Beyond the Byline, Melanie Mizenko: Please excuse my bad friendship

By Melanie Mizenko - [email protected] | September 4th, 2016 6:36 pm - updated: 10:25 pm.

Thanks to the Facebook feature “On This Day,” I’m all too often reminded of how blah of a friend I have become.

For instance, last week was my friend Kyrsten’s birthday. And because of Facebook’s incredible memory, I was reminded that every year for the past three years we’ve gone out to celebrate her birthday.

Pictures of us having too much fun to mention fill my timeline. I had a tear in my eye as I looked at the flushed-with-fun and smiling faces looking back at me. No doubt we were planning something — quite possibly ordering another round for the bar.

Last year I was in remission from endometrial cancer, so I was able to go out. Kyrsten and I were also celebrating a going-away of one of our other friends.

Since the cancer has returned and a tumor has been causing pain, I’ve been unable to party like my old self. I often take two or three days to recuperate from weekend trips to New York City.

I wake up Saturday morning to see the smiles on Snapchat, and I have a pang of guilt. Sometimes they say “come on out” or “we’re at this bar,” probably just to make me smile. It’s not that I intentionally ignore them. I am just sleeping, in Philly for treatment or just plain worn down.

As a cancer patient, it feels like there’s a non-stop wheel of things I have to get done. If I’m not taking medication, I’m trying to relax from a day at the office. Even if I have a good day at work, most nights I end up on the heating pad paying for the eight or so hours of good.

Typically, I’m trying to enjoy what I can of my life. Lord knows it’s not a lot.

I haven’t actually said a sentence to Kyrsten’s face in maybe six months (unless we’re agreeing Snapchat video is talking to someone). And not because I don’t want to.

I have found myself complaining to my mom more often than I’ve ever done. At 25, I hate sitting home on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. All to often, “it’s not fair” comes out of my mouth.

After a while, it’s not just forgotten Facebook birthday wishes I’m bad at. When I do manage to carve out time to see friends, it has to be on my schedule.

I have to make sure I’m not in pain or make sure I’m not going to fall asleep during a game of “Heads Up.” Also, spending time in my PJs instead of having to get all dolled up for an outing is something I will cherish forever.

For the friends who have made the trek to my house because our schedules line up, I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Even then the nights aren’t as long as I want. I used to and still want to stay up until “nothing good happens after midnight” o’clock, chatting and laughing over our favorite movie or getting the lowdown on a hot guy.

I recognize I seriously suck at being a good friend right now. I’m hoping it’s not going to last forever — the feeling that my head is in the proverbial clouds. I’m treading through water, trying to regain some balance.

As the year continues to advance (Happy September ya’ll), I’m hoping I can learn to balance everything and not get wiped out from a day, no matter what I do. And as fun as it sounds, being able to binge watch your favorite TV show at 8 p.m. at night with a glass of iced tea at 25 years old is terribly unglamorous.

But I’m still here. I’m still trying to be me. And I still value our friendship.

Please hang on, I promise I’ll be there soon!

8/1/2014 The Times Leader AIMEE DILGER The Times Leader AIMEE DILGER

By Melanie Mizenko

[email protected]

Reach Melanie Mizenko at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TL_MMizenko