Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mere's a survivor!!!

I meant to write this last week, but ran out of time and wanted to give this post some thought.  I know some people have told me that they've shown the posts we've written about Mere's breast cancer to friends who are going through the same thing, so I thought I'd write a little more about what we did and what helped Meredith from a friends perspective.  Last Thursday, November 4th, Meredith, finished her cancer treatments!! It was her last, after 8 chemo's, one surgery and six weeks of radiation...we have a survivor!!  I am so excited, proud, happy, relieved and amazed with Mere.  She was a trooper and by summer will have the best, perkiest, well placed boobs at the pool(there has to be a silver lining for breast cancer patients).  I took a look back at our text over the past few months to see when this whole journey began.  I knew things started in April, but wasn't exactly sure what part of the month it was.  "Call me later when you have a sec" was the text I got on April 6th, the day she talked to someone about the lump in her breast.  I think I knew right away something was wrong, but wasn't sure what it would be.  At this point Mere wasn't sure either, but had a hunch it wasn't good.  After that text it was a bunch of texts about ultra sounds, biopsy's, surgeons, bone scans etc.  In fact, my very first cancer joke came on April 9th...phrased "not sure if this is appropriate to say, but knew you would get out of doing a triathlon this summer."  And that was actually a true statement, just didn't know she'd go to such extremes.  The first chemo was on April 21st because I texted her a picture of the two of us.  I had also done a lot of research online about cancer patients and given her a "survival kit" to take to chemo.  There were texts explaining all the gifts.  Ginger snaps and gatorade for nausea, mint and gum for the bad taste some patients have from chemo (she never said much about that and sucked on a popsicle when she needed it), books of crosswords and sudoku for chemo(didn't realize we would be so entertained by ourselves), and a scarf in case she got cold.  I gave her a bag to put everything in because I was worried that after chemo I might have to carry her out (let's keep in mind I had no idea what to expect and I'm a bit of a drama queen) and we needed everything in one bag so I would have both hands/arms to carry her.  Mere walked in and out of every chemo and normally to lunch when we were done and I know there were even a few birthday dinners we attended in the evenings!  If anything it was a couple days later when she wasn't feeling well and during the second half of her chemo when her bones ached.  I don't think she missed a day of work during chemo ( I could be wrong about that and if she did miss work, it was only a day or so).  Like I have said before....she is AMAZING.  I know I've mentioned she works, but is also a mother to a one year old....did she plan a huge first birthday party for Finn??? Yes, during the middle of chemo and the same weekend she attended the all day Indy 500 event.  She literally did not let any part of life pass her by and did it all.  In fact, last weekend, I went up to Indy to attend her "Bats all Folks" end of treatment Halloween party.  She made all the food, did all the decorations, ran around looking for her costume and her sons...she never stops!! I've wondered through all of this if I would handle this situation the same way she has and sadly, I don't think I could....she's too good at being an awesome breast cancer patient.  When I came back after surgery and we went shopping for a bra and boob at Nordstroms, the lady who was in charge of the mastectomy bras could not believe she was already out and about...that's how Mere works...NOTHING will stop her.
club chemo group at the halloween party
erika- farve reporter, mere-flamingo, sld- lindsay lohan

I think what helped her most was the support she got from friends and family.  We set up a web site and had dinners brought in a few times a week.  People were more than willing to help out and everyone wanted to contribute in some way.  This is a great way to get everyone to participate.  I know the cards, e-mails and texts were so nice for her to read, in fact, she said she would send a note to someone now if they had a cold!  Throughout all of this I've had people tell me that I've been a good friend to Meredith, my response is that she doesn't have an option to go through this, so her friends don't either.  I'm not being a "good" friend, I'm just being a FRIEND.   If you're a friend to someone you're there for them during the good AND bad parts and hopefully you can make the hard times a little easier...the good times are the added bonuses.  AND as I've said can make these hard times fun.  It's ok to laugh about things and make jokes...there's no right or wrong way to talk about cancer.  Just be honest and true to your friendship.  I remember at the beginning of all of this I kept telling Meredith it would all be over before we knew it and here we are....her hairs growing back, she has all of her free time back and she's ready to move on.  I know she's on to great things and will be an inspiration for young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer...I'm so proud of her and am glad we're finishing up the "Cancer Chapter" in her life and are moving on to better things!! Mere's a survivor!!
she's a survivor!!


  1. Love this post, SD!!! You are an amazing friend- lots of people who are good people and good friends would have never done all this. Give yourself some credit, dollface! I know Mere appreciates you soooo much!

  2. Big sis, you're such a good friend. Congrats to Meredith, yay!!