Fight Like a Girl

While getting ready to settle down for the evening last night, my cell phone rang.

Hello?

Yeah, so remember those bodacious ta tas of mine?

I was expecting this call. I just wasn’t expecting it to start this way.

Yeah…? I was reluctant to ask. Only one week ago, my best friend informed me that she’d found a lump in her breast. She played it off like she really didn’t believe it could be cancer. I didn’t believe it either. She’s my best friend. I knew that maybe it could be, but deep down, I couldn’t accept that it really would be.

So what did you find out?

They’re gonna have to come off. I had an appointment today to get the results of my biopsy. The doctor was like twenty minutes late. I had my phone out and was playing on Facebook. Jeff was making jokes about how gross my feet looked ’cause they’re all scaly. Then the doctor walks in and shuts the door. She didn’t waste any time. She sits down and says, “It’s cancer and it’s aggressive and we need you in for surgery tomorrow.”

Tomorrow? They needed her in the next day for surgery? My mind was racing. I know a few people who’ve had breast cancer. I don’t think any of them got their results and had to have surgery the following day. Gina was still talking and I was having trouble absorbing what she was telling me.

Cancer? My best friend? No……..

But it’s true. How can it be true?

You know those beanies that say “Fight Like a Girl?” 

Yeah?

I’m gonna want one of those.

I’ll start looking.

Jeff wants one too, so let me know if you find ‘em.

I didn’t know why we were talking about beanies, but if my best friend wants one, I’m gonna get her one. We didn’t talk much longer. She had a million other people to call and a bath to take because she wanted to shave her legs and other parts. She said she didn’t want the surgeons making fun of her hairy parts during surgery. That’s just like my best friend to find humor where you least expect it.

I don’t think they’re gonna be checking to see if you shaved.

You never know.

Okay. I love you. Let me know how things go as soon as you’re up to it.

Jeff will call you. And a million other people. He says he’s not going to make conversation, he’s just going to give the facts.

Have him send a mass text. It’ll be easier on him.

Good idea… Okay, Chica. I gotta go. I’ve got calls to make and things to shave.

We hung up and I felt tears stinging my eyes. You just never think it’s going to happen to someone you love. But it does. Every single day it happens to so many people. So if you’re the praying kind, please say some for Gina.

43 thoughts on “Fight Like a Girl

  1. My heart goes out to you and Gina. I will say a prayer for her and Jeff. I have a best friend like your Gina too, so …. sigh …. my heart goes out to you. Hugs.

  2. Oh my gosh, Terri.

    I feel like I know Gina. I remember your funny posts about your bowling nights and your shopping sprees, and how hard it was on the both of you when she moved away. I can’t imagine what that must be like to have a doctor come in and say “It’s cancer and it’s aggressive and we need you in for surgery tomorrow.”

    And I can’t imagine what it must be like to have my best friend call and tell me that the doctor told her that. I’m so sorry and I’m praying.

  3. Thanks, Abbs. You’re right. It WAS hard. She was in town when she told me about the lump, but back in Ohio for the biopsy and now surgery. I hate not being there for her. She’ll appreciate your prayers. Thank you!

  4. Terri – I’m thinking and praying for Gina and you. You are two very strong women and know you will be there for each other – strong friends – strong sisters! Hang in there! Love ya, Shelly

  5. I know the news hits like a ton of bricks, but it sounds like she’s charging through. I’m impressed with her fighting attitude! I will definitely keep her in my prayers.

  6. Many prayers for Gina tonight. I feel like I know her anyway. I cannot even FATHOM how she feels right now, and I don’t want to ever know that feeling. Good for her for facing it head-on and taking this crazy bull by the horns. Let her know the world is pulling for her!

  7. I am very sorry to hear of Gina’s diagnosis. She is an incredible, brave, funny woman. She sounds like one who would not take this news lying down. I love how she is handling her situation. I’ve been down that path (just not the ta tas) and I found that humor is sometimes the best approach to dealing with that kind of news. I hope and pray that she sails through the procedure and recovers quickly.

    My heart and prayers go out for you and Gina.

  8. Oh, Terri…I’ve been absent from bloggerworld for a while, and I’m so sorry to read this!! But Gina is amazing (from what I’ve read!), and I know she has a positive attitude. She’s ready to fight! Prayers for you both…and I’m so glad you have each other! Hugs…

  9. Oh no, this sucks. I am so sorry to hear this. I have enjoyed reading about Gina in your blog since forever. Of course I will be praying for her and for her husband. Hopefully she found the lump early enough and will be one of the many cancer survivors in our lives. Hugs to you, she needs you.

  10. Lousy news for her to hear and have to pass around. She sounds like a fighter, though, and that should help. Please know I’ll be glad to offer some prayers. Hugs to all of you — stay optimistic because there are people who beat this disease nowadays!

  11. When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.

    ~Barbara Bloom

    Cancer is a journey people have to travel alone, but along the way there are many opportunities to pause for rest, support and for a recharging of the indominable spirit that makes each of us human. The journey will be long, difficult and full of emotion. Take the opportunity whenever it presents itself to give those closest to you the opportunity to admire and to grow from the beauty of your golden heart, Gina, and the beauty of your warrior’s spirit.

    Best wishes to Gina and to you Terri.

