Monday, February 27
My friend Liz has cancer and I don't really know how to write about that.
When my mom was sick I did everything I could to ignore it and sometimes even her, and then she died. I'm not even really sure what she had or why she died, and at this point I know I'll never have all of my questions answered.
My brother and I found some X-rays of her skull and we shared them. Of all her belongings, the X-rays were the thing we were the most excited to have. And that's so morbid now that I think about it, even more morbid than the fact that my mother's cremains are in my living room.
I don't have any idea what the X-rays mean, but I do know that they are the most telling document I have concerning my mother's illness. Maybe there's a little hope somewhere in me that I'll befriend a neurologist and ask him to look at my mom's brain and tell me what was wrong with it. I don't know.
A few weeks ago Liz stuck one of her hospital bracelets on my refrigerator. I didn't notice it right away because it's very small compared to the rest of the clutter on the fridge, and I don't even know if she remembers putting it there, but it's there and every time I see it I think about my mother's X-rays.
I see myself now making some of the same mistakes I did with my mother and I feel really crummy about that. But I am trying to do better, and because Liz has an incredible group of people in her life, it's a little bit easier. There are people asking the questions for me, there are people taking action where I wouldn't even know where to start, and what I have to do to be involved is very small. I just have to show up to places, I have to be Liz's friend, and I have to spread the word about the fact that she needs money to keep getting better.
Medicaid has informed her that they will not be paying for her next treatment, so it's up to her friends and the friends of her friends and strangers who want to feel good about paying another stranger a kindness to help her get better.
If you have a minute and you want to help, you can donate whatever you can spare to her PayPal account, and if you're in Minnesota/North Dakota and can get to Fargo this weekend for the benefit concert, you absolutely should.