As I write this, I find myself getting really emotional as I think back on Angel’s journey. I feel blessed to have been on the journey with her and provide whatever love, support and help I could, yet it was not an easy journey for anyone. When someone you love faces Cancer, it makes you question how you would do facing such a diagnosis and course of treatment(s). My heart swells because I have nothing but total admiration for how Angel faced her journey…she has truly been a warrior. “Having no time for Cancer” and nothing but total healing were her dominant themes and she did everything she could to give herself the best fighting chance and ensure the desired outcome. I knew as her friend, I was going to be right there with her as she was not going to fight alone. I clearly remember when Angel first shared the news that indeed she did have Cancer and the feelings of shock and confusion as we all tried to make sense of what she was saying. It was a very surreal moment as a group of us sat in a Chinese restaurant trying to get thru our dinner yet everything in our world had changed and would never be the same. I remember thinking there has to be a mistake and not really knowing what to say and wanting so much to find some words or actions of comfort, which would be a big theme going forward. After all, what do you say to someone when the reality of Cancer is that sometimes it is a long, tough journey that doesn’t end the way we all hope. For me I questioned how do I love, support and help in ways that Angel wanted and needed and relieve some of my feelings of helplessness? I remember how often Angel just wanted to focus on other every day stuff to get her mind off her reality and not let Cancer take over her life, which was so important to her. I wasn’t sure how one does go about trying to put Cancer on the back burner and attempt “normal”. When I was with her, I felt compelled to be strong and not express any feelings, yet certainly when I was on my way back home or after speaking to her on the phone, my true feelings came tumbling out. And it was very hard for me to see and experience, her sorting out how others in her life were dealing with her journey – some not in the most graceful and loving ways which was so hard for her. The most difficult part of the journey was not surgery but seeing her go thru chemo and the affects it had on her physically. She became a shell of herself physically and her life energy was drained. As hard as it is to write this, during that period, she looked close to death and at times I wondered if the journey would end with the desired outcome. And I certainly prayed many, many times that she make it thru the process quickly so she would feel some relief from it all. One of my most cherished memories is being with her thru one of her chemo sessions. I remember her not wanting me to because she was worried about me taking time off from work. I was like REALLY? You’re worried about me?? For me, it was not an option – work didn’t matter – she mattered and sharing that time and being with her was what mattered and priceless. When surgery came, it was pure excitement that the chemo & radiation did it’s trick and a lot of relief that she was on the final part of her journey. And then we all anxiously awaited for a few months, the news which she did receive – she was Cancer free. I just remember going ‘YES!” – she did it. It still brings a big smile to my face. And now, I am so grateful that she made it through the journey and in the process, has become a stronger and more healthy version of herself that is determined to fully embrace life. I knew that Cancer had picked the wrong person to mess with and that Angel would finish this fight and go on to help others thru their journeys!