It started with a text on Friday morning.
One of those long texts, that I skimmed because it was early.
The words Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, chemo, radiation.
I held my breath.
Even though I had just woken up, this felt like a horrible nightmare.
I sat in bed, puzzled.
How? Now? What? Why?
I thought I would understand as I shuffled over to my Nespresso for my usual morning routine.
As soon as the espresso began to pour out, so did my tears.
What do I do?
Why is this happening to someone who is so young and literally in the best place in her life? Why, Why, WHY???
What do I do to support her?
Carms was on a 7am conference call (classic), so I immediately called my Aunt Meg, a breast cancer survivor, who now ironically works at the Cancer Support Community of Pasadena.
“Well hello Leesssaa! What are you doing calling me so early? I am sitting here with Katie in the kitchen. Lisa? What’s wrong?”
The tears had come after hello, and I sobbed.
Nicole. Nicole, has cancer.
More sobs. The ugly ones.
“Lisa, LISA! Cancer is not a death sentence. LISA!”
I responded with I know, but why is this happening? She is young, in the best place of her life, how can this be happening?
What do I do?
“You need to be strong. You need to be strong for Nicole.”
Nicole is one of my best friends. She has stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer.
She found a lump in her neck while she was driving.
At first it felt like a swollen lymphnode, to a bubble gum ball from a vending machine, and grew to a mini golf ball.
She’s 28 years old, got a new apartment in Marina Del Rey, a new job, and should be living mas RN.
Instead we are having Saturday conversations about egg retrieval, cold caps, hair loss, and implanting a port into her body.
Be strong- This plays my head whenever my brave warrior, Nicole shares the latest update of this unprecedented journey.
She is one of the strongest people I know, and is also competitive (she was captain of the cheer team and attended UCLA, K?)
She does not let anyone win ever- whether it comes to who can take the most tequila shots in Cabo, to beating this disease, Nicole will win.
Because she always does, and always will.