Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Saying Goodbye to Someone I Didn't Know

Sea Glass -- Sherri Fillipo collected it.

First, I'm sure you'd like an update. My status is unchanged. I still plan one more surgery and hopefully walk away from treatment for a time, but I've been hampered by a much more mundane issue: my knee seems to have big problems. I've been trying to recover from a torn menicus and root, and a bad tendon, per my MRI. All I know is, it's nice to get on the plane first when the walk down the jetway is such a challenge. I put over 3000 miles under my belt hobbling with a brace and a cane, but I seem to be on the mend.

I'm posting today because we lost another reluctant warrior, and I feel she deserves a salute. You've noted that I put Sherri Fillipo and her blog, Living and Dying with Metastatic Breast Cancer, on my blog roll. Her honest and compelling blog described her journey with metastatic breast cancer.  Her words had impact; she helped me understand the concept that cancer that never leaves the breast never kills anyone; that the true survivors are those who have metastatic cancer.  (In that respect, *I* am not survivor. I am in limbo, and content to be there.)

I learned to share her unhappiness that so little is being said or done for the metastatic cancer survivors. Her grace and gentle spirit came shining through, despite her race with the inevitable. I knew what her outcome would be, and I like to think that I walked behind her on the path for awhile, supporting her spirit, even though she did not really know I was there.

She passed on April 10, 2016.  May she and her dear family be blessed with peace.  Thank you, Sherri.

When I began this journey decades ago, I knew I would make friends I would eventually lose, at least, here and now. The first person I met through a chat forum died just a few months later, and I began to wonder why her and not me? I was clearly on a different path than she; I was getting better and she was growing worse and worse. When she shuffled off the mortal coil, I wept for her, even though I don't now remember her name -- only that she loved to walk her dog on the beach in Oregon, and she had a friend who posted when she was too sick. Technology, as primitive as it was back then, allowed me to connect with someone states away, and I was touched by her life.

Sherri is another such soul. I'd never met the woman. I found her blog in an article listing best blogs for breast cancer warriors. I followed her for more than a year. I saw her farewell post, then an update. And she, too, has moved on.

I will keep my eye out; I will look for another nice blog where you and I can learn we are not alone in our journey. In the meantime, let's take a moment to remember a profound soul:

"The cure for anything is salt water -- tears, sweat, or the sea." - Isak Dinesen
Let me know your thoughts.