I have a Billy Joel song playing again and again on an endless loop in my head. Only the good die young.
It is a strangely upbeat song for someone sinking into the darkness.
These are the lyrics which echo in my mind after hearing Big Boy's words when I rang him with the news... "Why do the nice people in this world suffer these tragedies and trials, yet the toxic nasty ones go forth without nary a ripple of discomfort?"
We have been friends for over twenty years, I can even pinpoint the date we met. 8/8/1988 - the day I began work at a large investment insurance company. Even through divorce, distance and life's ever changing cycle of demands we have always remained friends. We talk weekly. She and her husband flew in for my 45th bash a few years back. We have shared laughter, tears, anger and sadness. We have had drunken nights, saved kittens under cars, danced at each others wedding.
Friends. The genuine thing.
Today I received a text. In February they diagnosed her with a type of pre-leukaemia with a name so big I could not begin to pronounce it. It was the day she was due to have her large bowel removed after many years of issues. They did not go ahead, obviously. And in the months that have flown by my words of frustration and anger at the lack of action or treatment whilst the medical big wigs pondered this medical dilemma which is my friend, have echoed down the phone line.
"Do you want me to fly in? I am good at kicking medical butt after Wise Woman's fiascos."
"Not yet, I'll tell you if I need you."
"Yep. For Now. You can be my secret weapon."
"Or your loose cannon, heheheh."
Finally they decided to go ahead with her op... but today I received the text.
"It has developed into acute leukaemia. Op off, chemo starting next week."
I have a huge solid knot of fear pitted in my stomach. My gut instinct is sending huge red pulses of angst through out my soul. Those fucking idiots - they had caught it so damn early and yet failed to act. Now I am scared it is too late. I am terrified we will lose her. I am helpless, frustrated and angry.
And if I am feeling this way, how in hell must my gorgeous girl feel?
For God's sake, her girls are only so very young. She is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend. This is not right. It is so very wrong.
Only the good die young, and she is pure goodness to her very core. Please let it not be so this time, please, please, please...
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