Broken Heart

23 Oct

2013-07-09 01.53.39-1

I am heartbroken today. In April 2010, after my third surgery for cancer in my neck, I went through seven weeks of head and neck radiation. If you are not familiar with the process, based on your cancer, the radiation oncologist determines how much and how long your treatment will be; then  you are scheduled to receive that treatment at generally the same time everyday so that the amount of radiation running through your system stays consistent. So, every single day for seven weeks I was bolted to a table from my shoulders up, for a half an hour using the device made for me pictured below…it was not fun. The first week I was there I met ‘B’. We were two out of the 3-5 patients in the patient waiting room receiving radiation during our time frame. Since we saw each other every day around the same time, we got to know each other. Turns out, we had the same type of cancer, we both had a paralyzed vocal cord from the surgery, we both had the same radiation oncologist, and we had the same duration of therapy. Every day, we would talk about our struggles, our families, and our hopes and dreams for when we were finally cancer free. When the treatments got difficult, we would talk about it and I could always count on ‘B’ being there to encourage me to press on. Toward the end of treatment, we were both struggling, but we were able to do the daily countdown until the last day or ‘radiation graduation’. By the time the 7 weeks was over, I had a friend for life.radiation

For the past few years since then, we have kept in touch. We emailed each other our triumphs and struggles, he spoke of his wife and grandkids and the plans they had. We kept each other posted on cancer scares, tests, etc. We never lost touch. Over the past few months ‘B’ was struggling with various things and all I could do was pray and encourage him. Today, I got an email from him telling me ‘good-bye.’ His cancer has spread, and some to an inoperable area, he has just a few months left. I cried (and am still crying) from some of the words he wrote to me today. “Keep the faith , my sweet Anna, and I will remember that genuine smile of yours over your shoulder in the hallway in radiation oncology. Goodbye my friend, never give up. See you on the other side.” I am so sad. We went through a lot in that 7 weeks and ‘B’ was my guardian angel.  Despite the pain, he also had an encouraging smile on his face every day in that little waiting room. I know we are all only given a short amount of time on this earth, I am blessed to have known ‘B’. Thank you ‘B’, I love you…see you on the other side.

No lipstick today, just me, plain and simple.


16 Responses to “Broken Heart”

  1. Jo Heroux October 23, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    I am so, so sad for you and B’s other loved ones. My biggest and strongest and longest hugs to you. šŸ’”

    • Anna October 23, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      Thanks Jo, my heart hurts.

  2. Pat Yeakey October 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    Dearest Anna,
    Tears are running down my cheeks for the umpteenth time today. Earlier they were tears of joy and gratitude for the ‘complete remission’ report Raul received today. The ones flowing now are tears of heartache and sadness for what you are feeling tonight. “B” came into your life, and you into his, at a very precise moment in time……clearly a ‘God appointment’, both of you in need of the understanding and comfort that only someone in the same circumstances could offer another. I am sorry you have received such heartbreaking news, but thankful you have precious memories of those sweet, fleeting moments spent with someone who made a difference in your life. I’m sure “B” would say you did the same for him.
    Love, Pat

    • Anna October 23, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

      Thanks Pat, same with me. Tears of joy for Raul, my broken heart may take awhile…

  3. Juno October 23, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Anna, praying for you and Mr B. May he feel the love of Jesus through you and may it be an encouragement for you both in his last days on this side of eternity….

    • Anna October 23, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

      Thank you,Juno

  4. Beth October 23, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    I ache for you. ā™„

    • Anna October 25, 2013 at 7:07 am #

      Thanks Beth

  5. Grace October 24, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    I am so sorry, Anna. He sounds like such a wonderful, radiant person. Thank you for sharing his light with us – that eternal light that never ends. God bless him and his family during this difficult but holy time. And God bless you, dear friend, with the “peace that surpasses all human understanding…” You remain in my heart and prayers!

    • Anna October 25, 2013 at 7:07 am #

      Thank you Grace

  6. flordeliza nicolas October 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    hey anna I was reading your story and I can relate on your journey through radiation I was a cancer survivor. late 2009 my doctors find out that I have a cervical cancer and I was really paranoid when my doctor explain how would be the treatment should be done.i’m here in UNITED ARAB EMIRATES so just decided to go back to my family and undergo for treatment with in three months I was in and out to hospitals daily doing radiation for 34 days,and weekly for my chemo and interval every 2 weeks doing my brachy therapy same it’s like we’re in school chatting and let our experience in how we fight in different stage of this virus one it was scary day next day little bit ok and 3rd day like we get use to see each other until a week and next 2nd and 3rd week looking for someone whom you chat when we started and you’ll just find out that person was gone she or he lost there battle…but I keep on my mind that I have to fight and win for my own battle. always I keep in my mind that I have my daughter, my mother my sister that I don’t want to leave them in this situation I want to stay….so I have to be strong and brave to win in this illness.and always I find myself Im in the house of god [ church ] sitting and asking him to extend my life that belong to him I can’t explain while i’m sitting my tears was flowing and can’t find a word…and yet i’m still alive how lucky I am he gave me a second chance to live be with my family and having a normal life again i’m so thankful and I just share ths experience to encourage those who read your story or who’s in this illness to be strong,brave,and keep faith in our creator let him heal and take the pain, fear, and worries.believe that we can survive in his name jesus nothing is impossible….i’m alive and cancer free for 3 years as you…god bless

    • Anna October 25, 2013 at 7:06 am #

      Thank you and happy to hear you are cancer free! Blessings to you!

  7. mscator October 25, 2013 at 5:41 am #

    Nothing “plain and simple” about this beautiful tribute to your angel “B.” Aloha ((( Anna ))). TY. ā™„

    • Anna October 25, 2013 at 7:06 am #

      Aloha and thank you!


  1. Anti-Resolutions | Anna's Lipstick Journey - December 30, 2013

    […] to do fund raisers so I could have answers. Then the passing of my friend, and cancer angel, Bob. The toll of all of those on my brain and body; depression, anxiety, etc. and all that has […]

  2. Identity | Anna's Lipstick Journey - November 20, 2014

    […] him several times and needless to say, his passing was extremely difficult for me (read about him here). This week, almost exactly a year later, I heard from a woman I have actually never met in person […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: