I received my cross from a very dear and special friend, Fran. Fran and I share a special bond. We are both cancer survivors. I was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma in 2004. Through the grace of God, modern medicine and a stem cell transplant, I survived. The collateral damage – both physical and emotional – is part of what cancer survivors are trying to adjust to when they talk about their “new normal.” It’s been 10 years since my diagnosis and 8 years since my transplant, but I still feel most grounded and most “normal” when I am relating to people who have shared the cancer experience. I joined a facebook group for people diagnosed with my particular subtype of cancer. Enter Fran. When she was diagnosed, she joined the group and reached out to me, asking if we could talk by phone. It’s been more than a year since we’ve been friends. Fran initially reached out for support. But I believe that I received the biggest blessing – her friendship, her faith, her energy, her honesty, her willingness to share her fears and her feelings with someone whom she had never met in person. We’ve still never met in person. But we will. And when we do, I will wrap my arms around her and will be able to tell her – in person – what her friendship means to me.