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Bringing My Friend’s Cancer Story Out Into the Open

April 16, 2012

I certainly haven’t been putting in time on this blog lately, but I’ve poured my heart into helping my friend Viki with hers. She’s the one I’ve written about anonymously in this space before … my childhood friend who now has Stage 4 breast cancer. She’s had a rough go of it these past few months, and I’ve been honored to help her conceptualize and carry out her desire to tell her story at Stage4Mom.

Viki’s always been such a private person, so she really surprised me when she said she wanted to write publicly about this painful journey. “I’m ready,” she told me a few months ago. She hopes her story will be a catharsis for her, a keepsake for her children, and an inspiration to other moms who are waging a war with cancer while actively parenting their young children.

She certainly has been an incredible inspiration to me. I am always blown away by her passion, her positive attitude, and the love and energy she brings to everything she does. Even when things suck more than anyone can possibly imagine.

I couldn't find an old picture of just Viki and me, so here she is with my brother, circa 1975. (I'm especially thinking of Steven today, with a heavy heart.)

And though I desperately wish the very reason for Viki’s blog out of existence, I’m grateful to have something meaningful to do for her. I’ve felt so helpless 120 miles away. I’m not there to deliver meals, ferry the kids or simply sit with her. This editing thing, I can do. And, as an extra special bonus, it has brought us closer. Viki’s never been so great at returning phone calls — and throughout this ordeal I’ve wanted to give her her private space — but now we’ve been talking more often and discovering new depths to our 40-year friendship.

She’s slowly been growing bolder about letting people in on her online presence. And she finally agreed to let me share it here on my blog.

The timing’s especially good, if I do say so myself … in advance of her birthday this week, Viki decided to write about her dearest friends. I’m truly touched to be at the top of the list. I’m honored to share her words and her spirit with you, and I encourage you to share them with others.


Coach’s Query

What have you been putting your heart into lately?


p.s. A shout out to my Dad on his 75th birthday! He’ll be so happy I’ve written something!!!


From → Grief / Loss

  1. Hope horowitz permalink

    Thanks for sharing, Michelle. Thirty years ago, this coming August, I moved to Allentown to become CRE Director. Just doing some reflecting after reading you great piece. Thinking of you! Hope 🙂

  2. Heidi Bronstein Lipkin permalink

    The BBYO memories are flooding my brain right now…….did anyone know there is a Lebanon in NJ???<3

    Viki, I'm right here yet some ridiculous unknown keeps us at such a distance. I'm sorry for that. I truly treasure our past. It keeps me warm with recollections of innocence and camaraderie. And checkers, yes checkers….

    I'm babbling here, but what I'm trying to say is, ” you just call out my name……”

    ❤ ,

  3. Ben Grabenstein permalink

    I’m crushed. There are so many words I want to say, but for now, all i can say is, “Viki, there will always be a place for you in my heart.”


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