Friends: Our Chosen Family

I really appreciate my friends.  For me they are as much my family as anything else in the world.  They make me laugh, think, wonder, and enjoy life in a way I could not otherwise.  What I love about my friends is that they are so varied.  There are some friends with whom I have a purely intellectual interaction.  There are other friends where that intellectual need sits right alongside making funny faces, singing off key, and acting like monkeys.  Other friendships weave in music, popular culture, and politics into the fabric.  Some of my friends are strictly virtual, some who I see all of the time, some I see infrequently, some friendships are over thirty years old and going strong, others newer and developing.  Whomever they are, whatever they do, all of my friends are unique and special individuals and I would be that much poorer without them in my life.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I knew that the way I would not only learn about the disease, but learn how to deal with the disease, was by making friends with this one lousy thing that we had in common.   Some friends, I would learn,  had fought back cancer, some work acquaintances had breast cancer in the past and it opened up a whole new opportunity to be friends going forward.   Through this blog I have met patient advocates, women with breast cancer or other cancers, caregivers, physicians, and just all around cool folks who liked my blog and didn’t have any connection to cancer (thank the gods!).   And then there were the knitters.

Knitters never miss an opportunity to knit and gab!  It’s a very social thing to do.  Throw in some wine and some goodies and it’s a party.  So on December 9 I had the distinct pleasure of hosting a small gathering of knitters to talk yarn, projects, and breast cancer here at Sarcastic Boob World Headquarters.  We were all in different stages of cancer, experienced different treatments, and lived with differences in our prognoses–but no one was concerned with details or splitting hairs in this group.  We were all in the same damned boat!

I learned a lot from my fellow knitters–from the work they do (one is an opera singer!), to where they live (one has lived in all five boroughs of NYC!), to having doctors in common.  One of my guests had family who used to live in this building, so it was like a little trip home in a way.  But the strength that filled my living room was impressive.  All of these women have endured (or are presently enduring) chemical warfare and surgeries while working, raising their families, being wives, girlfriends, friends, and mothers.  They face this monster head on and triumph to live their lives like rock stars.

For one day I was in a room with other women who knew exactly what it was like to live with the real sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.   They knew the fear, the anger, the frustration and, yes, they knew (and welcomed) the humor.   It was a safe zone where no one judged, fears were expressed, and support, friendship, and love were given in abundance.  It was great fun and I can’t wait to do it again.

montage

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21 Responses to Friends: Our Chosen Family

  1. Juneaubugg (aka Jennifer) says:

    Scorch… Heard something good today:

    You can’t choose your family; that’s why God gives you friends. We are blessed. xxoo

  2. BlondeAmbition says:

    I feel like this post needed to be set to music (Bette Midler? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x1R50zNV1I) : ) What a lovely group — dig the photos (and your apartment is gorgeous!) If not for this blog, our paths may not have crossed and that would be tragic. Even when I don’t have a chance to comment, I want you to know your posts bring a smile to my face, a giggle or guffaw, and sometimes even a tear — I am always touched and reminded of your many gifts. All good things to you in 2013 (and I just endorsed you for the #HAaward xox

    • Scorchy says:

      You are so kind and I do so cherish your comments. When it comes to friends–virtual or 3D–I’m richer than Croesus.

      I hummed this song the whole time I wrote that post!!
      ♪♫ Ya got to have friends . . . ♪♫

  3. Such a lovely post! I wish I could knit if only to say – knit -tit! Doesn’t quite work with crochet-tit. Alas. And if we can’t laugh with friends, woe is us. Like totally, for sure, we have to laugh about the sheer absurdity of this boob crap. You make me laugh all the time.

  4. Susan says:

    You are amazing and I love what you wrote about friends. I am so glad I am getting to know you through social media. I love your humor as well as your truth. Just keep being you! Thank you! XoXoXo-Susan

  5. The Accidental Amazon says:

    I feel the same way about my friends. I have no immediate fam left, so they are extra important to me. Also, have beading friends who are like your ‘stich-n-bitch’ crew! Two essential friend qualities: (1) sheer silliness and (2) not being embarrased about laughing so hard, you spray coffee out your nose. Great post. xoxo, Kathi

  6. Anyone who includes acting like monkeys in essential qualities in friends has my attention from the get go. I have my quilting friends, my cycling friends, my breast friends but one thing they all share: the ability to laugh, hard, long, and with love.

    Love your pieces,
    Jody Schoger – @jodyms
    (I’m signed in a s Alamo Survivor for now)

  7. I love the title of this post! I love this post! Sorta makes me wish I knew how to knit!

    We all need safe zones. That’s part of the wonder of friends. That’s what they give us, safe zones. Thanks for being part of my “zone.”

  8. bcrcrider says:

    Oh now I envy you that knitting sub-club! I’m a knitter too, and am in a wonderful support group, but what fun it must be to marry the two!

  9. You are a superstar….. From the day this blog was launched and you were tweeting the places the blog was read? You had the whole twit loving world laughing hysterically…..

    You’re one very special person.. and I’m glad to be your (currently) virtual and (soon to be) 3D friend. Rock on…..

    xoxox

    AnneMarie

  10. jlg says:

    One of the best posts ever

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