LIVESTRONG Category

Now Comes the Night

5 Apr 2012 In: I Have Learned THE HARD WAY, In Memory..., LIVESTRONG

Yes. It was “all about me” in the first place. It was one of those deliciously selfish, “Why can’t I have this?” songs. My wallowing in it – my interpretation – was a lovely version of “But WHAT ABOUT ME????”

Then came that endless week – not even a week – when my Grandma was slipping away. And, no, she was not leaving gently and romantically, but struggling for breath and crying out in the night. I’m sorry, but I will never “pretty it up.” I cannot.

They forced me to go home at some point each day so that I could try and sleep without one eye open and listening intently all the while. This was the song I listened to as I drove back and forth to her condominium. And the very first time I heard it during that time, it became HER song. It was my promise that I was there all night, every night, even if I didn’t know how I could truly ease a journey like that. I don’t know if my words and my singing were irksome or soothing. And at this point I most certainly must not second guess it any more.

I thought about you a lot this week, Grandma, and I told the story of being with you when you left this world. I tried to explain what a privilege it was, yet how I struggled with the idea that ANYONE, especially someone who’d been so patient and lived through the most unimaginable tragedies and joys, had to die that way.

I stood in the LIVESTRONG Headquarters in front of the manifesto and looked at your beautiful ring that I only take off to shower and I cried again for you and for all the collective loss suffered by that amazing group of people. Then, because there was ALWAYS someone to put their arm around you in such remarkable company, I cried for the beauty of a singleness of purpose in which we try to make the world better.

And since that first week of January, 2009, it has remained your song:

When the hour is upon us
And our beauty surely gone
No you will not be forgotten
No you will not be alone

And when the day has all but ended
And our echo starts to fade
No you will not be alone then
And you will not be afraid
No you will not be afraid

When the fog has finally lifted
From my cold and tired brow
No I will not leave you crying
And I will not let you down
No I will not let you down
I will not let you down

Now comes the night
Feel it fading away
And the soul underneath
Is it all that remains
So just slide over here
Leave your fear in the fray
Let us hold to each other
Until the end of our days

When the hour is upon us
And our beauty surely gone
No you will not be forgotten
No you will not be alone
No you will not be alone

Oh, Grandma, I think I need it back – just for a bit. I know the danger of self-pity and wallowing (yes, I know – WHAT???). But I need to find the hope; I need to find it in myself and then believe that I have enough value that someone will make this promise to ME at some point in my life. I promise it will be about you again. Or perhaps someone else who needs, in the dark, to know that someone is there to hear them when they cry out.

Last year, I helped (in a fairly minor way) with the amazing CROSS OUT CANCER event. My superior gift basket swathing and be-ribboning skilz were useful for some of the items at the silent auction and I was honoured to serve as the official LIVESTRONG representative.
The Amazing O'Leary Family

I cannot emphasize enough how impressed I was with the O’Leary family and with Utah Cyclocross. With their enthusiasm and dedication they put together an amazing event and earned over $28,000 for LIVESTRONG. Connor O’Leary, the honoree of last year’s event, is now a testicular cancer survivor. In fact, last year’s took place on his last day of chemo. He and his father (also a cancer survivor) made this great video:

Please join us this year for another amazing day at the historic Wheeler Farm (6351 S 900 E, Salt Lake City, Utah) on Saturday, October 22, 2011 and participate in any of a number of activities. The schedule for the fund-raising events is as follows:

CROSS OUT CANCER 2011

Whether you want to watch the races, bid at the auction, run or ride for someone special in the the 5K or the CROSS OUT CANCER Fun Ride, it’s guaranteed to be an amazing morning. Please visit the Utah Cyclocross website for more information on Cyclocross and on this event (you can register for all events online and I’ve provided links in the schedule above). During October, Wheeler Farms is also offering a Pumpkin Patch, a Hay Maze and a Hay Ride. See their website for times and admission prices for these fun activities.

