A Beautiful Person


It was March 6, 2011. I just got home from a business trip to Manhattan a few days prior, and I was leisurely checking my Facebook messages when I saw one from my best friend. Curious as to why she was sending me a Facebook message instead of just texting or calling, especially when I knew she had tests done a few days beforehand, I opened it, naturally assuming everthing was fine. This is what I saw:

I'm so afraid to even tell you my results because I still can't believe it. I have cancer. I was in shock Friday and today I still feel different. I am nervous, afraid and worried. I am going to be strong and I don't want you to worry please. Everything should be fine, I promise.

I love you my beautiful blondie,

gio

What? Cancer? You’re 25, you can’t have cancer. You’re my best friend. You’re my family. You’re the person who I’ve been through everything with over the past seven years. You can’t have cancer because I can’t handle it. Me. You can’t have cancer because I can’t lose you.

It just didn’t make sense. Breast cancer is unfortunately all-too common. But stage 3, borderline stage 4 breast cancer in a 25-year-old is not.

Over the next nine months I watched one of the most important people in my life fight for hers. And win. She had a double mastectomy and an inch deep of chest muscle removed in order to get the full tumor out. That was followed by chemotherapy, which was then followed with six weeks of radiation. She was officially finished with all treatments on December 23, 2011.

I can’t even begin to explain the emotions that overtook my body during her battle. To witness her strength, her determination and her faith throughout all of it was inspiring to say the very least.

My lovely friend, who was born in Nicaragua and moved to Wisconsin when she was 15, has always been one of the most beautiful people I have known on the outside. Through this battle and many other life experiences with her, I learned just how beautiful she is on the inside too. I strive to posses the internal beauty she has.

(photo taken April 2011 at Giomar's cancer benefit)

This beautiful person relocated to Miami with her husband a year and a half ago. Cancer free.

And I miss her every day.

She was in town this last week for her annual tests, and while in a perfect world I would have been able to spend every second that she was here with her, we both understand that as our lives continue to morph into what they are yet to become, that the brief time we got to chat in person was enough to remind us why we will always remain such close friends. Family, really. And I cherish that.

Giomar is a friend God blessed me with for so many reasons; some that I’m sure I don’t even know yet. She is a living example of His unfailing love. She is a constant reminder that we can’t take life for granted, no matter how young we are. More importantly, she is my proof that friendships can be forever.

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© 2013 by Heather Anders : Meet Me on the Intersection of Richmond & Style.