Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"It Just Ain't Right"

I have always known that my friend Cyndi is one in a million. Today I found out that she's also 1 of 5 in 100,000 worldwide.

Cyndi has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Aclerosis, or ALS, which is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS is terminal and there is no cure.

As is her norm, Cyndi is handling her diagnosis with the strength and wisdom that I've seen her use time and time again during the course of her life.  She's counting her blessings, telling me what a wonderful life she's had, and making a list of who she's going to haunt once she shuffles off of this mortal coil.  And while she still has a voice to do so she's taking the time to tell me that she loves me and how much our friendship has meant to her over the years.

Right now there's no telling how long Cyndi has, according to her doctor death often occurs within 2-7 years of diagnosis and there's a good chance she's had the illness for close to two years - which would explain the problems that she developed with falling over a year ago.  That said, it's going to be a period of time during which her body starts to shut down on her while her mind stays unaffected.  She's already started to lose her voice and is using a walker to get around though it appears that a wheelchair is very imminent.

Personally I feel like someone has knocked my legs out from under me and I'm not quite sure how to wrap my head around this one yet.  After I hung up from our phone conversation that started out with "I'm dying" I had myself a good cry, cursed the many miles that are between us, and decided that a trip out to California is going to have to be a priority - soon.

I don't know how, I don't know when, but I do know it needs to be while I can still wheel my best friend into our favorite Mexican restaurant and order a #13 CombinaciĆ³n and reminisce over both good times and bad and so that I can tell her in person what our friend Sergeant Timmy White, who died in the line of duty at Stockton PD, always told us, "It just ain't right" and that she has always been the best friend a person could ask for - always.


  1. My best wishes of course to Cyndi. The actor David Niven had ALS and the worst was that brilliant, generous mind that couldn't communicate outside of the brain trapped inside. Losing a friend is always difficult, but try to help Cyndi keep finding ways to "talk" to her world.

  2. oh my word honey, i am so sorry to read this. i have another friend with this disease as well, he is (was) a surgeon. just tragic.

    hugs. bee

  3. So sorry to read this about Cyndi.

    Words are escaping me at this moment. Life is just so unfair.

    I know you will find a way to get to California soon.

  4. Twenty Three years ago, a very good friend of mine was given a diagnosis of cancer -of the jawbone. He did everything under the sun that was available to him to try to find a cure, but unfortunately, almost a year after his diagnosis, it was over. I worked with a young woman then who was his niece as well as his cousin. Yes, her Dad was his uncle, but her Mom was his sister-in-law! and from December until his passing in September, I think every night after work, that young woman and I stopped at a local pub and cried in our beer -literally, we did that as we mourned what was coming before it happened. When he died, I thought surely I am by now all cried out but I found out I wasn't and still am not because I still cry over the loss of such a great person as he really was. As you said in your post, "It just ain't right!" and you are so right in that because it truly isn't! Find a way to get a trip to California Linda, if you have to beg, borrow and maybe even steal a little too in order to get there, but do it whatever way you can! Saying our goodbyes, as difficult as it is to find the words to say them, is so important to all concerned. My thoughts and prayers will be with you to find a way to do that and for your friend, that she continues to be able to be the strong and courageous lady she most obviously is! Peace, to both of you.

  5. Well, damn. That truly is a devastating diagnosis.

    I do hope you will find the way to make your plans to spend precious moments with your friend... with great urgency. Each day is precious always, but more so when you know the number of days are far less than you ever thought.

  6. Anonymous7:50 AM EDT

    Hugs and lots of love, my dear. both to you and your dear friend Cyndi. I'm praying for strength, wisdom, faith, and peace during this difficult time.

    Friends are our family of choice.

  7. She is leading by example. Follow her lead, keep the positive and the humor. And I know you will get there, whatever it takes. You need the closure, you need to know she knows you were there.

    And she needs you.

  8. Losing a good friend is hard, but losing a BEST friend is even harder. No, it ain't right. But I hope you can get out to have a very right visit ASAP. May you find some peace in this awful situation, and may your friend not suffer unjustly.

    Big hugs, honey...

  9. Anonymous4:47 PM EDT

    I am very sorry to hear about your friend. Indeed, "It's just not right."

  10. Oh, Linda, that is so sad and I can understand how very "unfair" this is. My thoughts and prayers are with Cyndi and I do hope that you can make it out there to see her soon. Such a coincidence really....our next door neighbour Gerry has just been diagnosed with ALS as well. It's been over a year that he's hardly been able to use his hands and walking is a chore as well. He's really going downhill fast and has fallen 3 times this weeks. They are now in the process of putting a lift in their house so that he can use it to go downstairs or upstairs since he just can't do the stairs anymore. A wheelchair has now been delivered to him as well. He's 57 years old, much too young, like Cyndi to be going through this. Sending you big hugs across the miles. xoxo

  11. I'm so sorry for your friend.

  12. Well, that sucks. I hope you're able to get to California ASAP for a few more precious moments with your friend.


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