A Sick Friend

October 2, 2007
In December of 2006, my best friend was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. She was a young, active girl who was forced to go through Interferon drug treatments (a type of radiation). The treatments resulted in nausea, severe aches, and extreme fatigue. I wanted to be the one to help her through it. One side effect of the Interferon treatment was a change in taste buds. I would joke around with her saying, “Hey Kaylee, where are your buds today?”

She would reply, “I don’t know, but right now they do not like soda!”

When she was sick from the injections, finding something she liked to drink should have been the least of her problems, but she needed to stay hydrated in order to have further treatments.
Her last treatment was delayed because of dehydration. I decided to help by gathering different liquid drinks from chocolate milk to fruit juice. I poured all the drinks into plastic cups, enough for two big gulps. I then put them in a box, grabbed a night mask, and drove up the hill to Kaylee’s house.

When I walked in the door, she looked sad and exhausted. Her hair was in her face, eyes barley open, and walking slowly towards me. We sat at the kitchen counter with the carton of cups.

“I don’t like the look of this” Kaylee said as she laid her head on the counter.

“Just give it a chance!” I said handing her the night mask, to make sure she would not see what the drink was before hand.

Kaylee put on the mask as I handed her each glass. Gulp after gulp we quickly established which drinks she liked, and which she did not. I had a check list and did not tell her what was in each cup until the last sip.

“Alright Kaylee,” I said after the last cup, “your buds like chocolate milk, Raspberry Crystal Ice, and Mango Orange Juice.”

“No way!” said Kaylee in disbelief.

All the years I have known her she has never once liked any of those drinks. Kaylee thanked me as I poured her a glass of chocolate milk before I left. My experiment helped her stay hydrated and finish her treatments. She is now in complete remission.

I was not the one with cancer, but going through this with my best friend felt like it captured both of us. Before December, Kaylee and I could talk about anything from boys to shoes. For some reason we were silenced when the “C” word would appear. I had to find ways to show Kaylee I was going to be there for her. The drink experiment was one of the ways I showed Kaylee we were never giving up.

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback