Monday, February 6, 2012

Not Without a Fight . . .

Typical morning - I am rushing out the door to drop the baby off at school.  I had so much to do.  I had to get back as soon as possible after all he would need to be picked up at 11:45am.  So back home I go, but then my body took over my brain and it drove me to get one of my favorite beverages in the world . . . McDonald's Vanilla Latte - sugar free vanilla and non-fat milk.  Hands down beats all other lattes!  I love this in the morning - I am certain when the drive thru guys sees my black hummer he is already punching the order in.  Beverage in hand - completely at peace - I head home.

I finally get home and sit down at my computer.  I start what I do every morning . . . checking to see what I have missed.  It is almost routine - school - coffee - check. 

Email is up first - had the usual 500+ emails from sites like Groupon, Yollar, Living Social, Plum District and so on.  Emails from the schools, friends and from those that want me to buy, buy, buy!

Then onto Pinterest.  I pinned what caught my fancy, the typical stuff like food, words of encouragement, kids stuff, and party ideas. I created some boards - sorted my stuff and flagged a few people I know that would like what I just liked.

Next up was finally Facebook.  I am scrolling down, pictures of friend's kids, status updates from the one friend who thinks her life is so fabulous and brags about building a new house, updates from friends who think every time their child rolls over or toots it is news worthy.  And then there really was something new worthy.


There from Susan. G. Komen for the Cure was a link to ABCNews.com.   The title read Young Breast Cancer Survivors Cured, but Not OK.

 I was intrigued.  What constitutes "young".  How could she be cured, but not ok?  What happened that made her not ok?  If you had gotten through cancer and survived HOW could you not be ok?  It had a picture of a beautiful woman, smiling, ocean behind her . . . she looked ok to me!  So I clicked the link.  The first two words of the article shook me.  The article started Nicole Vasquez . . . HOLY CHI-CAGO I know her.  She is a friend.  I know her family, I know her story. Or so I thought.

The article featured Nicole's journey - it was about a young woman who was fighting for her life, but not necessarily living it.
I have know Nicole's family probably as long as I have dated and been married to my husband, 24 years.  Her parents had gone to college with my in-laws.  Nicole dad and my Father-in-law were in the military together and are since retired.  Actually my father-in-law will retire for the 3rd time this summer from the military.  He would want me to make sure I was accurate about that.  I would see the Vasquez when they came to town.  When we would travel to San Antonio.  The whole family are wonderful, caring people.

It is such a small world, while Nicole and I knew each other, we didn't really know each other.  We were both at the same college, at the same time.  Our families were our connection; we went to Nicole's wedding at Disneyworld.  We were at her sister's wedding here in Dallas.  We went to a baby shower for her sister.  Our families mingled on special occasions.

It has been probably 6 years ago when my mother-in-law told me Nicole had cancer.  I was first shocked - this wasn't supposed to happen to girls my age.  How can this be?  Here I am chasing around a 3 year old, thinking I might want another and she is in the battle of her life.  Our worlds were so very different.

I kept tab on Nicole through her Mom.  I would see her at parties like my husband's grandmother's 90 birthday, retirement parties for my father-in-law.  Nicole's family always remained positive and upbeat.  They knew it was critical for Nicole they stay that way.  They also knew the cancer was hard on Nicole and she wasn't living her life, but she was fighting for it.

Continued tomorrow . . .

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