So much has been happening lately, and I have so much to write about that it has taken me a while to figure out where to start.
At first I was trying to be super clever - to weave a witty tale of that last week or so - but after several false starts I figured I would just tell you what happened in DC in two parts.
I flew out a week ago from today, landed in our nation's capital, and jumped into a car headed to my friend Gina's house.
Gina and I had one of those intensely close friendships that only 7th grade girls can have, followed by an equally intense falling out that only 9th grade girls can have.
Lucky for me, at some point in our 30's we decided to put that nonsense behind us.
What I have learned through my close female friendships is the person you fell in love with as a friend is usually the same person you will find a few decades later.
This is definitely the case for Gina, who had one of the coolest bedrooms of my teenage years, full of flea market finds, collections of pure beautiful randomness. When the cab pulled up to the house, front yard full of beautiful kitch, and the driver asked if this was the place, I just laughed and nodded my head.
So I was excited to see my old friend, meet her partner and her daughter and eat a home cooked meal.
Mixed in with my excitement was a tiny bit of anxiety, just a smidge, but I was aware of it every once in a while.
You see, Gina introduced me to her friend Beth right about the time that we were both beginning chemo for different, yet equally scary, cancers. My new cancer buddy.
Beth was my type of chick. Potty mouth, smart, funny, brilliant writer.
We shared a pretty deep connection over the last year by simply commenting within each other's blogs. There were days when I felt like she was reading my mind, when she brought me to tears, when she made me laugh out loud. And every once in a while we would write a sentence or two to each other, that felt like a note passed in class, personal, conspiratorial, real.
Our friendship felt like what kids in the 1970's must have felt about pen pals. Someone to pour your heart out to, someone to create the self you really wished you were, without the fear of ever meeting and then bursting each other's bubbles.
So my worry really was that I was not going to live up to expectations, that my blog would have given my friends, old and new, a false sense of who I really was.
The next day I checked in on Beth's blog and read the following message:
I’m especially grateful this week for Dawnn Eikenberry, my first cancer friend and role model in how to live my life with this terrible disease. Meeting you face to face for the first time this week left me feeling star struck.
And for one second I hated cancer a little less than I usually do.
If you want to fall in love with Beth too check out her amazing blog: