Some nodded heads in agreement. I tried to explain that God doesn’t pass out malignant tumors at whim. And then there was discussion about the . It’s miraculous to lose your old, saggy, cancer-riddled breasts and replace them with new ones, perky enough to forego a harness.  Halise (half) joked that maybe we should all get new silicone-filled implants as a show of solidarity. That lightened up the mood!

This summer, I was with my daughter Rachel having a . Aimee and her husband were there, they were getting their tangy frozen yogurt fix, too. It occurred to me how nice it is to run into an old friend, but when your old friend is a cancer survivor, the meeting is even sweeter. It’s not that Aimee’s status changed and she’s now, “The one who had breast cancer.” It’s just that my appreciation for our friendship grew through her illness.

Do I appreciate my friends enough— in sickness and in health, in good times and bad? I never want to take anyone I love for granted.  And I certainly don’t want to have another breast cancer wake-up call reminding me how much my girlfriends mean to me.

So I say to my girfriends: I need your companionship, big shoulders and stupid sense of humor. We can be the most prayer-happy bunch of women in the hemisphere, but if we don’t take care of our bodies, our souls cannot make up for the neglect. Feel yourself up in the shower, visit your doctor regularly and get mammograms. Be healthy, girlfriends.

She called today.
There was something in her voice I never heard before.
She had been to the doctor.
"A biopsy is needed, just to be sure," they said.
I offered to drive; she can't be alone.
I'll hold her hand and chatter away.
A mind occupied cannot think.

When her name is called, I'll hug her.
She will search my face for worry,
but I will look confident.
Everything will be OK.
You must help me; I cannot do this alone.
I need You more than ever.
Make my voice steady, my eyes knowing,
my touch reassuring, and my words, Your words.
Today, let me be her support system
and You, my life support.



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