I don’t know what to think right now. Honestly, my head is all over the place, my stomach dropped and it hurts, and my heart aches. It’s like the flu, without the barfing. But with tear-rimmed eyes.

When I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I somehow found the FMS newsgroup; it was amazing. Thousands of people who were going through what I was. While it was not always the most fun place to play—because when you have so many people in varying degrees of pain, once in a while a whole lot of them are very cranky—it was the right place for me to be. I learned a lot: what I had, what I didn’t have, and how to cope.

I made some friends there, as well. People who, over time, became my very good friends. People I could argue with as well as laugh. From whom I learned a lot and care for deeply.

Like Anne.

About six months before I found out I had the brain tumor, she found out she had breast cancer. And roughly the same time that she was given an all clear, I found out my tumor was benign and likely to never recur.

Since then we’ve both had Good News when it comes to our respective diseases. All gone. Vanished. Hasta la vista, baby.

She got the convertible I coveted before I did, but she deserved it.

When we were in North Dakota and the Spouse Thingy could not fine the English teas that he loved, she sent him some. The Real Thing. From England. If he ran out, all had to do was mention it, and the next day more was on the way.

Anne and I share a birthday; I’ve always taken a certain amount of joy in reminding her that regardless, she would always be several years older than I. I spent part of the week contemplating the e-card I was going to send her on Friday. Something appropriately insulting, but sure to make her smile.

So you can imagine how surprised I was to hear this afternoon that she died.

She was fine. They said she was fine. They said her cancer had not come back.

They were wrong.

I’m angry. I’m hurt. I feel like I’m bleeding for her husband and two sons. And I don’t know what to think, because she was supposed to be fine, and I was going to send her a Ha Ha Ha You’ll Always Be Older Than Me card.

But she won’t be, because now she’s gone.

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