8928cr-ret RonGeorgann2017

Ron and Georgann Turner at home in Bremerton, WA

I often stop myself when I start to write about my BFF because… it’s complicated. Not our adoration of each other—that’s simple. We have been best friends ever since, way back in the last century (the 1980s!), we met when she was a returning student at Sac State and I was an adjunct professor in journalism. She liked coming to my classes to hear guest speakers, though she never took a class of mine. We got to talking, liked each other, and, when she went off to Wales to finish a bachelor’s degree in her 40s, she said something that I’ve never forgotten:

“If you write to me, I’ll be your best friend.”

I did—on the thinnest blue Aerograms, which were the cheapest way to send international (snail) mail in those days—and she did, and as we learned to decipher each other’s handwriting, we became penpals, writing sisters, close buddies.

I was hesitant at first to call her my “best” friend because, well, I already had one (lookin’ at you, Sue Lester!), the girl who grew up next door to me, whose mom was our Girl Scout leader (thanks, Mrs. Lester!). My sister Donna is clearly the best (never mind that she’s the “only”). And then there was my band buddy, Lisa Morgan, who certainly fell into the superlative category. Not to mention the college buddies: Gina, Curtis, et al. They (and others) are “bests,” too. (This grammar teacher is putting aside the notion that there’s only one who fits the superlative adjective.)

But Georgann (BFF GAT) decided that I was her BFF (JLH) almost as soon as she heard that term years after she moved back to California and remarried a lovely man (hi, Ron!) and adopted three kids in addition to the two she bore, and long before she learned that she had cancer. She had major surgery in 2009 to remove a portion of her intestine in 2009, but some cancer cells have remained in her pancreas.

That’s the complicated part of the story—watching someone you love cope with tremendous pain, who has fewer good days when she’s up and about and active than the days she’s in bed. And I’m only loving her from afar. Ron is her major caretaker at their home in Bremerton, Washington. (Best husband, Ron!)

Recently, a CAT scan revealed a different kind of cancer present in Georgann’s hip.  There is a specific treatment for this type of cancer, a drug called Zometa. However, Zometa has a side effect of weakening the jawbone.  If Georgann has any serious dental problems, like needing to extract a tooth or replace a bridge, there would be a high risk of necrosis in the jawbone, which would be very serious.

So before Georgann can start being treated with Zometa, she needs to get all her dental work done.  The strongly recommended dental procedure in her circumstance is extraction of all teeth and insertion of four implants, around which new permanent dentures would be placed.

The estimated cost of this procedure is $50,000, and her medical insurance will not cover it.  Her dental insurance limit is $1,000.

So I’ve launched a youcaring campaign to help Georgann and Ron begin to raise the funds for her dental work. If you can help with any amount, the Turners and I will be most grateful. They insist that all money raised should be considered loans, and that they will pay the donors back within one year.

Here’s the link, if you’d like to donate:

Thanks, dear friends and loved ones… all of you are best in my heart. My BFF GAT and I send you the biggest hugs for your kindness.


About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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4 Responses to The BFF

  1. buzzardnotes says:

    My heart goes out to Georgann and you. Nothing like kickin’ a person while they’re down. That darned C just doesn’t care. You betcha. I’ll contribute as soon as I finish posting this. Best Wishes to the BFF and Best Husband. Hugs and love, Cora

  2. Georgann Turner says:

    Oh you make me cry so many times, always grateful, happy tears. I sure know how to pick a BFF. I also know that you can’t have too many BFFs or too many people who love you You don’t gots to pick. Funny ole world.

    How do I begin to thank you? The dental work opens up several new and very promising medications and treatments that I can’t access now, and the last nine years of treatment are actually causing the dental problems. Thank you Cora for your donation but mostly thanks for your sweet thoughts. This medicine will give me the chance to spend time with family friends, people I love and people who love me. And now especially a grand baby due soon. I am overwhelmed .

  3. janishaag says:

    You do know how to pick a BFF! And I’m so glad you chose meeeeee! More love in the form of donations to come, I’m sure. There’s a reason you’re the Best, and I’m so glad I get to share a bit of you with the world!

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