I have a very good friend that was diagnosed with Liver Cancer and given 6-8 months to live. This man had all but given up hope when we met. I can’t explain to you what brought us together as friends. We met on a social networking site and just started chatting one day. Then one day we really had a deep conversation about things that happened to each of us in our pasts and we connected. The next day this man that I had never met offline started opening up more and more to me and we became closer and closer like we had known each other for a lifetime. After a while of connecting this man that I had become actual “friends” with informed me that he had been diagnosed with Liver Cancer and the doctors had given him 6-8 months at best. He was determined he was not going to do Chemo and he had accepted his fate. I was not happy to hear this news and that he was willing to “give up on life” so easily. He didn’t feel that he was giving up, he was ready to move on and be out of pain he told me. I got a little upset with these words and there were times that we both had to agree to disagree.
One day he was at the hospital and they needed to wheel him in for a procedure that he was not wanting to have and he was chatting with me online and they kept telling him that he had to shut the computer off and he told them he would when he was done chatting with his friend online. I kept telling him he had to let them do there job and he said, “They can wait.” I couldn’t help but chuckle and feel a little sorry for these people having to deal with this very stubborn man that knew exactly what he wanted to do. They eventually took the computer and wheeled him to the procedure.
A few hours later I get a message from him and he was not happy because they had implanted a radiation pellet into his liver and he was now going to have to go through the Chemo even though he was clear that he did not want to go through this process. He was very angry and he just kept telling me over and over how mad he was about this. I just tried to calm him and in time we agreed that he would do what he had to do and when he was done with the last treatment he would heal and then he and I would choose a day and we would each go to a Denny’s in our area and we would have breakfast in cyberspace together. This was my promise to this man who in a short amount of time had become a very close friend and looked at me as his daughter. We talked daily through his Chemo treatments and he had even asked that I send him a quick picture every morning. He called them his VixFixes. I felt it was the least I could do for this man that was going through so much and all alone on the other side of the country. I would send happy pictures each morning and the occasional short video of inspiration and encouragement. I never in a million years would have realize how much this would mean to someone.
He went through so much pain, sickness and many visits back to the hospital for major side effects of this horrible disease and procedure to kill it. We made it to the night before the 8th and final treatment and he had gone to the hospital for labs and the doctor didn’t want to even allow him to do the final treatment because he was bleeding internally and his red blood count was very low and they didn’t want to risk the final procedure. My friend demanded that they finish the treatments so that he could go home and start healing. He agreed that after the treatment if they need to admit him they could but he had to finish the treatments. The doctor agreed but wasn’t happy about it.
The next morning I wished him luck and told him I would be looking forward to hearing from him when he was done. I signed off and waited and waited. Many hours past and I got a little worried but something told me things were going to be ok. I sent Positive thoughts out and continued to wait. Then I got the message I had been waiting. He was home and he had been admitted after the procedure to cauterize the bleeds and now he was home to start the healing process. He seemed content with what he had accomplished and with whatever came next. He spent the weekend resting and healing and we chatted more through out the weekend and his spirits seemed to improve daily.
Monday morning came and he had to go back to the lab to see how his blood count was and talk to the doctor. I wished him luck and signed off. Around 1:00pm I received a message that I was thrilled to received. “missy…the doctor told me today I have given him a different outlook on cancer today. He said my bloodcount is almost back to normal already. Every thing he can see in the test he had them run on me today made him believe I would be around for a long time. He said last thursday he would have bet mone on I would be in the hospital on my death bed already. He said I was the strongest most cantankorous man he has ever met. Told me to go home follow the diet he has layed out for me and he would see me when we start retesting in 30 days. We did it missy we fought through the hardest part and come out of itwith flying colors.” I got chills and started cry reading this message. I responded back that I was so proud of him. He just sent, “we did it honey we did it”!! I kept explaining that this was all him and I was just here to support him through this process. This man who had fought for our country and protected our freedom and watched his fellow soldiers die and carry them across enemy lines to bring them back, had yet again overcome a battle that he was not meant to win. I was honored to be a part of this moment.
He asked that I write this post and make sure I titled it “Power of Friendship,” because through a dark time in a man’s life, when he believed he was all alone he was given a reason to fight through a terrible time. He was brought to a stranger who in the end became like family.
He goes back in 30 days to get the results of the next labwork and when that is done he now wants to take a trip across the country on a train and at the end of that trip this new friend has promised she will be there to pick him up from the station for those HUGS (Healing, Understanding, Growing, and Surviving) that they had talked about through those 4 weeks. Oh yes and we still are going to have that breakfast that he fought so hard to make sure he got. If this story doesn’t prove that the power of friendship and positive thinking does help I don’t know what does. You never know how much your words and friendship can mean to someone. Just remember that next time you meet someone and you think you can’t make a difference.