Monday, May 8, 2017

Cancer had the final word


Cancer: fewer words strike fear in the hearts of those who learn they are diagnosed with it.  Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, especially when the person realizes the disease is terminal, and finally acceptance.

My dear friend (who never wanted her name or face on the internet) didn't have a chance to reach the acceptance stage.  She barely had time to reach the bargaining stage.    She felt the guilt that she had raided her children's college funds to pay for her very expensive cancer treatments, some many of which were not covered by anything medical.

To make matters worse (yes the worst of all possible matters), her husband of 16 years left her soon after Christmas, when he took a new job out of state, along with a "not sick" new companion.

Left with little to hope for, my friend was rushed to Tulsa, OK (the state just south of Kansas) last Monday afternoon.  Her three children, two tweens and a teen were suddenly tossed/thrown into my care until her sister who lives in CA could make the trip to care for them.

You may have noticed I've been away from blogland, possibly the longest since I started blogging seriously over 10 years ago.  However, there was no time to explain, no time to let anyone know, and no time to share my inability to be a good host for either why I flaked on both T Stands For Tuesday, or Second on the 2nd.

Instead, my instincts took over and her three children and I headed to Tulsa, OK, where they have an excellent Cancer Treatment Center of America.

Photo of Tulsa facility taken from Internet because for once, I left my camera at home
And even though they have an excellent treatment and success rate, in this case, they were too late.  Unfortunately, cancer got the final word.

So, today instead of joining my friend's sister with good news, she is planning the funeral, while I rummage through my friend's belongings to find the proper dress and other attire to take to the funeral home.

I will NOT flake again.  I WILL be around for T this week, and apologize for missing you last week.

This has been a week I will never forget.  Now PLEASE go hug someone you love and tell them so.  It's not too late for you, but it was for my friend.  And thanks to those who cared enough to realize I was gone and thanks for not abandoning me.

32 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

So sorry your friend could not be helped, but glad you were able to be with her and her children. We all missed you here in Blogland and have been wondering where you were. look after yourself, hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen Susi said...

That is so so sad - I am so sorry to read this sad story. Reminds me of my mum 4 years ago as she passed aways - cancer had the last word too.
Take good care of you! You were such an angel again!
I have to say I am relieved that you are o.k, I had worries about you Mrs. Elizabeth!
♥♥♥

Susi

back2brack said...

I am so sorry for your loss, for your friend, and for her children. Sending hugs, Nan

pearshapedcrafting said...

I knew something wasn't right -this is so sad but she will surely (and her children too) have been comforted knowing you were there! Take care sweet Elizabeth! Chrisx

pearshapedcrafting said...
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Divers and Sundry said...

I'm glad the kids had someone who cared.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be that ill and then to be abandoned by your life partner. Words fail me :(

Darla said...

Elizabeth, you were where you needed to be. I'm glad to see you blogging but my greatest concern is that you take care of yourself now. Happenings like this can take more out of than we sometimes realize. You were the best kind of friend - that is what counts.

Helen said...

how absolutely awful for the whole family and her friends. what a toad her husband was! take care and look after yourself as well as your friend.

kaybee said...

I knew something was wrong. So sorry about your friend. Sending you a big hug. Kay x

chrissie said...
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chrissie said...

Blogger chrissie said...
Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend Elizabeth. You were missed by all and take your time to get back to normal we will all understand

What a kind thing to do for your friend's family

Love and Hugs Chrissie xx

Roberta Warshaw said...

I am so sorry. What a terrible thing for all. Many Hugs.

Jo Murray said...

You are a good friend Elizabeth. Unfortunately life does not always go as planned, and a friend who drops everything to come to your aid is rare and valued. My thoughts, and admiration, are with you and your posts...regular or not...are always on my reading list.

Katy said...

Hey you are an awesome friend to take care of her 3 babies. I'm so sorry for your and their loss. Sending prayers and hugs your way.

Linda Kunsman said...

