“What do you do when one of your otherwise healthy, non-smoking best friends tells you they have stage 4 lung cancer at 34? This happened to me 2 years ago May with my best friend, Kim. What was I going to do and think? First of all, I realized that I must be there for her. What does this mean? It means that I have read and researched about her type of lung cancer. While the statistics are poor for surviving this disease, I continue to hope that new drugs will be developed and Kim will be eligible for them and beat the statistics that are quoted.
I appreciate Kim being honest and upfront with me about how she is feeling and that she states the truth about her disease. No sugarcoating anything which I like. While sometimes it is hard to take and hear, I, in return, talk with her honestly and openly. I understand that she is going to have both good and bad days. I am there for all of it.
Do I think about my best friend dying at a young age because she has lung cancer? I know the facts and I know the truth but I try to put these thoughts in the back of my head and just enjoy the time we have together. Whether laughing on vacation, out taking a walk, going to appointments with her or just sitting quietly, what ever she feels like and wants to do is what works for me. It helps that my husband, Mark, is friends with her and her husband, Spencer, as well. If I need someone to talk to about my feelings or sadness about Kim, I speak to Mark or our other mutual friends.
The most important thing I admire about Kim is that she is LIVING with lung cancer and doing it very well in my eyes. She always seems to handle whatever medical twists and turns come her way. When and if this changes, I will be here for whatever she needs. Am I sad this happened to her? Yes, but as we know cancer affects lots of people and this is not going to change. It is a hard pill to swallow and of course I occasionally feel angry that this happened to my best friend. I realize being angry about this does not help Kim.
I will continue to be here for her and hope I’m helping her to live her life the way she wants it to be. Just because she has lung cancer, our friendship will never change!