I want to introduce you to my friend Denise. We have known each other since we were little girls.
Our mothers had been friends and were in a bowling league together. So that is how our friendship began.
Dance lessons and play dates were part of our early years. Time flys and our last memories together were decades ago when we would take ski lessons at Snowbird.
Life happens, and people grow apart. We lost touch with each other for many years.
But then unexpected circumstances brought us back together again.
It started on Facebook about seven years ago when I reached out to her to say hello. Now that I think about it I’m not sure who requested the FB friendship.
We would comment on each other’s post once in a while, but that was all.
One day I read Denise’s FB status and I’ll never forget the feeling I had learning that Denise was diagnosed with Breast Cancer stage 3B.
I followed her breast cancer story on Facebook. She had a fierce battle and finally was in remission.
Shortly after my own metastatic breast cancer diagnosis, Denise posted about her cancer recurrence. Her breast cancer had spread to the bone, and she was now also a metastatic cancer patient.
Denise and I have leaned on each other for advice as we share a similar diagnosis.
How can it be that we both are the same age and are triple-positive metastatic breast cancer patients?
Both of our right breasts is where cancer had started.
We both had the BRACA test and neither is a carrier of the gene that can trigger breast cancer. Yet here we are with the same disease.
Denise came to visit some of her family here in Utah, and I was so appreciative of the time she and I had to spend with each other.
She shared childhood memories with me that I had not thought about for so many years.
We have both lost our mothers, and we shared those vulnerable emotions.
We went to dinner, and Denise said: “let’s have dessert first.” And so we did.
We could have talked for hours, but Denise had another plan.
I found myself taking her Tao Tao for a test drive in the dark. And of course, I fell and skinned my elbow.
Denise’s son had given her a Tao Tao electric bike, and we took turns riding it around the neighborhood.
It was getting late when we hugged and said goodbye. I couldn’t help but wonder if I would ever see Denise again.
But then we laughed knowing that someday we would.