And please feel free to contact me if you have any questions (unless you need information about bicycles, for in that case I will regale you with childhood tales of how my friends and I rode our three-speeds WITHOUT HELMETS here and there and everywhere SOMETIMES took my mother’s bicycle and put someone in the baby seat!).

Second Annual LIVESTRONG Day at the Cinema

23 Sep 2011 In: LIVESTRONG

LIVESTRONG Day 2011

Please join Northern Utah Supporting LIVESTRONG at the Megaplex 17 Theatres at Jordan Commons for LIVESTRONG Day! I’ll be at the vendor counter in the main lobby from opening to closing handing out wristbands, information and holding a raffle. MORE INFO TO COME.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions!

Thank You,
Kate Bartholomew, Leader
Northern Utah Supporting LIVESTRONG

P.S. Whether or not you can make it to this event, I’d love to honor you or a friend and/or loved one. I will be posting cards (“In Memory Of,” “In Honor of,” and “Survivor”). If you message or email me a name, I’ll post it and send you back a photo of the card.

“My Run” – ONE NIGHT ONLY!

30 Mar 2011 In: LIVESTRONG

Please join us when the inspiring documentary My Run comes to more than 500 movie theaters nationwide for a ONE NIGHT ONLY premiere event on Thursday, March 31st.
MY RUN

 

This film is so important to raising awareness of so many issues including the power of the human spirit. Mr. Hitchcock’s vision and story is one I will never forget.

-Doug Ulman President/CEO of LIVESTRONG.

 

My Run will be donating a portion of all ticket sales to the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Please support this important film and witness what’s possible when physical endurance and the will of the human spirit unite in My Run.

In Utah, My Run is playing at the following theaters:

To purchase tickets and to find out where My Run is playing near you in one of the 500 locations in other states across the country, visit Fathom Events: My Run.

 

Read more about My Run in this newsletter from the film’s website:

 

MY RUN

3/31/11

Join me (us) for an unforgettable one night event…

We’re all running a marathon one way or another. Whether it is staying afloat as a single, working parent, battling a disease or trying to conquer a fear, it all involves a fight. Join us for an unforgettable inspirational story about a 57-year-old man who ran 75 consecutive marathons in 75 consecutive days. The award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary MY RUN is coming to movie theaters nationwide for an exclusive one night premiere event on Thursday, March 31st at 7:00pm (Local Time).

Terry Hitchcock battles the grief of losing his wife to breast cancer by setting out on a journey to bring awareness and a voice to the struggles faced by single parent families and their children. Narrated by Academy Award winner Billy Bob Thornton, this powerful and uplifting documentary exemplifies a commitment to something greater than yourself and achieving something deemed impossible.

Following the feature, audiences will take a deeper look into the story through interviews with the star Terry Hitchcock and his son, support team member Chris Hitchcock.

A portion of proceeds from the MY RUN Premiere event will benefit the Livestrong Foundation. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at www.fathomevents.com/myrun.

“MY RUN is a bright shiny light in a world that can feel hopeless”

-Indie Movie Examiner

SUPPORTING LIVESTRONG

World Cancer Day

4 Feb 2011 In: LIVESTRONG

World Cancer Day

Today is World Cancer Day. Let’s keep it short and sweet (WHAAAAAT????). What can you do? You can sign the World Cancer Declaration; that’s a good start.

Want to do more? Visit that World Cancer Day site to find more suggestions. Please help!

It’s NOT a Contest

10 Dec 2010 In: LIVESTRONG

My older sister, who is, incidentally, SUPER WOMAN, will sometimes patiently listen to me bemoan the current troubles and turmoil of my life. Then I will feel guilty, because, as far as troubles and turmoil go, it often seems like Shirleen has won the sweepstakes. I will apologize, and then, because she is wise (and SUPER WOMAN), she will say, “It’s not a contest.” It is a lovely acknowledgement that we all have struggles and she that validates mine in spite of what might be happening to her. Of course I love her dearly.

