It was a rough week for many reasons, but the hardest part was losing a dear friend. Her name was Nicole and I met her 7 years ago when I started working at Intel. We became friends right away. Nicole was very smart, had a sarcastic sense of humor that I loved, and she was giving. Her one big fault--she didn't take care of herself.
A few months before we met, Nicole had an irregular pap smear and she ignored it. At the time, she was unemployed and probably didn't have insurance and so she just pretended the test was wrong and went on. Then about 2 1/2 years ago she started having pains and went to the doctor where it was discovered that she had cervical cancer. It had already spread to the point where she couldn't have surgery to remove it and her only choice was radiation. She went through excruciating months of procedures, but the cancer continued to spread and no treatment would stop it. At 36, she was robust, volunteering at animal shelters, fostering orphaned pets and taking care of others to a whithered and frail woman who could no longer care for herself at 38.
During the years I knew Nicole, she was the first one to volunteer to help anytime someone asked. She gave her time freely and worked with rescue places to save animals that had been abandoned or unloved. She was a beautiful person and my heart is heavy and sick with the loss of her life.
She died this morning at 10 am. The world is a much colder place without her.