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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We interrupt this broadcast...

My good friend Nic has been battling brain cancer for almost 2 years. In that time, she's had brain surgery, radiation, a constant flow of chemotherapy, seizures, migraines, dizziness, speech problems, another brain surgery and plenty of other unpleasantness that would give her a free pass to wallow in self-pity, sitting around all day asking why it had to happen to her; or she could have decided to spend her time hurling a bad attitude in the direction of everyone she encounters. Instead, she's handled it with her own special grace that consists mostly of the "Let's just agree that Sh*t Happens and move on already" ideology.

I could have listed plenty of reasons why she's worthy of admiration as a person and as a friend before all of this happened, but since her diagnosis I have been blown away by her strength of character and her ability to giggle (her trademark reaction to just about everything) when it would take her a few beats to remember common words that just the day before she could have recalled without a problem. After her first brain surgery in June 2006, she said to me, "Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. Any ideas?"

Immediately after her second brain surgery a couple of weeks ago, the first thing she asked for was a cherry icee. She even told the nurses she'd skip her first round of pain medication if they'd let her husband Tim bring her one, and did I mention it was immediately after she had brain surgery and there was probably some pain involved? Of course they couldn't allow that, so in the meantime, those of us who love her have been drinking cherry icees on her behalf.

She did remarkably well until this weekend, when she had a major setback. To say she's in the fight for her life would only be to describe the past 22 months, and what she's going through right now is infinitely bigger than that. I'm asking every one of you to send some positive energy in the direction of Alabama from wherever you are sitting. I can't put into words how badly she needs it, not to mention how badly I need to know that I'm doing everything I can in my power to help; which frankly in times like these, thinking I have any kind of "power" is a joke because all there seems to be is the very persistent reminder that there's no power I possess that can make the cancer cells in her brain disappear.

So, just as I have since finding out the results of her first brain scan in 2006, I will continue to close my eyes as the tears fall and send positive thoughts her way, because that's all I can really do.



When I sent her this song in July, she said it gave her some "extra oomph", so I'm putting it out into the universe again.

Shine (Cyndi Lauper)
Shine I'll stand by you
Don't try and push me away 'cause I'm just gonna stay
You can shine, I won't deny you and don't be afraid it'll all be ok

Do you know my name
Well I ain't gonna take that big time line, won't be beat by a lie
Gonna call out to these embers waiting to ignite
Gonna pull you up by your love, by your love, and tell you

Shine I'll stand by you...

I can see the frown you wear all around like some faded crown
Like a watch over wound
Gonna call down to this diamond buried underground
Gonna pull you up by your love, by your love and tell you

When it's said and done what you need will come
and time won't let me let you let me waste it this time
Shine...

22 comments:

Kat said...

That sucks. I am sending all my positive thoughts and energy your friends way.

Melisa said...

I just read Tim's update and I using all my "power" to send positive thoughts down there...

Jill said...

Jules-

Major prayers coming your way.

My Aunt is losing her battle with cancer right now. But she has been with us for 12 years since the original diagnosis.

Hang in there- God does amazing things. My mom was told by the doctors that she had less than 6 months to live in Nov 06. I am going to visit her next month!

Your friend is lucky she has someone like you.

moo said...

why do bad things happen to good people?

lots of good vibes coming from a fellow southerner!

alex said...

Geez Jules, you've got me crying at my desk.

Of course I'll send all kinds of crazy awesome thoughts to Alabama! Just hope that the people I work with don't mind being around a grump because all of my happiness will be with your friend.

Hang in there! Great things happen every day.

Jen said...

Positive thoughts, prayers, goodness, healthy thoughts, happy thoughts and more prayers from Texas to Alabama (and to Chi so my friend there knows if she needs to talk, I'm there for her...always)!

Anonymous said...

She sounds like a wonderful person. I'll be sure to keep her in my thoughts:)

Sauntering Soul said...

So sorry to hear this Jules.

I'm really close to Alabama so my positive vibes will get there really quickly! I'm sending some your way as well. Hugs to you both.

The [Cherry] Ride said...

I have really great Amazing Vibes, which are currently rocketing down to Alabama.

I'm sure she takes comfort in having a good friend like you, Jules!

Ree said...

Aw Jules, that more than sucks. Plenty of good thoughts are flying down to Alabama-way even as I type.

I'm so sorry for Nic and all of those who love her. She sounds like an amazing woman.

Rob said...

95% of all the positive energy I have is streaming southeast at just under the speed of light...

The other 5% is northbound for you.

And two cherry icees will be consumed for her as well...

Jen said...

Awesome idea, Rob! I'm going to 7-11 ASAP to get Cherry Icees for me and the rest of my family for dessert tonight as a way of keeping those positive thoughts flowing to Alabama for Nic and in tribute to her battle!

Melissa said...

Hmm, I thought I left a comment earlier but it looks like I didn't...you and Nic are in my thoughts and prayers. Cancer really does suck!

KathyLikesPink said...

Sending prayers and good thoughts to you both.

Anonymous said...

Julie..Mom and I also wish to send our VERY positive thoughts and good wishes to Nic and you. May God look after her and make things easy for her and as pain free as possible. May God also ease your burden honey.

We know you and love you. We don't know Nic very well but we love her too!

Mom and Dad

Crazymamaof6 said...

good vibes for your friend! and for you! you are an AWESOME FRIEND! you'd be amazed at how many friends ditch you when you get cancer,even if you aren't whiny!
i hope your friend kicks cancers A$$!~ and i'm sure your love and support means alot to her!

chasing fireflies said...

holy crap.

i am sending prayers to your friend, and to you too.

The Fruitcake Lady said...

The best vibes I have are heading out......NOW. Most of them southward, but some of them northward b/c it's hard for a friend too. I'm not sure where to get a cherry icee though, do they still sell them at K-mart?

stacey said...

You know all of my love goes out to you and Nic and her incredible hubby, even if her doctors are woefully inadequate engineers. :) I am SOOO getting an icee tonight and sending all the good joo joo I can to Bama. LYMTML.

Jules said...

Thanks so much, everybody. You guys rock.

Andie said...

I'll include her in my list of people I'm doing my bikeride for. It's the Tour de Lis- and we're raising money for cancer research- one of the guys riding is a brain cancer survivor!

Callista O'Connell said...

Jules
Your words express the love you have for Nikki. I am Glad I have met you, (thanks Nikki!) When I saw her I made sure I let her know we have been keeping in touch. You are the type of friend everyone needs. Hope to meet face to face someday soon. I am taking my kids out for icee's catch you later.