This morning I sit I tears. Lisa Bonchek Adams has died. Heaven has gained a true angel and those of us who are mere mortals have lost an amazing woman who inspired us greatly to just do better and be better.
Lisa and I had quite a few friends in common as it turns out, only I was not aware of her until I joined the sometimes dreaded pink sisterhood of Breast Cancer survivors four years this coming June 1st.
Lisa lived with metastatic breast cancer, and last evening she drifted away from her friends, family, and all of the people like me who so admired her as a woman, writer, inspiration , friend, mother, wife, daughter, human being….and so much more.
I wrote about her a little over a year ago when two “writers” (in quotes because what they did to this day I find unconscionable) decided to take Lisa to task for writing about her cancer journey. Yes I am speaking about the scribbling Kellers.
And for a husband and wife who wrote for different media outlets (him, Bill Keller formerly of The New York Times and her, Emma G. Keller formerly of The Guardian) to tag team this woman because of how she chooses to discuss or even deal with her cancer is just so off the charts wrong to me.
You see, it is not the fact that they had a differing opinion from Lisa Bonchek Adams on how she dealt with her cancer, it’s the fact that these two wrote for monster media conglomerates, are married, and oopsies and both wrote about this? Talk about pillow talk! Mrs. Keller actually resigned from The Guardian a couple months after this occurred last January. Mr. Keller left The New York Times for something else around the same time his wife left her former paper. He is now the editor of the Marshall Project, but I digress. This is about Lisa, not how horrible two journalists verbally treated a women then living with stage 4 cancers. And I apologize for working them into my post, but what they did caused a fabulous human being pain the last year of her life.
Amy Wu of the Huffington Post wrote about Lisa just a few weeks ago and she said:
Illness can find a channel for expressing hope, meaning, inspiration and knowledge exchange through blogging as a communication form. When I attended a conference for young breast cancer survivors last fall in Philadelphia, it struck me that many of the women maintained a blog devoted to her journey or to the cause. I gave them a nickname — the pink bloggers…..Despite the fear, anxiety and pain related to the illness, the tons of the blogs are chatty and conversational tone as if the women were having a conversation with their best friend at a coffee shop. Mostly, and perhaps surprisingly the blogs are candid about the disease, and their names are front and center. These women’s journeys are very public, and I had yet to find a blog written under a pseudonym. Lisa Bonchek Adams blog) is entitled, “Writings on metastatic breast cancer, grief & loss, life, and family.”
In a December post Adams, who has been battling breast cancer, updates her readers about her treatment (Adams has breast cancer, which metastisized to her brain), and involves another aggressive round of chemotherapy. The post goes into matter-of-fact detail about the details ad frequency of treatment, but also ends with a touch of humor. Adams ends her blog with, “I get foggy quickly so I hope this post made sense!”
Humor is intertwined with sadness and fear too but in other forms of communication. An Oct. 24 post is a letter to her three young children. “No matter when, no matter how, I hope you will someday learn this powerful emotion I feel for you. You give me strength. You make me fight. You give me joy. You make my heart swell with pride.”
That was Lisa to a “T”. She was straightforward in her writing, but kind and loving and showed great humor. And all in the face of the medical issues she faced. To women like me who have survived breast cancer or are somewhere in the journey of surgery and treatment, she was a hero to us. She’s also just a remarkable woman who shared all her ups and downs and remained positive until the end.
To Lisa’s family, my heartfelt condolences. I am but a stranger to you, but through Lisa’s words I felt like I knew you all very well. Wishing you peace and love and all good things. After all, that’s what Lisa would have wanted… For all of us….sleep with the Angels, Lisa, the difficult part of your journey is over.
Here is what was on her website this morning:
Lisa Bonchek Adams: In Memorium March 6, 2015
The thousands upon thousands who knew and loved Lisa Bonchek Adams; whether in person or via Facebook, Twitter, or her website and blog read around the world; whether up close or from afar; will find it hard to believe that her steely will and indomitable spirit were finally overcome by the disease she had lived with for so many years.
Lisa died at home around 9:45 pm on Friday, March 06, 2015, surrounded by her entire family.
Lisa was cared for to the end by her beloved Dr. Chau Dang of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Lisa specifically asked that anyone who wishes to honor her memory do so with a contribution to her fund for breast cancer research at MSKCC.
The Adams and Bonchek families send a heartfelt thank you to all for your love and support. We know that Lisa will always be a part of your lives, as she will be a part of ours.
Services consistent with her wishes will be arranged and announced here.
In keeping with Lisa’s wishes, this web site will be maintained as a resource of Lisa’s writings about metastatic breast cancer, grief and loss, life, and family.
“Find a bit of beauty in the world today. Share it. If you can’t find it, create it. Some days this may be hard to do. Persevere.”