And I really take that sentiment to heart: IT’S NOT A CONTEST. Everyone has personal demons. Everyone is entitled to bad days or bad weeks or even bad years. Some problems, unfortunately, TAKE years with which to deal. There are real and serious maladies, physical and mental (which IS physical in that it’s usually chemical), that can take what seems a lifetime to resolve or just manage. Therefore, I must confess, personally I’d like to take up the RIGHT to such predicaments with the “Buck up” brigades or the “yank yourself up by your bootstraps” contingent; indeed, I have some choice words I could share with the whole “suck it up and get over it as quickly as possible for it makes me uncomfortable and I tire of it” club. For not EVERYTHING can be wished or “positively thought” away.

Shirleen could sit and very dispassionately tell the story of her life and silence them all. SHOCK and AWE, I tell you. OR, my “Best Girl,” Lindsay, could SHUT THEM UP. Shut them up BIG TIME.

It would only take two words: Eleven years. Lindsay has fought not one, but TWO primary cancers for ELEVEN YEARS. Today, in fact, is her “cancerversary.” At age seventeen she was diagnosed with brain stem glioma. Her prognosis was beyond grim. But despite the cancer, and despite life experiences that would have destroyed the best and bravest of the Greek or Roman mythic heroes, she is STILL HERE. Years and years of chemotherapy and radiation and surgeries and batteries of tests and a SECOND major diagnosis – Multiple Myeloma – she is STILL HERE. For eleven years she has been in treatment or in physical and/or occupational therapy to RECOVER from treatment.

Kate and Lindsay
Kate and Lindsay (in LIVESTRONG glow and Artsy?)

In addition to treatments, during these eleven years she has managed to work (HARD), attend classes (I do believe she’s the only person I know – nay – the only person I’ve ever HEARD OF who has passed classes WHILE IN A COMA, but that’s a story for another time) and take a trip here and there. This is in addition to her regular activities of taking care of OTHER people.

Now, it’s important that I explain to you that Lindsay is a FOREIGNER (not unlike my Soul Sister, Henrike) except she speaks a fascinating dialect of English, as she is from Regina (“Rhymes With Fun” – you’ll either get that or be flummoxed – if you are flummoxed, you aren’t MEANT to get it, trust me), Saskatchewan (in the Foreign country of CANADA). Get this: They don’t have mountains there!

She was able to visit me last March, not too long after she finished a BRUTAL clinical trial for her Multiple Myeloma. Ironically, we spent a certain amount of time doing what I’ve done when I’ve been in Canada: We stood in various stores – especially convenience stores – comparing the snacks and items that the other country does NOT have. I find this endlessly amusing. Then, a few months ago, I had the AMAZING privilege of rooming with Henrike, my Soul Sister, AND Lindsay, my Best Girl, in Austin, Texas at the LIVESTRONG Challenge.

Lindsay, Kate and Henrike
The “Bubble Wrap” Brigade: Lindsay, Kate and Henrike

While I battled personal demons and a clusterfu – em – debacle with the airline and was late to Austin, Henrike (with a SERIOUS leg injury – the extent of which was not revealed until she was back in Germany) and Lindsay, with her mighty cane, did the 5K walk. Yes, they took a slight detour, but they DID IT; they received their yellow roses. Sadly, I was ON the plane at the time, but the thought of my two dear friends achieving that goal together is very moving.

Lindsay, who has an INCREDIBLY generous heart and is loathe to “bother” or “cause trouble” for anyone, has supported ME – sometimes from her hospital bed. She is a true friend. She is the DEFINITION and POSTER CHILD of true friend. She always wants me to remember how “amazing” that I am. We have this back and forth argument (of the mocking variety) wherein I respond to that with, “No, YOU!” Sometimes we agree to AGREE.

