Slumber parties are things of children. My best friend P and I had one every year for our birthdays, mine in June and hers in October. Until bad news struck. It seemed like every time we had these sleepovers, some kind of tragedy would happen at the other’s home. The morning after celebrating her birthday, I learned that my parents had been hit by a drunk driver and had been taken to the hospital. Months later, we celebrated my birthday and when we took home, her sister wasn’t around.
P’s sister was a few years younger at a six months of age, they found water on her brain. She was declared mentally retarded and had a tube placed in to drain the excess water. She did not go over to friends homes to play, so it was strange that she was not there. Her mom didn’t want to say anything when we dropped P off, but my mom told me the details while we drove home.
The day before, P’s mom and sister had gone to a doctors appointment and some tests had come back irregular. After further checks, they found she had cancer. She had a growth the size of a basketball that had already collapsed a lung and had damaged several internal organs. That morning she was already in the hospital, ready to undergo surgery. They removed the cancer and for many months I remember visiting Stanford Hospital so she could receive chemo & radiation. Her beautiful, silky curls were soon gone and she lost her spunk and energy. The cancer was treated but this young girl suffered many other physical problems later in life.
The last time I talked to P, her baby sister had turned 18 and was then living in supported living facility of sorts as her physical size and mentally capacity did not match, which was taking a toll on their mother. That was many years ago and I truthfully do not know if P’s sister is still alive. But I know she lived on for many years as a cancer survivor after the basketball sized growth was removed.
LIVESTRONG Day is the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s one-day initiative to raise awareness and funds for the cancer fight. LIVESTRONG Day 2008 will occur on Tuesday, May 13. In the foodblogging community, the day is celebrated by making and sharing A Taste of Yellow. To honor my friend P, her mother and her baby sister, I am participating by making a tagine colored yellow with Peruvian palillo (Peruvian turmeric). Enjoy!