This is another tough article to write. As I started on this venture four years ago, I didn’t realize the possibility of losing friends along the way. I would always read on Facebook messages from other survivors about loved ones and friends who passed away due to breast cancer. It would affect me as well, but I never knew them personally. I would just read those words, “Another breast cancer fighter gained her wings today.” It has become a daily occurrence. It started to numb me to the core. So many people dying from this horrible disease every day. That’s about 110 people per day, which is about 40,000 per year?! What?!
But then something happened that hit me close to home. That numbness that I described a few minutes ago? Well, no more. A good friend of mine passed away in her sleep from Stage 4 Mets. This surprised me because we would talk for hours on the phone all the time. She never told me that she was that sick. I think she didn’t want me to worry, so we would talk about life’s other interesting things. She loved talking about everything from her nephew Jack to her foundation Pink Sister Soldiers. Her name was Maia. She was a fighter, a dreamer, an advocate, a warrior, a dog lover, an incredible aunt, a sister, a daughter, a hoot, and finally, my hero.
This is so hard. I knew along the way I would lose friends, but I wasn’t ready for this one. I simply wasn’t ready. We are never ready, right? I talked to Maia on May 9 about random things happening in our lives. She asked if I had a girlfriend yet and suggested that I stay away from online dating because they are all crazy. She made me laugh all of the time. She was very direct and always told me how she felt about things that have bothered her. She never took crap from anyone. She was a fighter! She made me believe again that anything is possible after cancer. She was my inspiration to do great things!
Maia passed away in her sleep. That scares the crap out of me. I do not think I will sleep again. Well, at least not for a few nights. But I cannot let fear control me. She would tell me to F-it and get over it. Go to SLEEP! That is what she would say to me.
I am happy that she is now at peace and taking care of dogs that are in heaven with her. When my time is up, she will be there saying, “Hi, Boo…Welcome to Paradise.”
My name is Steve Del Gardo. Heart Broken.
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