I grant you, Lindsay has some bad days (some REALLY bad days if you consider them objectively), but she tries not to complain. She CERTAINLY does not complain widely or loudly, so to speak. On December 10th, (yes, on her “cancerversary”) one year ago today, she was suddenly faced with the prospect of being put in a medical coma. She found a friend to take her phone to text updates to me, but before they actually medicated her into the coma, she went under on her own. It was a completely and utterly terrifying time and I’ve never felt so helpless in my life. And LINDSAY – you’ve tried it before, but you are NOT to apologize for any of this – it was ALL beyond your control. Besides, YOU were the one going through hell; it’s about YOU not ME.

I won’t go into too many details, but I received the most chilling text message from Jen (Lindsay’s friend in charge of updates) at the salon just as I’d had a cut and style. She sent it in real time, so for several horrible moments… I cannot describe it. A second message finally tempered the first a bit. I stayed calm, somehow, until I was in my car and I tried to relate the story to a mutual friend who was keeping tabs on her, too.

Considering some of the events while she was under, and the fact that the longer she in a coma the worse her chances of coming out AT ALL were, every day counted. But Lindsay hadn’t fought ten years (at that point) for nothing. With the whole Facebook and Twitter cancer communities behind her, sending prayers and thoughts to her, she performed a Christmas miracle. Yes, I believe in miracles because of Lindsay. On Christmas day, 2009, she FULLY woke up. She’d given a few encouraging signs in the days before, but that day she TOOK her phone from Jen’s hands and texted me herself. Hands down, the best Christmas present ever.

So today, Lindsay, on your eleventh “Cancerversary,” I want you to know how amazing YOU are. No, it’s not a contest. But if it WERE a contest, you’d WIN (which, I grant, is a mixed bag of prizes). I know this day is not scheduled how you’d like it to be. I know you are STILL deeply entrenched in this journey – this journey that seems endless to you sometimes. But you are here for a reason. You inspire me, as you inspire so many others. I love you, my Best Girl!

You can read Lindsay’s “story” (well, some of it, anyway, as so much as happened since she wrote it) on the Voices of Survivors Website.

CROSS OUT CANCER: Utah Cyclocross Benefiting LIVESTRONG

24 Nov 2010 In: LIVESTRONG

I was privileged to meet (online and via phone) David O’ Leary when he volunteered to help with this year’s “LIVESTRONG Day at the Cinema.” As the timing was changed, I was unable to meet him in person, but he later contacted me about a wonderful collaboration he was setting up with Utah Cyclocross. Read a portion of his description from a press release:

 

When Utah cyclist and a member of the USA Cycling National Team Connor O’Leary (19 years old) was diagnosed with cancer this past summer, he and the cycling community knew they had to get involved to help others fighting this disease. The Lance Armstrong Foundation and Lance Armstrong personally have been a critical part of Connor’s care, so he was excited when his father, David O’Leary, suggested teaming up with Utah Cyclocross (www.utcx.net) to create CROSS OUT CANCER, a fun cyclocross event supporting LAF.

Utah Cyclocross organizer Matt Ohran stated, “When David O’Leary approached me about doing a fundraiser for Cancer I was honored that he thought that Utah Cyclocross could help make a difference. Hearing about his son Connor’s condition was heart breaking. I watched Connor mature into a very strong cyclist over the past years both on the road and at the UTCX series. I also immediately thought of Matt Bradley one of our most passionate Crossers who just had his foot amputated just below the knee, and of Cindy Yorgason, one of our race officials who both are battling cancer. The answer was an immediate YES – let’s figures out how and what we need to do to make this happen.”

CROSS OUT CANCER allows individuals in the greater Salt Lake City area to do something bold in the face of cancer by demonstrating support for local patients and by supporting the mission of the LAF to inspire and empower people affected by cancer.

UTCX has pledged to donate 100% of registration proceeds (a suggested donation of $15 dollars) from this special ride to LAF, which will be held in conjunction with Kiddie Cross at 12:20 PM with the Kids leading out the first lap. This event is in support of the many members of our community fighting against cancer including numerous cyclists who are currently battling this disease.

