Letter to a Friend
You might be surprised to see me address you as such. Friend. To be honest, I’m a little surprised to be referring to you as one, but it seems fitting, and so you are.
I never dreamed we would meet and certainly hoped we wouldn’t, but here you are. My companion for the past 10 weeks. And today, I hope we say goodbye forever. Before that happens though, there are a few things I want you to know.
When you walked into my life, uninvited, unwelcome, and unknown, I feared you. Over the weeks you’ve hung around, I’ve come to realize you really aren’t that scary. You’re annoying, you’re time-consuming, and you bring with you a host of other acquaintances that make my life pretty miserable some days. I dread our time together and the mess you leave in your wake, but I don’t fear you anymore. I need you to know that.
Mostly, I want to thank you.
Thank you for giving others a chance to shine. When my people heard you were coming, they rallied. They showed up in the most beautiful ways that continue to bring me to tears, daily.
Thank you for angels like Deb and Brenda who stick needles in my chest, hang IV bags, tape ice packs to my feet, and ask me my last name and date of birth 50 times as they usher you into my presence. They do it with joy and compassion and usually a story or two that makes me smile.
Thank you for sparing most of my eyelashes and my eyebrows. Some aren’t so lucky that way, and it has been no small thing to look in the mirror every day and still see some of the old me.
Thank you for the physical exhaustion and the pain. I’ve always tried to take care of myself, but you’ve demanded I raise the bar and that’s a good thing. If for no other reason, bowel health. Sure took that for granted.
Thank you for reminding me what glorious things taste buds are. I can’t wait to pamper them.
Thank you for doing your job. I've thought a lot about exactly what it is you are doing to me. The war you are waging, the damage you do, and the death you cause. I have done my best to be grateful for your part in making a way for life, full and productive. Some days, I probably didn't seem grateful, and thought more about what you've stolen. But deep down, I truly am glad you've been here.
Thank you for confirming so many things I thought I believed to be true and now know for sure. Here are just a few I’d like to mention. First, the stuff of earth is of no value but it’s okay to fully enjoy life’s blessings. Second, trials don’t mean you aren’t walking in God’s favor or blessing or abundant life; remember, gold is refined by fire. Lastly, God is good all the time.
I want you to know your presence has changed me forever. For the better, and for bigger purposes than you. It isn’t as if you’ve been small and insignificant, because you haven’t been. You’re just smaller and more insignificant than what’s coming. I believe that with my whole heart. So, as we sit here together in this chair for the last time, I bid you farewell, chemotherapy. May we never meet again.