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Bad News

Got some very bad news today about a dear family friend.  I think I've mentioned Fredi before- she and her husband Eddie live here in Florida, for about ten years now, and were a godsend when my father was so sick.  Eddie is actually my dad's childhood best friend, while Fredi was a high school friend of my mom's.  They lost touch after graduation, and then met up again a few years later, on a city bus.  By that time Fredi was married to Eddie, and she had the great idea to set up a blind date between Eddie's best friend and her rediscovered friend.  And lo and behold, my future parents met and fell in love and got married and so on.

Last week Fredi went to the doctor because she had a painful sore on her breast.  During the exam, they found she also had a nodule on the other breast.  They thought it might be cancer.  And today they found out that it is.  In both breasts.  They're going to do a lumpectomy, followed by chemo.

I don't know how this is going to play out.  Fredi's sister survived breast cancer twice, but Fredi is a very unhealthy woman.  She's severely overweight (at least 350 pounds is my guess), and even though she had both knees replaced, she has a lot of trouble getting around.  Eddie has to actually grab her by the back of her shirt and hoist her out of her chair, which is why he has such terrible back problems, apparently.

I feel almost selfish feeling this way, like it's something so personal to me.  But it is, in a way.  Spending all this time with Fredi since we moved down here, it's almost like having a piece of my mom back.  She knew my mother way back when, has all these stories and memories of her, and she doesn't mind talking about them. 

Dad and I have both agreed to do whatever we can to help.  What I remember most about my mom's illness, and I'm sure this is true for my father, is that no one helped us.  No one.  My sister tried to come over once a week, my uncle once or twice a month, but all they did was visit.  They never did any of the million caretaking tasks that had to be done, Dad and I did it all ourselves.  I remember one Friday in November Dad and I both wanted to take a trip out to a bookstore about a half an hour away.  We couldn't leave Mom alone, and the part time aides only came for a couple of hours on a weekday, never on a weekend.  We finally got my sister to come over on Sunday.  Only it was 2PM by the time she finally came, so there went our plans for shopping followed by a nice lunch out.  (When I think about it, between July 0f 2006 and February of 2007, I didn't eat in a restaurant once.).  Instead, we did a very quick trip to the store, and got back home as fast as possible. 

So if everyone could send some good wishes and/or vibes Fredi's way, I'd really appreciate it. 

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Oh dear. All the best to her.

Really, really hoping this works out for the best, honey. *hugs tight*

Thank you, Suz. *Hugs back*

Oh, sweetie, I'm sorry! I'll be thinking good thoughts. *hugs*

Thank you so much, Maddie. You're such an amazing friend. Always have been. *Huge, huge hugs*

It's the hardest thing about caretaking - getting any time away from caretaking. I'm glad Fredi has you guys to help out, that's going to mean a lot to her, I know. It's like when people say to me "Take a break!" and I'm thinking "Well, fine, but there isn't anybody to take over what I do at home, so..." Yeh. It's so hard sometimes. When your Mom was ill, I often wished I lived in NY, I would've been able to come over and give you guys a day off.

Edited at 2009-05-23 03:10 pm (UTC)

My goodness, Nansi, you're pretty much the sweetest person that ever lived! I think you made me cry!

I don't think anyone really understands what it's like taking care of someone else so completely, unless they've done it themselves. There are no words for how physically and emotinally exhausting it is. And while the thought of going through it again is horrifying, I can't let someone else go through it by themselves.

I'm very sorry, Andi! I hope she'll make a complete recovery. *Hugs*

Thank you, Carol. I hope so, too. *Huge hugs*

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