PS – I also wrote this one while drunk last night. What? Don’t you dare judge me. Wine is my friend right now. We all cope in different ways. Enjoy:
Ami you are my angel and my inspiration.
Where to even start?
When my very good friend Ami (who I refer to by her middle name, Aviva (so beautiful, right?)) was diagnosed with the big C a few months after my wedding in 2009 (BTW – she was one of my bridesmaids, and Paul and I got married in the Catholic church (we had to tell a fib to the priest b/c we also had a separate Hindu wedding) — Ami was such a trooper for me. You see, she is like a *serious* Jew. I mean — like Super Jew. Pretty sure she leads Shabbat (sp) prayer for her Synagogue (which I’m told is a very BIG deal). So, understandably, she was totally freaked that she had to stand in the middle of a Catholic church to witness our vows — but she did it and was a champ about the whole thing. Though she sort of got pushed over the edge when our wedding planer told all my bridesmaids to genuflect at the entrance to the church, before proceeding down the aisle. Ami reached the end of her tolerance rope! Never one to mince words….well, I needn’t elaborate here! I made it clear to ALL, that nobody had to genuflect!)
Ami is a breast cancer survivor. Her road has been a long one, and I’ve followed her, nee, ADMIRED her the entire way. She had a bilateral mastectomy, full lymph node removal on one side, chemo and is now on hormone therapy. She also is fighting through the yucka issue of Lymphodema.
Before my cancer diagnosis, Ami was already my hero. I was so thrilled when she and her husband, Scott, and their two beautiful children moved out here to the Bay Area. You see, Ami has known about my fertility struggles from the start. She was one of my rocks. Her dad is an OB-GYN and one of the handful of other doctors I consulted during our fertility journey.
In addition, Ami is a F’ing saint (did I fail to mention that part before). Before her big C diagnosis, she was just about to become a gestational surrogate for a gay couple. Her cancer diagnosis took her out of the running to do that. She was devastated.
So not only does she get our fertility struggles — b/c she’s been in the loop from very early on. But she also fully understands the utter sorrow I’m feeling for having to cancel my donor cycle TWO WEEKS before the finish line. SO DEVASTATING.
Ami has been such a rock for us. She has counseled me through all of this. Told me about chemo cocktails, key words to listen for. So much valuable information. I would die without her. It’s wonderful that I have so many friends and family who are doctors. They all have their opinions and POV, but being able to talk to Ami is invaluable. She is someone who is not only incredibly smart — but who has also been there, done this — she walked the walk and can talk the talk. She has been my lighthouse in the storm.
Not to mention, those of you who know Ami know she is a no bullshit type of gal. Because of her, I 100% understand what a complete shitshow I am up against for the next 6-8-12 months. But I would rather know the truth and prepare for it, than to be bowled over and on my ass because I had no idea.
THANK YOU AMI. Words cannot convey how much you have helped me. I LOVE YOU AND I THANK YOU.