciate the loss of her breasts, the pleasure of punky Chemo, some good old fashioned radiation and finally reconstructive surgery. She was sooooo excited with all this news that she could barely contain her glee at the prospect of all that was before her. Obviously, this is a brunch of fooey, but she did handle this news with a great deal of grace.
Being her friend and having this obsession with documenting all things in life, I felt it was my duty to tag along on this journey. I am hoping after all this is over and she is healthy and done with her treatments she will be able to look back at where she was, and how far she came in this curve ball in life.  So with all that said, here we go.
 When you have surgery, it is  very important that your toenails look good. Damn this woman, she knows how to keep her feet sexy.. I suggested she draw smiley faces on her boobies, but for whatever reason she wouldn't go for it. I know she probably regrets this decision.
 When shopping around for a place to have a mastectomy one must consider the surroundings. If not for yourself then definitely for those sitting by your bedside. I know her hubby would have appreciated her being a bit more considerate in that area. Secondly, when there is a ladder on the roof of the hospital, one should be very concerned. Why were patients trying to escape, just sayin.
 One thing that Bonnie told me was she wanted control of something in her life. That control came in the way of shaving her head before Chemo took it from her. Before you shave someones head, there must be a party with pizza, junk food and some serious glasses of wine. With her family and friends by her side, the Bald is Beautiful bash began.

 Sometimes there is a bit of a shock to the children when they see mom's hair being buzzed. I am happy to report, Ciara made it through this ordeal just fine, in spite of the look of horror on her face. 
 Her hubby got in there and showed some love and gave helped to give his wifey take back some control..He is such a good man, and boy has he taken excellent care of his love. Not bad for a couple that has been together for since jr high.
 A little hand holding never hurts. Thankful for a  son who was man enough not to be afraid to express his compassion and concern for his mom. This made us all tear up.
 After the trauma, sometimes a girl just needs a little love. Luckily two of her kids were able to be there. Kenzie showed lots of love via the Iphone..No doubt it was a difficult time for the whole family.
 This chorus from a song, is a perfect description for this sweet man's love for his wife, best friend and love. Need I say more, I think not!!

When you're weak, I'll be strong
When you let go, I'll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear that I'll be there to dry
your eyes
When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can't take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I'm gonna love you through it.

 There is a definite learning curve to this whole scarf tying thing. Luckily, there were plenty of gals there to help out and to mock the Cancer patient when necessary. Personally, I think she looked great bald..
 Reviewing the damages is important, as is sending images to your daughter. All in all, Bonnie was a great sport.
 This look did remind me of Harry Potter, I was expecting Voldemort to be hiding under that scarf. I know I wasn't the only one who was worried..
 Even Pat looked a little scared. Quite possibly, this whole ordeal can weigh heavily on a man's heart..

 At the end of the night, whether it was shaved head, the fear of Voldemort or a little Rapunzel, we were all happy to be there for Bonnie. We were honored that she wanted us to be a part of such an intimate part of her life.

As of  May 10th, Bonnie had 3 chemos down, 3 to go. Half way there, baby...Chemo isn't all fun and games though. There are a lot of blood draws, medications and a couple trips to the potty. Okay, I made more trips to the potty than Bonnie.  but I had a nervous bladder, don't judge.

There was some texting going on. Along with Lots of drip, drip, drip, drip, drip,drip, drip and more drips.  Did I mention all the drips???
 Some of the drugs were a little scary. The RED DEVIL med was a little freaky. It looked like they are pumping her full of Red Koolaid.  I'm not going to lie, Bonnie did look a little red after this stuff..
 Luckily the nurses at the hospital know how to push this drug with a smile. In fact, Tammy was so sweet, I wanted to put her in my pocket and take her home. She showed such compassion, kindness and a killer sense of humor towards Bonnie..I suspect Bonnie might miss this little lady when Chemo is over. Heck, I missed her before we were out the door.
Finally, the day came to an end, but the journey will continue for a while longer for Bonnie and her family. Will it be easy,  I think not, but she will not be alone. She will have to fight some battles alone, the battle recover from the Chemo for 2 weeks, the battle to get out of bed when her body tells her not to move, the battle to look at herself and smile, even when she feels weak, the battle to be strong for her family and finally the battle with why? Although, I have never heard her ask that question.

As her friend, I am so proud of her and her strength. I am impressed by the dedication and love of her family and I am thrilled to call her friend. If Bonnie could say anything to you, she would say, PLEASE get those boobies smashed and enjoy life.

 I will be keep you up to date on her progress over the coming months. So if you think of her, say a prayer. If you find your self in her shoes, know you will not be alone and if you find someone you know in this place, reach out and let them know you love them. Words aren't always easy when you don't know what to say, but sometimes your presence is enough.


  1. Oh my God,that was so touching and beautiful!!I am sitting here crying uncontrollably.Bonnie is so lucky to have such a dear friend in you.I am Bonnie's high school and hometown friend and all I can offer are my prayers and well wishes via facebook but I hope that helps a little.Just wanted to offer praise and encouragement to you as you continue to support Bonnie through all of this.I pray that I would be so lucky to have someone like you to stand by me if I ever go through something like this.God bless you!!

  2. Honored ya'll include me in the group of supporters! Kris, such great writing with just the right amount of sarcastic humor - love both you and Bonnie!

    After seeing you support each other through your crisises (is that a word?!) I tend to look at things a little differently ... wondering if I have nourished *my* friendships enough to be there like ya'll are there for each other. Just watching your grace has affected me and encouraged me to be a better friend and a more compassionate person.

  3. LOVE Love you Kris you are a blessing!!!

    If that is you in the Glasses you Look WONDERFUL!
    love n hugs


  4. This is amazing! Bonnie to have such a strong support group in Pat, your children and your amazing friends you are so lucky and I am sure that they feel the same way about you. This brought tears to my eyes! This story shows how truly strong you are. I have prayed for you and thought of you often. God has taken care of you and will never let you down. Please know that you are loved by many including me!! Sending you hugs from Ohio!! Be well!

  5. Forgot to let you know who I am!! Lynn Beatty-Hyder!


About Me

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My name is Kris. I am a wife, a mom to six, a photographer, a reader, a Christian, a Diet Coke drinker, a closet ice cream eater, a walker and a memory keeper.. Thanks for coming by to say hi, I can't wait to get to know you :)