David O’Leary, a Lance Armstrong Foundation Fundraiser said, “We are proud and excited to be supporting this event and join thousands of other LAF supporters around the world in raising much needed funds to fight this disease that affects over 28 million people world wide. Together, we can help people with cancer live life on their own terms.”

The event will be held snow, rain, sleet or shine and all in attendance are encouraged to wear yellow, the color of LAF (LIVESTRONG). O’Leary went on to say, “Whether someone rides or simply comes to watch, they will be involved in an incredibly exciting event and will have personally helped to CROSS OUT CANCER.”

Funds raised through CROSS OUT CANCER will enable the LAF to continue helping people across the nation with the physical, emotional and practical challenges of cancer. Since its inception in 1997, the LAF has raised over $325 million to fight cancer.

And BEFORE the event has even occurred, David O’ Leary has already raised over $12,000 for LIVESTRONG in honour of his son. If you would like to make this an even MORE impressive Thanksgiving miracle, but cannot attend this event, please donate to CROSS OUT CANCER (supporting LIVESTRONG) by clicking on this link.
CROSS OUT CANCER

 

Please come to Wheeler Farm (6351 S 900 E, Salt Lake City, Utah) and participate in any of a number of activities. The schedule for the event is as follows:

  • 8:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.: CROSS OUT CANCER Race Registration
  • 12:20 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.: LIVESTRONG CROSS OUT CANCER Race
  • 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.: LIVESTRONG Information and Resources table (in the Wheeler Farm barn)
  • 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Silent Auction (benefiting LIVESTRONG) in the Wheeler Farm Barn

Whether you want to watch the races, bid at the auction, or ride for someone special in the the LIVESTRONG Cyclocross Race, it’s guaranteed to be an amazing morning. Moreover, contrary to my original impression, there will be NO conflict with the U of U versus BYU Football game (or a TINY overlap at the worst). Please visit the Utah Cyclocross website for more information on Cyclocross and on this event. And please feel free to contact me if you have any questions (unless you need information about bicycles, for in that case I will regale you with childhood tales of how my friends and I road our three-speeds WITHOUT HELMETS here and there and everywhere SOMETIMES taking my mother’s bicycle and putting someone in the baby seat!).

Supporting LIVESTRONG

Sleeping with the Diamonds On

6 Jan 2010 In: Blood is Thicker..., In Memory..., LIVESTRONG

One year ago I knew my Beloved Grandma would die today. I recognized the signs. By evening, when everyone else had left for the day, I was dosing her with the appropriate medications hourly. I intended to do it all night if needed. It was not necessary.

I’m still second-guessing myself; I find so many things that I could have done better – I could have made my Grandma more comfortable AND comforted. I know I must let it go, but the sound of a voice crying out in pain and confusion stays with you.

I sang to Grandma. I sang with more intensity than I think I’ve ever mustered; I sang with every fiber of my being. I wanted to sing the Pie Jesu from Fauré’s Requiem, but I couldn’t get my Mother’s voice out of my head. She sang it so beautifully at the funeral of Helen Ann Williams Pawlowski, one of the other dear Mothers of my childhood. And she told my wonderful Pamela, who always was a sister, really, that she was not an orphan; she said she’d be her Mother, too. You cannot sing when you remember that.

So I played it for her. And then I started In Paridisum on a loop. But you always think there is more time. I’m glad I had leaned down close to her ear and touched her face and given her my thanks, all my love and told her to go to my Grandpa, for he had waited almost sixty years for her.

Though I didn’t know it until a few minutes later, I heard my Grandma’s last breath, just as I walked from the room to get doses of medication. When I went back into the room less than a minute later, I stood there with my hands full of syringes of liquid medication – just stood for few minutes at the side of her bed. I thought she might start breathing again (it happens) but she didn’t. I went and put the syringes down and came back to check her pulse. 11:55 p.m. January 6, 2009. Time of death.

