Thursday, January 24, 2013

Prayers needed for a friend

I was so looking forward to 2013 being better for me and my loved ones. My parents have been dedicating most of their time recently to caring for my Uncle Lloyd, who is nearing the end of his life. It's a hard but precious time for them. They are grateful for the time they have left with him.

Then this week I got some bad news about a dear friend from work. Her name is Loretta, and she works in our Denver headquarters. Both of us have worked at the firm for many years, but had not worked closely together until a few years ago. She is the marketing and communications manager for our Environmental Services Business Group, and she's been using me a lot to write intranet stories, manage award applications, and provide other communications support. With another friend and coworker, we initiated a Communications Community of Practice in our firm...for all communicators to have a place to share ideas and learn.

Loretta is such a kind, loving person, and I feel very lucky to know her and be her colleague. This week she let us know that she's been diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma. She hadn't been feeling well since December, and with my time away, I was not aware of what was going on. The last I heard from her was right after New Year, when she e-mailed me: "I prayed for you so many times throughout the last two weeks! It’s so good to hear from you. Glad you’re back." Typical of her, she didn't share anything about what she had been going through.

I feel so horrible that I didn't know about all the worry and concern she's been enduring, and now she's in for a rough haul. She will have a few rounds of chemo (every 3 weeks, for 6 hours each) and then they'll check to see if it's working. Tomorrow they will conduct a bone marrow test to determine if the cancer has metastasized to her bones. If so, she will be reclassified as Stage 4. So either she has Stage 2 or Stage 4...lymphoma is treatable, but the staging is very important to the treatment and success rates.

If you are the praying sort, will you say a prayer for my friend, Loretta? If you are not into praying, hopeful thoughts are nice too! Fortunately she has a large circle of friends in Colorado, and she's going to need them. I feel so far away and helpless. I will have to find some fun things to send her to cheer her up.

Thank you. Please no more cancer!!!

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