Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friends Who Understand

While we were in Arkansas for Tanner's consultation (and additional tests) last week, we had an opportunity to go out to eat with some friends that we made while we "lived" in Little Rock for those six months during the most aggressive period of treatment.

Tom and Shirley rented an apartment through the "Home Away from Home" program across the street from us while Shirley and Tanner went through their chemo/stem cell transplant treatments and not a day went by that Tom didn't come over and check on us.  He always made us feel like we had someone looking out for our well being.  They made us realize we weren't truly alone all of those months (as we often felt) away from our family and friends.

Never once during that time did we ever have an opportunity to "socialize" (other than on "7C" or in the infusion clinic) so the opportunity to go out to eat during our visit last week was quite an event!

We went to On the Border (of course), and celebrated Tanner's 19th birthday - and also that he and Shirley both remain in remission after all these months!!

It was so much fun!!  I was surprised at how excited I was when we had an opportunity to meet for dinner!  When they walked through the door of the restaurant, my heart was filled with love and gladness - and as we were talking, we realized it had been over a year since we had actually seen each other...

Not many people quite understand what those months in Arkansas were like.  The long days and nights of treatment and illness... and fear...  The feeling of isolation as if your life is "on hold" while you deal with cancer, treatment, and everything that entails... while everyone else's lives back home go on without you...

They also grasp the feeling of anxiousness you experience when sitting across the desk from Dr. Barlogie - and then the overwhelming relief and joy that you feel when you hear the word "remission".  They understand that you go through those same feelings every time you sit across from that desk...

Tom and Shirley (Anastasia & Harris - and the other friends we made during that time) truly know what all of those months were like - and that fact forms a bond that will always be with us.  They will always hold a special place in our hearts...

No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth...  Robert Southey

1 comment:

  1. Jan Bertsche, fellow MM caregiver, calls the friends we make in this journey "Myeloma Blessings". And I love my "Myeloma Meet-Ups!" It's so nice to do normal things with those who we shared un-normal, scary things.