At 8:00 p.m. the the remaining participants of the Beautiful Eight DVD and their discussion guide were supposed to regroup to reconnect, share our grief and gather our collective strength following the recent decimation of our ranks. Two courageous young women of generous spirit swiped from us in less than a month. The Beautiful Eight have become the Beautiful Four in less than two years.
But, as befitting a woman who chooses to live her life despite the diagnosis, our conference call leader was otherwise engaged and forgot to phone in, so our call did not come together as planned. I, myself, was late calling in because things other than cancer needed my attention.
My Beautiful Eight/Call Leader friend phoned to apologize (as if that was necessary) and though I was happy to hear from her I could hear the strain, weariness and fear in her voice. Bone mets that require daily radiation, progression in previously identified sites, and a new systemic therapy are beating on her. As is her job and her relentless dedication to caring for her family. She's a mom with two small boys. Would you expect anything else? Such drive. Such devotion. Such precariousness.
It's frustrating and painful in its familiarity. Living with it. It's harder than you know.