I have a friend who I’ve known since childhood. She has metastasized breast cancer. She was diagnosed in spring 2016. After a series of different treatments and a surgery where doctors discovered the spread, she was given a death sentence.

She refused to accept it wasn’t giving up until she had exhausted every option. She found herself at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York City and was given the opportunity to participate in a trial treatment which thus far is working. She isn’t cured of cancer but she’s alive. She told me she can find the will to live with cancer more than she can find the will to accept a death sentence.

During this time she crafted a photo of my daughter and I in wood. Can you imagine? Experiencing all of this suffering yet taking the time to bring me joy? I am mesmerized by this. The photo has two valuable meanings for me.

It reminds of the love my child and I feel for one another through the good times and the bad, and the struggles and triumphs we have experienced.

On the days I feel weak as if I may break and I just don’t want to keep going I look at it and think of my friend and her strength and remind myself it’s very much so possible to overcome the impossible.

It sits on my desk beside me every day when I write.

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Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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