Friday, May 29, 2009


OK, so now that all the hoop-la of the giveaway is over, let's get on with some good posting! First, DeNae, in answer to your question: Yes. The computer is basically fixed. It doesn't hold a charge for more than a couple hours but for the most part it's fixed. And I hope you like this background better. See how compliant I am?

Then, remember my friend Courtney? No? Oh, that's because no one was reading my blog back then. Well, go here and you can read about her a little at the bottom of the post. Or you can go here and read all about her battle and victory over leukemia. She and I met when I was living in Tooele with my first husband. I was 8 months pregnant with Avery when we moved to a townhouse and right next to us was Courtney and her husband, Todd. She has a daughter that's 6 months younger than Hayden and was 3 months pregnant with her second daughter. We hit it off immediately. We had so much fun together that summer. We lived next to each other for about a year then I moved to an apartment just a couple minutes away so we still stayed close.

One day when our baby girls were still really little she and I were hanging out at my apartment. Hayden and her daughter were playing in one of the bedrooms. I had just moved in so I still had a few boxes that weren't unpacked yet. One of those boxes had all the computer stuff in it. So Courtney and I were yackin' in the living room and our kids come in. Hayden holding scissors and her daughter holding locks of her hair. Yep. Hayden cut her daughter's pony-tails off! Courtney was such a good sport about it. She just laughed about it. I seriously would have CRIED!! (Which I did a year later when Hayden cut Avery's pony-tails off.) So we put that fire out and go back to our yackin'. A while later, Hayden comes out with a blue face, blue hair, blue tummy, blue hands. What the HELL??? Daughter comes out holding an ink cartridge for the printer. She had dumped it all over Hayden and my bed and carpet. So we got the kids in the tub and the water immediately turned blue. He was stained blue for a few days to follow.

But that's how it was with Courtney and me. Whenever we got together we just lost ourselves in conversation and enjoying each other's company. Not long after that she moved back to Texas where she and Todd are from. We stayed in contact for about 6 months but after that kind of lost track of each other.

A year ago last December I got a call from Todd. The first thing out of his mouth was, "Courtney....( heart dropped to the floor, I literally felt the blood drain from my head and I was CERTAIN his next word were going to be "died") has cancer." She'd been diagnosed with leukemia in September and went from "not feeling very good" straight to the ER and then admitted to the hospital for several weeks. She had four little kids at home and didn't even get a chance to explain to them what was happening to their mamma. Todd told me she didn't know he had found me. She had been telling him for some time and especially that night that she just wanted to talk to me. She was upset and just wanted to find me. Being a cancer survivor myself, she knew I'd be able to relate to her. She knew she'd be able to vent all her frustrations and "why me?" to me and I'd know exactly what she was talking about. We cried and talked and cried. She was days away from being admitted to the hospital again for a bone marrow transplant. She was so blessed to have found a match in her sister. I was so close to needing a bone marrow transplant when I had cancer and I was told that they'd bring me right to the verge of death. (As Courtney describes it, "they dangle you on a string, hovering over death) They give you a "mega-dose" of chemotherapy, killing all of your white blood cells and then inject you with the new bone marrow and begin rebuilding your immune system. I was so scared for her. Tavis told me that night that I had to go see her. The next day I booked my flight for Dallas and within a couple of weeks I was there at her bedside. She was 4 days post-transplant. She's 5' 2" and she weighed 90 pounds. She was tiny. She was bald. She was so sick. But she was still my best friend from several years before. We picked up right where we left off. I stayed with her in her room for the whole weekend. We talked and cried and cried and talked. I remember leaving her on Sunday and not wanting to let go of her. She was so small but I just wanted to keep squeezing her. I honestly didn't know if I'd see her alive again. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. To let go of her. But I did. I went home and prayed and worried about her every day. And then a year later, this post. The best news ever.

This past Sunday I got a text from her.

It said: Guess what?
Me: What???
Courtney: I'm...
Me: Stop it!!! WHAT?????
Courtney: Coming to UTAH!

She got here on Thursday. Her husband had work to do in Logan so I got to take her home with me while he went up there. We went to lunch and got to visit and catch up. She spent the night with me. Every time we get together it's like we've never missed a beat. But now our conversations revolve around topics like medication, and the constant pain she's in. Why she can't go in the sun or eat too spicy of food because it literally burns her. Quickly. Of course we also talk about kids and husbands and housewife life, too. Today when I left her she cried. I felt kind of bad for not being more emotional about leaving her. But there was such a huge contrast from the last time I left her. This time I KNOW I'll see her again. I know she's healthy now and she'll continue to heal. Of course after I drove away the tears came. But they were nothing like the tears I shed almost a year and a half ago.

I was going to post about the horrible night I had at work but I think for now I'll just leave it positive and upbeat and all about Courtney. If you've got time you really should browse through her blog.

I'm so grateful to have a friend like her and that I was able to spend a couple of precious days with her.


tiburon said...

What a great post! Love hearing about your friendship - the pony tail part would have made me scream too.

I love having those kinds of people in my life.

Big hooray for beating cancer too! :)

Kristina P. said...

This just made me smile, Amber.

SO said...

How awesome that you got to spend some time with Courtney. How cool is it that you are such good friends.

DeNae said...

How completely awesome, Little Sis. I don't think I knew hardly any of this story, which is why I echo what you've said many times before: People who don't blog just don't get it. I'm so happy that your friend is OK, and that she has you in her life. Not many people have a BFF who has been to the dark side of THAT moon. What a blessing.

And thank you, darling, for this beautiful background. You are a kind soul to your blind, decrepit sister.

Melissa said...

What a fantastic post! I love friendships like this and count them as blessings....
YAY for beating suck-ass cancer!

Casey said...

Wow, what a great friendship. I love friends like that.. the kind that you can not see for ten years and you just pick up where you left off.

I'm so glad Courtney is healthy and that you got to see each other again. Also, I didn't know you were a cancer survivor?!?

wendy said...

Oh Amber, that was a great story. She is lucky to have you as her friend as I am sure you have been the greatest support to her. It is interesting in life how --with some people----there is such a connection. I am so glad she is improving.
and I can't even be my usual "witty" self on this comment as that was just to wonderful of a tribute to your friend.
love ya

Vanessa said...

Thanks for making my bawl my eyes out. I'm glad you got to hook back up.

And what a crappy stalker friend I am!! I didn't know you were a cancer survivor!

GreenJello said...

Friends like that are gold. Pure gold. :)

Mrsbear said...

I'm so happy to hear Courtney is in good health. It's great to have the kind of friendship that doesn't lapse regardless of time and miles between you. What a great post. You're both survivors.