Hearing those words flowing out of his mouth, no matter how rehearsed they seemed, caught me way off guard. After eight months of the closest friendship I had ever witnessed, it seemed as if he was simply being torn away from my grasp; as if it he were being towed away to a far away country, with risk of never coming back; as if it were the beginning of a war, one that i would have to help him fight. It took a moment for the truth to set in: my best friend had been diagnosed with cancer.
I felt as if the wind had been knocked out of me–by more than just a blow to the chest. Not that i had a lot of complain about, after all, he had a tumor in his throat. It was in that instant I discovered that i had less control of life than I had liked to believe (and ever intended to notice.) His overwhelming optimism was more than I could stand, after all, there I was, in tears, fearing for the results of the year ahead, and yet he remained standing tall; not just in his usual six-foot-seven-inch height, either.
Already in our friendship we had been through mistake ridden relationships, broken promises, white lies, arguments, and betrayal, but we had stood side-by-side all along. More and more i began to wonder, what made this time any different than all the others? It is the same aspects i suppose: the two of us had been suddenly overcome with a situation, one in which we would have to get through like any other…together.
I believe that friendship is more than just late night phone calls, inside jokes, and being there for each other when another friend has flaked out. True friendship is the strongest bond that i believe two people can share. Investing trust in one another, and depending on them for support, or a shoulder to cry on. True friendship has love, and gives love.
Weeks have passed since the diagnosis, and already treatment is under way. The status of his cancer is improving, along with the friendship that we share. They say cancer is a bttle, and in no way are they exaggerating (no matter who THEY may be). I may not be able to feel the burn of his daily radiation, or understand what it is like to have a risk of death sneaking up on me from behind, but I do understand that you cannot win a battle without an army, and the love and support I have for him could easily overrun any nation, overtake any militia, or simply grab his hand, and pray with everything I have in me that he will be okay.
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