I called my Mother. She was not surprised. I called hospice. I received, by some miracle, a call from my friend Grettir before anyone showed up. Bless him for having miraculous timing, compassion and patience when my life falls apart.

I had the privilege of helping the hospice nurse prepare my Grandma’s body for the Funeral Home. With reverential care she pulled the access needle from the port and removed the other tubes, we took off the cannula, she cleaned my Grandma while I helped move her body, and finally we put on a clean gown on her. She had to dispose of all the medications and she left. The funeral home gentlemen came and before they zipped up the home-made quilted shroud, and though I knew she was gone, I kissed my Grandma on her cool, smooth forehead.

I might protest at this juncture in some other entry that I had a point. I’m not sure that I do, unless it is to say that some moments in your life will never be forgotten. And many of these moments are ingrained on my psyche forever.

I had entries written in my head for my Grandma’s birthday (in JULY) and for other occasions, but they never made it to the page. Well, the title did. For when I was alone a year ago tonight – so alone – after they took my Grandma away and my Mom left, I didn’t know what do to. I had decided to stay with Lucy, her cat. That’s when I looked at her things. That’s when I laughed at some of the “collections” and cried at the beautiful letters written back and forth between she and my Grandfather.

I put on her anniversary band – ten diamonds in a band of white gold. She bought it herself on her Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary and it was the ring I remembered her wearing the most in the last decade. She was a little embarrassed that she’d purchased it for herself, but we all reassured her that my Grandpa would have wanted her to have it.

The ring is mine now. At some point after her Birthday, I started wearing it not just regularly, but night and day. My LIVESTRONG™ and other wristbands are a fixture as well unless I’m showering or the like. The most recent, a colo-rectal cancer wristband sent to me from Germany – a gift from my beloved Soul Sister, Henrike, was purchased in my Grandma’s honour.

So day and night, I wear my Grandma’s ring. I sleep with the diamonds on, because I cannot forget one year ago tonight. Nor can I forget a lifetime in which my beautiful Grandma was always, ALWAYS there for me. I will love you forever, Grandma.

EVELYN MONSON LEE
July 9, 1926 – January 6, 2009

A Year Ago Today

3 Jan 2010 In: Blood is Thicker..., In Memory..., LIVESTRONG

A year ago today I was sitting with two hospice nurses in my Grandma’s bedroom. She was sitting on the edge of the hospital bed that had been delivered earlier (which the delivery man so kindly switched about with me AFTER the frame was put together so it faced the “right” direction). My mom was in Kansas. My uncle was on his way from Washington State.

One year ago today the nurses were asking her questions. She could answer some. I helped with others. She could scarcely make a mark on a piece of paper any more unless we gave her a marker instead of a pen; she was so frustrated.

One year ago today I wanted to be able to tell them there was no time. While the nurses were wonderful – knowledgeable, kind, honest, comforting – I sat wishing there had been time to say, “THERE IS NO TIME. She will not be alive by the time the musical thanatologist can be here. She may not make it to the day that she could have a bed bath. She won’t be able to speak – literally speak – to the counsellor. Ah well.

One year ago today is somewhat a blur, though some moments have stayed stayed with me with such clarity that I feel like it was yesterday. I remember rushing through the drive-through at Wendy’s because it’s so close to the condo and I’d only had coffee that day. I remember finding bedding for the hospital bed and thinking that I was making the bed in which she would die. I remember that the weather started out clear but SO cold. I helped the medical supply delivery man carry things up the stairs. He kept saying I needn’t help, but I said I didn’t mind. I needed to do something.

