When I was young my sister Jeannie and I used to spend the night at my Gram and Gramp's house, just a mile from where we grew up. Gram would let us split a can of Pepsi AND stay up and watch Dallas with her before tucking us into the hide-a-bed for the night. She would lay the red blanket on us and make sure we were warm before she walked the ten steps down the hall to the master bedroom. Jeannie and I would stay up as long as we could stand it talking and sneaking more TV.
On one such sleepover Jeannie told me, in secret, that Gram only had "one boob", and she could prove it. She had seen her bra hanging in the bathroom, and it was completely filled in on one side. Of course I did not believe her. I had never heard of anyone being born with just one. The whole thing just baffled me for days.
Little did I know the story of how, or why...or the struggle she took on so silently most days.Cancer had found her and took part of her all those years ago. But Cancer did not take her grace, or her kindness, or her fight to wake up each day and make it to the end. One more time.
Now, I watch my friend Katie take a similar path, at an entirely too young of age. My Katie, who shared a backyard with me, taught me how to drive a van, and lent me all her clothes through high school. My Katie, who never says a bad word about anyone, and who fiercly loves her husband and five children.
Keeping Katie means losing part of her.
But not her sweet personality, or her listening ear, or her warm heart. Cancer can't take any of that. Keeping Katie means months of radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, rehab, and physical therapy. But keeping Katie also means she will find her strength in this trial, and share it with all of us who never want to lose her.