Saturday, December 12, 2015

Hitting the DELETE button

I upgraded my phone the other day. In case the data transfer did not work correctly, I decided to go through my contacts and make sure I had all the important phone numbers.

Right up front under letter B was Jeanne Burton. We met each other at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of NJ support group . We talked a few times by phone but once she moved back to Maine it was mostly texts and e-mails.  She would text me updates- "Found a palliative care doctor", "really like my new oncologist" and " you should come visit" .  I wrote about her move to Maine  here. I regret never getting up to Maine before she passed on June 21, 2015. I wrote about the choices she made here.  I deleted her contact info.

Then under C was Courtney Clifford.  Courtney and I became friends in 2006 at the LiveSTRONG Survivors Summit. She experienced the same symptoms I did and was diagnosed a few months after I was.  The difference was she was 23 years old and I was 50. She was the youngest woman I had ever met who had ovarian cancer. We kept in touch through the years and saw each other at the 2008 LiveSTRONG Summit in Ohio her home state. I appreciated her long distance friendship. Sadly I had to write about her passing in 2012 ( . I deleted her cell phone number.

I got to the letter F and there she was - Pam Favocci. I met Pam at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of NJ Support Group. Over the years we became close friends and together we took part in many awareness activities together. On December 14th she will be gone 3 years.  I honored her in A Friendship Ended Too Soon. I deleted her home number.

Then I got to J and there was Linda Juarez. A few years ago my gyn onc asked if I would talk to Linda. Out of that simple introduction a friendship grew. We both recurred in 2008 and that brought us even closer. We had late night phone calls about clinical trials and texts would arrive during her frequent hospital visits.  She passed in May this year and I  wrote about her here. I deleted her number.

I was a bit surprised when I got to T and I found Rita Kay Thomas' phone number. I forgot I had her phone number in my phone. When I was in college I first met Rita Kay - she was the Assistant Athletic Director. Who knew that our paths would cross 30+ years later. Ovarian Cancer took this amazing woman too soon in October 2012. I wrote about our friendship here. I deleted her number.

I thought about each of those women as I deleted their numbers.

I hated doing it because such a simple action triggered a deep sadness.

Every Day is a Blessing

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