One year ago last night I had stayed at the hospital after Grandma was admitted after that endless day in the ER on January 2, 2009. That was after she’d been on the floor for possibly hours. I was supposed to take her to an appointment and she didn’t answer the phone to tell me when. I think I knew on some level that she was NOT just getting ready. I don’t think I didn’t wanted to call the paramedics again. I think I knew it was the end. I should have… I should have done many things. But I must lay that to rest. I know I must.

One year ago yesterday: All day in the ER. Scans, blood tests, more scans (some I kept saying, “she’s just had those”), more tests… Calls to her oncologist. The first time in my life I’d EVER seen my Grandmother confused (she was completely with it even when in renal failure months before that). And late that night, the doctor and intern asked me to come out and speak to them. Then they thought better of it. They came into the room and I stood across my Grandma’s bed from them while they explained that there was unusual and horrifically rapid metastasis from the lymph nodes (about which we knew) to her lungs and to her brain. I remembering covering my mouth with my hand; I don’t know why. What could I say?

One year ago last night the doctor and the intern said that her oncologist said that she could have part of the transfusion that had originally been planned for the day if she wanted it. It was established that it might make her feel a little better (and somehow they let me know that it was not cruelly life-sustaining). She said she’d take it. Then we waited, again, for another doctor to admit her. I had to step into the hall and called to tell my Mom that she had to come home right away to see her Mother before she wouldn’t know she was there.

One year ago last night SO many calls then and the next day in the halls of the hospital. One so that my meds could be brought so that I could stay with her that night. Many others to family, to her church, to ask my older sister which hospice she’d been researching. I was on the phone, huddled against the wall, weeping – I don’t know who I was talking to – and I remember one of the social workers (was it a nurse?) coming by, putting their hand on my shoulder for a moment, and walking on.

One year ago today this morning, the oncologist, wearing his University of Utah Hoodie, stood in the hall with me while they were x-raying an injury of her arm. The process was hurting her. And he just sensed what he could say to me. He said, slightly exasperated, “What are they going to do if it IS broken?” He told me that he was really surprised about the metastasis. He’d seen her on New Year’s Eve; she’d walked right into the office. He thought there MIGHT be spots on her lungs. He studied the films (which were a few weeks old) at length. But he also knew she had had pneumonia.

One year ago this morning he said, “She has a few days to a week.” “Probably closer to a few days, as she’s not eating [hadn’t eaten in the ER and had only had a popsicle in that day].” Then he walked into her room, told her she looked horrible (which made her smile and almost laugh). He said, “Let’s get you out of this horrible place. We could radiate the brain tumor, but I don’t think it would give you much. I think you’re very, very tired and want to go home.” She nodded.

One year ago today, because of some blessed miracle, bureaucracy took a back seat. The necessary equipment was arranged for delivery. It was acknowledged that I could stay the nights with her, so the hospice team was contacted and scheduled to arrive. I barely had time to get back to her condo and figure out where to put the equipment before she was transported home.

One year ago today my Beloved Grandmother came home to die. And one year ago today I promised her she would not be alone.

LIVESTRONG™ DAY 2009

2 Oct 2009 In: LIVESTRONG

In short, please wear yellow and think pink!  Do the first in support of the important cancer awareness, recognition, fund-raising and remembrance activities taking place all around the World for LIVESTRONG™ Day.  The second I’ll talk about tomorrow (in the meantime, please visit the Pink for October website).

As for my LIVESTRONG™ Day activity, I am, even at this late (early) hour not certain I can make it happen.  I will post more information later today.  BUT, never fear, there’s always someone who’s on the ball.  If you visit the LIVESTRONG™ DAY 2009 page you can find an activity in your area in which you can participate.

Lastly, please make a difference with this quick and painless activity: Sign the “Healthcare Reform Now” petition.  Together we can encourage Congress to pass life-saving health insurance measures that would protect cancer survivors and others.  As a special bonus, you can try and find ME (or, rather, a portion thereof) in the photograph on that page (and, evidently, a number of others – I’m the LIVESTRONG™ “Find Waldo,” it seems).

Supporting LIVESTRONG

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