  12. I had to re-read this just to fully get it so I can imagine how hard it was to hear in a phone call; I’m sure you replayed it several times just to make sure that’s what you really heard! I am sending good healing thoughts into the universe for your Gina and for you; it’s awfully hard to be away from someone you love when they’re hurting or frightened. Please keep us posted as to how things come along, will you? Hugs MJ

  13. I’m keeping Gina in my thoughts!

    I contribute to breast cancer research every year. A high school friend of mine, (a cheerleader, model and class queen) fought it for many years. Twice. She didn’t make it the second time.

    I know what a cancer diagnosis is like. My wife Susie was diagnosed with what turned out to be Stage 3 colon cancer in 2005. (The 5-year survival for that is 65%.) Diagnosis was Monday and she was operated on that Friday. Then there was chemo and radiation, which left her looking like a concentration camp survivor. So skinny she couldn’t take a bath because it hurt to sit in the tub.

    In 2010, she was released by all three doctors – surgeon, oncologist and radiologist. Four annual colonoscopies showed nothing. Now she has them every other year. I hope to hear the same news about Gina.

  14. Your friend has a great attitude, that will help her. I’m so sorry for the news, but hopefully with the surgery and aftercare she’ll be okay. I’ll keep her and her family in my prayers.

  15. Wow, that’s tough. Breast cancer is such a bitch. Gina’s gonna need your support after surgery…even from afar. Laura sponsor’s a team to run in the 5k every year here in Chicago. I feel like we could always do more, but at least it’s something.

  16. Well I’m behind the times as usual! I’m so sorry to hear that Gina has cancer. You’re right. It’s hard to imagine it happening to someone you love. I’ll be praying for you both!

  17. Aunt Marian asked me to be a pall bearer for my Uncle Mike. He was a firefighter all his life, and the oldest of my dad’s 10 siblings. He outlived all his friends, and even with funeral home staff, there were too few pall bearers.

    As a single dad, I told her I could not leave my little girl alone.
    “She will sit with me!”, declared my Aunt. The bargain was struck.

    I watched from the far side as pall bearer, and my little girl behaved well.
    But it was a Catholic service; my daughter loved communion, but did not know the “code word” (Amen) to receive. I was so grateful to the priest who bowed down to the little girl, who followed the widow for communion. She was obviously too young to have had classes and First Holy Communion, though she had communion with me always in another church. He broke the rules, and broke the bread for her.

    A decade and a half passed. Marian died 2 weeks ago. She has one daughter, my cousin Elaine.
    Elaine is an only, and adopted child….now a full grown young woman. I gabbed with her at the showing for Marian, and we recalled communion at a time little girls did not qualify, by “age” rules.
    While waiting in line to talk to my cousin, I gabbed with members of the family flung far and wide… a prequel to gathering in heaven.

    At the cemetery, I waited until all left. Burial crews are quick and the flowers were alone, fresh on top of Marian. I gathered several colors and kinds. My niece gave me a Christmas ornament last year.
    It was an icicle, filled with dried flowers of all colors, shredded into tiny pieces, hanging as a reminiscence of my mom. My niece took them from mom’s grave to make a memory for me.
    I loved it and wanted to make one for my cousin Elaine.

    I spoke with my sister and asked where to buy the empty icicle-ornaments, to fill with flowers from Aunt Marian….for Elaine to have an annual memory on her Christmas tree. My sister told me.
    Then, she added more talk that made my heart stop.

    “Did you know that Elaine just went through breast cancer and had removal to stay alive?”

    I gulped a full swallow of silence. I did not know that. I spoke with Elaine several times after 15 years of not seeing each other often (I have 250 cousins). Her countenance as we spoke gave no indication to me of her dilemma. She looked the same to me before and after surgery (albeit, I did not know she had the surgery). Though adopted, she had long been one of my favorite “real” cousins. She spoke honesty in her words, but listened more than talked. You always came away from a conversation with her,… feeling better, for she always allowed others to talk.

    The Gina stories of past Into The Mystic, the pictures of her, her husband and kids, always brought a smile to my face as someone you can depend on in life to be real. It took me a while to find this new spot (just Google Terri Terri and the old blog; here you be!). What made me do that today???

    And, at 6:09 am on a Monday morning, I am informed of another woman of great beauty, Gina, because the source of her beauty emanates from inside her heart and soul.
    I pray often. For many.
    I am so glad I was shown this day, who to pray for over and over again. God listens to broken hearts.
    May the Lord recreate new life in Gina, by removing anything that destroys.

    Ta Ta’s are over rated in our society. Having an honest friend to hug, a wife to snuggle at night, a mom to spread smiles and advice, a neighbor filled with love, a woman of gusto for life….these count, with or without the ta ta’s.

    I now know MORE survivors than victims.

    Gina’s name is heard in heaven this day.
    May we again soon see a picture of her brilliant smile and effervescent personality in these pages soon.
    Please tell her she is loved, by many she has never met.

    Please tell Jeff he is prayed for in these times just as much, for he is the hand of God to Gina, especially now. The invisible God sometimes becomes visible, to those who need Him most, by those THEY know best. That would be Jeff for Gina this day!
    God be with ye.

    Ps. This doctor sounds extremely competent, makes a decision, and follows through.
    It is encouraging already.

  18. Oh my gosh!!! I hope everything has gone okay with the surgery (since I’m reading this late)…That has got to be soooo hard for everyone involved. Prayers and thoughts are with you and Gina and her family!!

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