Today, 13 hours later, I drove away from University Hospital. Not sure what else to to, I stopped at a convenience store and bought some chardonnay. (Wouldn’t you?) My girlfriend Allison had surgery today. 12-hour surgery. Scary surgery. Cancer surgery. The kind of day that makes takes you up and pulls you down, that roams from boredom to fear, that makes you question life and just thankful for your girlfriends.
In 2000, we met at a dinner party and she mentioned she was walking a marathon. I was up for that challenge so I called her, signed up for it and we started walking together – for seven years, almost every Saturday except for travel, rain or stupid-cold days. On a normal Saturday we walk five to seven miles to that one Sunday when we did 26.2 miles. I figure we’re up to about a thousand miles of walking and a thousand miles of talking. Talking about our lives, husbands, pets, friends, dreams, fears. A thousand miles of sharing mainly laughs and a few tears. Over Labor Day we hung out in NC at her mountain house (aka: the MoHo). Allison, and her husband Lee, are wonderful, forever friends.
Allison, like all girlfriends, is unique, as was her surgery. Actually, it is only performed at four locations in the U.S., seven in the world. Scary stuff, but you don’t know my girlfriend Allison. She is (as we lovingly call her!) “a jock” – strong, determined and lives life to the fullest. Knowing the surgery was approaching and working around the chemo, she took advantage of every good day this summer. We’d walk six miles, then she would go to spinning class and golf or kayak later in the day. (See? Jock. We are just envious of her energy and spirit!)
Today was tough. It will be for a while, for the weeks to come. But Allison is a fighter and overall, things went pretty well today. Please keep her in your prayers. Keep all of our sisters who fight this evil cancer in your thoughts.
Learn the important lessons. That life is short and we do need our girlfriends. Hug them. Share secrets. Walk and talk together. Hug or hold hands. Be. Together.
Love you Allison. Love you girlfriends.
p.s. And, knowing Allison, she’d want me to have some chardonnay. (She once asked her doctor if chardonnay was on the ‘clear fluids’ list!) I look forward to sharing some with her in the hopefully not-too-distant future.
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