un-beta’d, subject to change, usual disclaimers apply.

“I guess you want to know why,” she says.

I shake my head. “I just want you to know I’m here for you. You know you can beat this–”

“Don’t you get it? I did everything I could—had the gene test, went on preventative drugs, had a mastectomy. And you know what that did for me? Gave me a heart condition and made me stop feeling like a woman. I still got cancer. I don’t want to fight it anymore; I can’t—it’s no use.”

I stare at my lap; I don’t want her to see me cry.

“Look at me,” she says. Her eyes meet mine with fierce determination. “I can’t beat this. It’s real, and it’s going to kill me. But you know what that means? For now, at least, I’m still alive. ”

“But you’re giving up–”

“No, Izzy! Whether I have two days or two years, I’m not going to spend them bald, weak, and puking. As long as I’m still here, I’m want to live.”

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