Sunday, March 8, 2009



'Hi Merrily - it's MK'

'Are you alright?'

'I'm in the hospital - my biopsies revealed I have 
cancer in both lungs'

"Oooh, MK..."

Camera zooms in on Merrily as background fades 
and zooms away from her.

Only this is not a movie.

This is Thursday morning. 

And MK is worried about Dim...

I've know MK's husband Uncle Dim [as my young twins 
called him] since 1980 when we both arrived for art 
school.The school had rented half of an apartment 
complex to house the students and Dim and his 
roommates lived right next door to me and mine.
It was party at first sight.

Dim and his roommate JS were in Visual Communications 
as was I. JS was second year but Dim was first like me. 
We were in school together for 2 years.

We hung out together, partied together, vacationed 
together. We had a group of about 10 in our posse. 

Wild we were.

Dim looked like Roger Daltry, long curly blonde hair 
and he had a girlfriend in Columbus GA he called his 
'chick' [he will deny this if you ask him but it is the 
truth]. He was the first real southern boy I ever met - 
he was bonafide. At one point we considered dating 
but decided against it.

Over time jobs and moves and loves split most of us 
up. Ironically the midwestern girl stayed [that would 
be me].

In 1996 I was working at the Olympics when I heard a 
familiar male voice call my name. It was Dim with a 
date. He kept saying ‘you look exactly how I thought 
you would.’ He introduced me to MK, an Irish-Catholic 
girl from a big family up north. She had dark hair and 
impossibly merry blue eyes – black Irish as my mother 
would say. We chatted for awhile and exchanged 
numbers promising to get together.

MK told me later that she asked Dim if she was some 
weird sort of replacement for me.

I was dating Gapetto and we planned an evening out 
with them. We enjoyed ourselves and promised to do 
more together.

They got married in Rochester and a year or two later 
we were married here and moved into our house. 
We began hanging out in earnest. MK and I decided we 
were Evil Party Twins [or EPTs] - we seemed to just 
have way to much fun together and would generally 
pay for it the next morning. They took to packing 
overnight bags when they came over sometimes not 
leaving for three days.

And then.

MK’s job took them to Jacksonville. We had tickets to 
visit them before they even moved. We cried...

‘I thought we would raise our children together.’

I was going for the jugular.

They were just gone a year or two before they moved 
back. I helped Dim find their house before MK even 
moved back here – it is about 4 miles from ours.

I finally became pregnant and had the twins. Dim and 
MK were first on the call list. MK came on her lunch 
hour and was the very first to see them and hold them. 
We discovered later that she more than likely conceived 
that week as she had a little girl 9 months later. Life 
was changing like crazy but we were on parallel tracks.

And then. 

Our husbands both seemed to go through some mid-life 
type thing and were getting rather argumentative 
with each other. Dim and MK were making lots of new 
friends in their new neighborhood. MK and I vowed 
that our husbands’ spats would not interfere with our 
friendship but of course we didn’t spend as much 
time together. 

I missed her.

Just lately we had started to do things again. She was 
going in for the biopsies and the doctors were sure 
they would rule out cancer. They are very surprised 
with the results - as we all are.

MK is 41 years old.

She is a fighter.

She will have a PET scan soon and then will begin 
very aggressive chemo treatments. 

The cancer is inoperable. 

It has not been staged yet.

She is a fighter.

Her daughter is six years old. Her whole life is ahead 
of her and MK will want to be there.

She is a fighter.

I will be there to help – however I can – with her 
innumerable other friends.

She is a fighter.

And I am flummoxed...

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At March 8, 2009 at 10:19 PM , Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

I'm so sorry, M.

At March 9, 2009 at 5:40 AM , Blogger Laura - Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy? said...

Oh Merrily - that's terrible, so sorry.

At March 9, 2009 at 6:09 AM , Blogger su said...

I am so sorry MDS. My husband has an incurable form of cancer. Multiple Myeloma. He spent a month in Boston in isolation having a bone marrow transplant after a year of chemo. He is doing well,though we know it is not curable. Time is so important and medical trials. Who knows what tomorrow will bring to the scientific community. My thoughts are with you and I send you a hug.

At March 9, 2009 at 7:56 AM , Blogger natasha the exile on Mom Street said...

I have no words to make this even remotely better for you, so I'll just say how very sorry I am and that MK is in my prayers.

At March 9, 2009 at 8:56 AM , Blogger Violet said...

My heart is with BFF, Mary Alice, and I have been friends for 30 years and have a similar story. My world would shatter if something like this happened to her.

Hold each other close, trust in God...and fight!!

At March 9, 2009 at 8:59 AM , Blogger Leendaluu said...

you already know how sorry I am...but MK is truly lucky to have you around. You're a fighter too. What do you say to doing the Susan Komen Breast Cancer walk in October next year? I'll email you this week.

At March 9, 2009 at 9:41 AM , Blogger The Sour Kraut said...

I am so, so sorry. MK, you and your families are in our thoughts.

At March 9, 2009 at 9:46 AM , Blogger Mommy2Joe said...

I don't even know what to say as I sit here in tears. I wish I was one of those people who always had appropriate words, but I'm not. So, I'll just say I'm sorry. That really really sucks. She's very lucky to have you on her side, helping her fight. Keep us posted.

At March 9, 2009 at 11:07 AM , Blogger Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I just said a prayer for MK and for you. I will continue to pray for you all.

At March 9, 2009 at 7:24 PM , Blogger Debbie said...

I'm so sorry for you and your friend. I'm happy she has you and your support. She will need it.
My prayers are with you both.

At March 10, 2009 at 7:16 AM , Blogger Theresa said...

I'm so sorry. I will keep you all in my prayers.

At March 11, 2009 at 8:54 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

Crap, that just takes your breath away, doesn't it. I'm so sorry. I'm glad she's a fighter, and more so that they've got a friend in you. Take care.

At March 12, 2009 at 11:23 AM , Blogger Michele Renee said...

I am so sorry and glad that you are nearby for her.

At March 12, 2009 at 11:51 PM , Blogger EatPlayLove said...

big hugs, you'll be more of a friend than you ever thought you could be, I know you will.


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