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12:18 p.m. - 2014-08-13
bad news
A's best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer about 10 days ago, or at least that is when A found out. She is getting a double masectomy today.

The tumor is six 6 cm and a grade 3, which means the cells are very abnormal and fast-growing. It hasn't been staged yet; they'll do that after the surgery, when they know better how far it's spread.

A's friend's sister and mother both had breast cancer, and masectomies I think, so I believe she was very aware and I consciencious about exams and mamograms. This would be heartening in most cases -- you'd think, "It probably go caught early" -- but the tumor is/was 6 cm. If she got regular mamograms, and I think she did, then it means the tumor must have grown extremely fast.

That, I'm thinking, is a really BAD thing.

A is freaking out for her friend, and I am freaking out by proxy. I have never met her friend, because she lives in Alaska, were A. is from, and we live in Connecticut. Honestly, if I did meet her I don't think I'd like her very much, but that's irrelevant.

A lost her cousin to cancer about three years ago, and her grandmother last year. That's pretty much her whole family; her mom died 13 years ago in a car crash, and her dad is a deadbeat loser in and out of jail somewhere in Arizona that she doesn't talk to. Now it's her best friend ... I try to catastrophize here, but I have a really bad feeling. Usually my gut says that everything is going to be OK, and my gut is right. Right now my gut is saying that N., A's friend, is not going to be OK.

Of course, I haven't said that to A. We haven't really talked about it because I think A has the same feeling. I think that sometimes there is only so much people can process and still function and A is, probably unconsciously, delaying all processing right now. I'm not gonna rush that. She knows I'm here for her (to be totally cliche).

In other news, my summer home makeover project is winding down and looks great. I'm pretty much done with the front of the house and I am working on the back yard now, ripping up roots and vines and replacing them with gardens and green spaces. It's very satisfying. Still. Yesterday I relocated all of the tiger lilies that were along the driveway to the backyard. Tiger lilies are beautiful when they are in bloom but the rest of the year they're not in bloom and they're messy and scraggly unless you remove dead leaves constantly. The driveway and the front of the house look much better without them and I feel very relieved not to have to look at that mess every time I pull into the driveway. The rest of the front gardens are very low maintenance, so now the front of the house looks kept-up and neat whether I have time to garden or not.

I think I will either put in a low boxwood hedge or leave the side of the driveway grass and just mow it. It looks a little empty right now, but that may just be because I am used to the lilies.

I gave my kids and A haircuts last week and I think they came out really well although I don't know if A likes hers. I decided I was sick of fighting with my kids about brushing their hair, so I buzzed C's (hard to screw that up) and gave Mar a really short, almost boy-like cut that is absolutely adorable on her. She has very fine, delicate features, pale skin, and bright pale blue eyes, and a smile that takes up her whole face, so she is gorgeous in any haircut. Her hair is blonde, thick and very straight (unlike mine), so it is easy to cut and have it come out like you expect.

The haircut and the fact that she is getting older make her look less like my miniature, but you can still tell she is mine whenever we're together. We're both skinny and blue-eyed and blonde, with bony knees and long hands and arms and legs and long skinny feet. I like that she looks like me. C. looks like his dad; he has dark brown eyes and light brown hair and makes the same faces. I don't know if this plays into the fact that I have a harder time connecting to him than Mar. It shouldn't but it probably does. Anyway.

A has brown hair and brown eyes too, so I always remind myself that he also looks like her. That makes it easier.



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