Thursday, January 13, 2011

That's what friends are for, dummy!

Tomorrow I'm lunching with the Missys. It's a lunch I'm calling, "I'm sorry I scared you guys but I don't have the cancer and I'm going back to work, I've lost my freedom" - kind of a celebratory/commiseratory thing.

A week ago one of the Missys told us, "it came back and I have the cancer." Okay, wait. Let me stop here by saying that I'm not making light of the situation or trying to take away from the seriousness of what was happening at that moment...but there is a story and it all makes sense. Of course we were worried and scared. Of course we mentally held hands and sang kumbaya. Of course we prayed and hoped the cancer would be a misdiagnosis. Which it was, thank goodness. Um, because when the announcement was made that she "had the cancer" we naturally assumed that Missy had been told by her doctor it was so. We naturally assumed that Missy had received a confirmed medical diagnosis via her biopsy results. We naturally assumed that Missy had seen written confirmation. You know, all the things that logically make sense in such a scary situation.


Since Missy had had a similar cancer scare before and her doctor contacted her so soon after her biopsy to see a specialist, Missy jumped from Point A to Point Cancer. Which, when you think about it, is not a far leap when you're worried and scared. But no one said to her specifically, "CANCER".

So when that call came from Missy saying, "I don't have the cancer!" color me a little confused. Had we not just been making plans on how supportive we were going to be? Weren't we saying how our rallying cry would be upbeat and positive, none of this lying around and feeling sorry for myself kind of thing? But how did they diagnose/change the diagnosis so quickly?

Ahhh...Missy admitted she self diagnosed. Which has led to a new pact in our friendship. An addendum to prevent future self diagnosed medical calamities:

* No self diagnosis allowed. Written confirmation or verbal confirmation via a known medical source, i.e., doctor, nurse, specialist, is absolutely necessary when sharing major medical announcements. (You will be mocked if said addendum is violated. Be prepared, it's not going to be pretty.)

Our friendship is based on love, an understanding of each other's foibles, humor and an odd kind of respect. We're a weird bunch, the Missys and I. We might be slow to show our emotions but we feel deeply. We mask our pain with a smile. You won't catch us crying publicly unless we've finally reached emotional empty and even that is rare. Those are some of the many reasons we are such great friends; but mostly it is because we laugh together and often. We laugh at ourselves, our families, our lives - everything and anything. Never malicious but always delicious fun. That's why Missy is in for a hell of a time tomorrow. I'm thankful she is healthy and doesn't have "the cancer'...but she has to pay for being silly and subjecting herself to days of torment and worry for nothing. We're going to share in laughing at herself and with us. Celebrate life.

Oh, the other Missy is going back to work. No big deal. Congratulations!!


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