Monday, May 18, 2015

Two Different Goodbyes

The past week was not a good one for me. Sadly though, it was not an unusual one for me as I approach 10 years of survivorship. Something very similar happened in 2012.

At my support group meeting on Tuesday I said goodbye to J. She shared with the group that her cancer had spread and after years of being in various treatments and clinical trials she had decided to stop. She was moving home to be with her mom in another state and would be leaving in about two weeks. She invited us all to make a trip to visit her. My heart ached as I watched her share her feelings with us. She is brave and strong and scared. I held back tears. And I did a good job until she left the room. 

I came home and sent and e-mail to fellow group member and friend, Linda. I told her how much I missed her at the meeting and asked how her treatments were going.  She didn't e-mail back but I thought that she was back in the hospital for another treatment.

On Thursday J texted me. She had just gotten off the phone with Linda's husband. Linda had passed away on Tuesday.

OMG! I couldn't believe it. Not another woman I had grown to care about taken too soon. I put my cell phone down and yelled "I hate this". My husband came over and hugged me as I cried. Memories came flooding back.

Linda and I had talked countless hours on the phone. She would call or text and ask me about trials.  We discussed parp inhibitors, surgery options and social security disability. We talked about our supportive husbands and the impact of our disease on our families.  I loved hearing her talk about the tap dance lessons she took and the recitals she participated in.  Over the 7 years we knew each other we attended a number of ovarian cancer awareness events. I finally got to meet her husband in person at a Survivors Day event last year.

Linda's  last text to me was before our April support group meeting. She told me it was ok for me to tell the group members about the secondary cancer she had, that she had been in the hospital and had broken her wrist. She finished her text with "I like you and trust you." I wrote back " I like you too. Hugs ". I will miss those phone calls and texts.

And... I will continue to text and e-mail J as she moves home and shares special times with her family. And I am hoping to make that trip to see her.

Every Day is a Blessing! 

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