I woke up this morning thinking about my sweet man and how lucky a gal I am. As many know, the tamoxifen has robbed me of my ability to sleep through the night most nights. But when I awake, I am not alone. He is very attuned to me, and once again, when I awoke suddenly in the middle of the night last night, a hand gently reached out for me and rubbed my back until I dozed off once again.
There is not a day that I do not literally count my blessings. And marvel at the love which has found me in my late 40s.
Life continues and sometimes on some days it is just hard. This morning is one of those days. Another wonderfully strong woman succumbed to cancer overnight. Someone I knew.
Her name was Pat Bedard. She was a long time survivor of breast cancer, who also had played beat the clock on ovarian cancer until three months ago when it sneaked back worse than ever. Her chemo stopped working three months ago, and as per her neighbor Kim who is a friend of mine, she took a turn for the worse six weeks ago and passed in her sleep last night surrounded by her family.
When Kim told me this news this morning, I cried like a baby. Pat wasn’t my best friend, but for many years before I moved she was part of the fabric of my life.
I had gotten to know Pat through the heaviest of my activism days. She was incredibly bright and her career was interesting: she was an authority on European travel and author of The European Traveller newsletter.
She was a woman who never complained about her cancer(s), and she was also very independent. We shared a love of Victorian houses. And an occasional spirited debate over local politics.
Requiescat in pace Pat Bedard.
Also, there is a woman I wrote about before on my blog: my old neighbor Myrna. She had been diagnosed with late stage colorectal cancer around the time I had my surgery in June 2010. She was always very inspirational to me as I went through treatment because she was so positive and funny and peaceful. I marvelled at her being able to do that.
Myrna at the time of her diagnosis had no health insurance. I can’t even imagine the terror she felt at that. The hospital that treated her, treated her even without it. Eventually she became old enough for medicare, but at first she had nothing. She was treated at Lankenau, where I received my radiation. As a matter of fact some days when I had radiation, she was in patient getting chemo and I used to visit with her.
Myrna was a constant in my everyday life as well for many years. We were neighbors for so long I even remember her mother Lillian. Myrna nicknamed me Princess Thundercloud. She was a psychologist by trade and a very patient and compassionate woman who could put up with all sorts of people – I still marvel at that.
Another independent woman, she was also just so very nice. She and I both loved to garden, and I was digging in the dirt the day I got the call she had passed. October 26, 2012.
Requiescat in pace Myrna De Voren
With the cycle of life, there is not only death, there is life. In this case, a birth. My friend Michelle, the woman I asked you to pray for in September, has had her baby. His name is Nolan and he is a fighter. He is a beautiful little boy, and he is still hospitalized. He is a little over six weeks old and is still in the NICU. If I had permission, I would post a photo of him for all of you to see.
Keep Michelle, her man Jim, and baby Nolan in your prayers. He is a miracle of life and they are a family deserving of much happiness.
Now for me, a little news. My sweet man, boy, and I have found a place to make our home together. So I will be on the move again. And my recent mammograms show everything is clean and clear for me.
Today is election day. Today we vote. When you remove all the social issues that cloud the judgement of many, you need to decide what is important to you. And remember: when you vote, vote for yourself and your family not for some person shoving literature into your hand at the last-minute telling you that you “know how to vote”.
Our founding fathers suffered and bled and died so we today could be free and could vote. Don’t waste this right, exercise it. In the USA it is the best way for your voice to be heard.
I hope all are well and my last shout out is to my friends in New Jersey post-Sandy (one of whom is a fellow survivor). To them I say simply “Jersey Strong.” Sandy is New Jersey’s Katrina.
And incidentally the house is not mine in the photo. Just one of the many I have photographed over the years that I like.
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