01/10/2013 03:07 pm ET Updated Mar 12, 2013

When You Really Love a Friend


My kids complained that the last blog I wrote had too much humor and a little too much "'tude." I think they were freaked out that I admitted had ever smoked pot. They are my ardent and critical audience, so asked to get back to the more serious and thoughtful writings, here you go guys, and it's not pretty.

It's a new year and we're all supposed to be making our resolutions -- looking forward to rebirth, regeneration, new energy, happiness, and health. And I was, until I received a phone call that shook me to the core. One of my oldest and dearest friends was diagnosed with highly metastasized cancer. I'm not old enough to have friends with this disease. Just a month ago the five of us -- the closest of friends since we were babies -- enjoyed a hilarious day together celebrating the amazing fact of being friends for so long. We laughed about the day we walked around our home banister trying to make it in heels for the first time, and how the five flattest teens in the world were insistent upon getting our moms to buy us bras. And then there was the day we got caught smoking a cigar in the bathroom. And of course there was marijuana marathon. Now there's something that would help now both medicinally -- as per many medical reports -- and for the rest of us just to get stoned and pretend this is not happening. We shared everything, from clothes to boyfriends. Our parents were parents to all of us. We had sleepovers always and lived on the phone. If there had been texting then, our fingers would have been flying. On college vacations, we were glued together.

And now we are learning a whole new language of friendship. You don't ask how she's feeling because it's not going to be good. You don't say your hair is gorgeous because soon it won't be. You think of this dynamite tennis player lying in bed instead of slamming the ball over the net. Instead of hangovers from a goofy night stuck in a snowstorm with no power, there are severe headaches of another kind, leaving no power left for much activity at all. I remember the frustration of all of us trying to put together a 1,000-piece crossword puzzle of London using just a flashlight, and all we managed to jam together was Big Ben. Time. That's what we all need is time.

I'm a psychotherapist and while I often work very hard to get clients to come up with the truth, my friend is desperate to share hers. She wants our hopes and good thoughts and our prayers. Seriously, whatever works. She posted a blog to keep us all up to date on every stick of the needle and every fallen follicle. Surrounded by the love of her husband of a zillion years, her two amazing kids, the rest of her family and a mob full of friends, she can't help but to pull through. As for the four of us, we need our five-some back.

So yes, this is the new year. And it better be a freakin' good one. I'd shave my own head, burn my beloved tennis racket, pull the keys off my piano and sleep in the street with some of my less-fortunate clients if I knew it would help. That's the extremes of where the love of a friend takes you. And Betsy, my money's on you. Of all of us, you are the strongest, most resilient, self-propelled, positive person I know. We are all holding strongly onto you, so get up and beat this thing.

So why such a personal blog? There are many of you who are going through the pain of dealing with the illness of a loved one. You need to keep your energy going the same way we do to help your person pull through. There is something strong about positive thinking, meditation, and the power of family and friends. Sometimes sharing the pain of the process with another lets you know you are not there alone.

Many of us think that because the year is 2013 -- the "13" in the year is bad luck. I called a numerologist friend of mine, Glynis McCants, and asked her to do one of her truly insightful readings for my friend. So here is what she had to say:

I love the fact that 2013 has the numbers 1, 2, and 3 in it. I see that as magical because 1 promotes ambition, the 2 promotes love, and the 3 promotes laughter and communication. Sounds really good to me!

The new year 2013 breaks down to the number 6 (2+0+1+3 = 6). The 6 is a magnetic number, and I see this as a much more comfortable World Number Cycle to be in, since it will not move so quickly, and it will be easier to accomplish some of your goals. You will feel that you have a chance to get things done.

We are also in the Month of January (1). The 1 month encourages you to be self-motivated. It is a perfect time to sit down and make a list of exactly what you hope to achieve this year. And with that powerful 6 vibration backing you up, anything is possible, as long as you really put your mind to it!!

Put your mind to it, Betsy. And we're all behind you.

For more by Susan Winston, click here.

For more on the spirit, click here.

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