Don’t Tell Anyone

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My friend Nan responded to my recent e-newsletter.

“I’ve had a recurrence in my other breast. I had a lumpectomy and am taking medication. Don’t tell anyone. You are one of the VERY few I’ve told – not even my sister or any family members and almost no friends either. ”

Nan and i are b.c. sisters. Such a surprise. We met each other at the Nurse Navigator’s office in our small-town hospital 5 years ago. All we had to do was look at each other to know. No words needed to be spoken. But, of course, we did speak.

“Nan!”

“Cheryl!”

No small talk of “What are you doing here?” There’s only one thing any woman is doing there, walking into or out of the Nurse Navigator’s office. We cut straight to the chase. “When’s your surgery?” “When’s yours?”

Even though Nan is “only” a friend of a friend, and i don’t know her that well, she has felt like a sister since that one moment. We went out to lunch last week, where i heard her whole story. You might think i was acting compassionately, but really, it was self-interest that prompted me to ask her out to lunch. Now i understand her more deeply. Like a sister.

And i’m not telling anyone because it’s her story to tell. I can only tell you mine, and the bottom line is that i feel at peace with her decision.

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