Monday, January 10, 2011

Bad News Sunday

I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but Goodness, yesterday was awful.

My friend passed away sometime overnight or early Sunday morning. She was 35.

As I said before, we were not super close -- but she was a very lovely young woman, and it's very hard for me to believe she is gone. She fought her breast cancer with every weapon she had -- and her ammo was humor, rage and sarcasm.

This morning brought news from another dear friend, who lost her best friend from age 4 on Sunday morning. She dropped dead of a heart attack at age 43 -- left behind three kids.

The woman who died of a heart attack at age 43 was trim. My friend who died of breast cancer was trim -- and a real gym rat before she got diagnosed.

Obviously we don't know what kind of genetic hand these women were dealt -- and that is probably a major factor in both these outcomes.

But it's a little scary to be confronted with these realities. They are rather close to home, if you know what I mean. I take for granted my strong, healthy body that -- except for an unbelievable ability to pack on the pounds -- has never given me a serious problem.

I want to lose weight for many reasons, but I rarely think about it in relation to my health in any concrete way. Obesity is a major factor for many cancers, including breast cancer.

The next time I feel like sloughing off and skipping the gym, I'm going to think of my friend, and my friend's friend. The next time I get the urge to eat some fatty, fried food...I'm going to think long and hard about whether that's what I really want.

Yesterday, as I talked my friend's brother and gave my condolences to the family, I thought about how much I love my friends and my family and my not-so-special life that I've carved out for myself here in NYC. It's not much, but I'm blessed every day to have someone to love, an interesting job to go to, a cat to curl up with, a family that is proud of me and cares for me. I know my friend had the same love and support in her life, and that she didn't want to have to leave them and say goodbye. Who would?

I'm off to the foot doc's office, and then... yes, I'm going to drag myself to the gym.


  1. How sad. I'm sorry you're going through all of this. It's just senseless that so many women are put through the horror of breast cancer and are lost to their family and loved ones.

    There are many products that we use when we are "taking care of our bodies" that actually contain carcinogens linked directly to breast cancer. The USDA doesn't regulate these products and so many Americans are subjected to the chemicals every day through "health and beauty" products. I will stop before I get into a rant . . . but please everyone know what you are putting onto and into your bodies.

  2. I found out yesterday that a girl I went through school with died of BC in November-she was 34. Strangely enough she had survived Hodgkins at age 11-and yes I really wonder about genetic influence, too, as she was skinny all her life I believe.

    I'm so sorry about your friend and friend's loss.

    Polar's Mom

  3. I am sorry to hear about this. Sometimes mortality seems so very real. Maybe just because I am getting older.

  4. Sorry to hear about your friend's passing and the other one, too. Although they were fit, it is like you said, we never know the cards we are dealt. Obesity is a risk factor in way to many diseases. If only we would all wake up earlier to that truth.

  5. I'm so sorry to read about the losses! You take care of yourself, and thanks for putting life's little "bothers" in perspective!

  6. Wow, Ish, it sure has been a year, hasn't it? Well, I know we're into 2011, but the last 365 days have been a tale of loss and grief. But you sure do keep on moving and finding positives. That is a great attitude to have.

  7. This was a poignant, but very good post about life in general. You don't expect people to leave this earth at such a young age, but it happens. I'm still dealing with my mother (still in ICU on ventilator), but she has had a relatively long life. Thanks for the support you have given me as I go through this time of stress. You're a great asset and friend to those of us trying to find our way to a healthier life. Take care of yourself...