What a heartbreaking thing to happen. But your friend knew you and her sister were there for her and her children. It takes a very selfless and strong person to do all you have been doing dear Elizabeth.
I was not aware you weren't blogging just because I was away and out of the loop.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.

Let's Art Journal said...

Words may not suffice to express the heartfelt sorrow that I feel after hearing about your week and the loss of your dear friend! You are so kind to provide comfort and support to her family when they needed you most. Take care, my thoughts are with you! Jo x

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

Oh my gosh, Elizabeth, I'm so sorry for your loss and pain. I can't imagine how the story and surrounding circumstances could have been worse. You were an angel to your friend and her children in their time of need. No need to apologize for "neglecting" the blogosphere.

My sister-in-law, who died of cancer as well, had a favorite saying, "Things don't matter. People matter." A charitable group she founded planted a memorial garden to her memory and put her saying on a plaque they placed there.

Sending prayers and hugs, Eileen

sheila 77 said...

Dear Elizabeth, yes I did notice you were missing but thought maybe you had gone on holiday.
Of course there are times when we must be in the Real world and not in this one.
Lots of love,
Sheila

da tabbies o trout towne said...

Elizabeth

my condolences to you on the loss of your friend and my condolences to her children and the family she leaves behind. I am truly sorry ~~~~ ♥♥♥

Meggymay said...

There are no words of comfort that would help ease the pain , in the situation you found yourself in this past week Elizabeth.
I'm sure your friends' family needed and appreciated you being with them
Take care of yourself as well.
Love and hugs
Yvonne xx

Monica said...

how very heartbreaking. she knew she was loved.

jinxxxygirl said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend Eilzabeth... deb

Cindy McMath said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend Elizabeth. To be honest I was getting a bit worried and thought if you didn't show up for T day today I'd be really worried! Take care my friend. I am thinking of you.

Carol said...

What a tragic story , my heart breaks for you all but especially those poor children who's life has been give a double whammie of cosmic proportions. I knew you had to have a reason for your absence..I"m sorry it was so devastating. You are a great person to jump in and be there for you friend and her kids. Hugs to you!

Sami said...

So sad for your loss Elizabeth, my condolences to you and your friends's family. It's tragic that she left young kids and the fact her husband left her probably didn't help either...
I'm sure her family appreciated having you around caring for them.

CJ Kennedy said...

So sorry for you loss, Elizabeth. No need to apologize when life rains on your parade. From your description of your absence from the blogosphere, I can tell you were a good, and loyal friend. I hope memories of happier times helps to ease the sadness in your heart.

kathyinozarks said...

I am so sorry for your loss-hugs
No apologies needed

Jeanie said...

Oh Elizabeth, I'm so deeply sorry. The loss of a dear friend is a tough one. And her story is so very sad with the events leading up to all this, leaving behind children. It is clear that you were an amazing and good friend to her -- you wouldn't leave your kids with just anyone.

Of course you are away from blog. No need to apologize, no need to worry about that. You have more pressing things and everyone understands.

For many years I worked in youth grief counseling and I cannot stress enough that the kids be allowed to find a support group catering to their age group. Many communities now have youth grief programs and most are free. Kids work in peer groups, sharing with others who have lost someone close. They vent their anger, sadness, learn coping skills and realize that they aren't alone, that other kids deal with this. Working with middle school kids who were grieving was the most profound experience in my life, to see them coming back to life. I hope their aunt is in a spot where they can have a similar experience. It will be very hard for them.

I know your heart is broken, too, Elizabeth. Loss and shock and the whole anger of it all -- the unfairness, cost, the loss. So I send you wishes of peace and healing. You are indeed a wonderful friend and she was lucky to have you at this time in her life -- and so were her kids.

Dianne said...

oh my goodness Elizabeth, how tragic and sad! I could just wish THE WORST of bad karma on that absent husband! and so glad you were able to be with your friend's children when she needed you. i can't imagine how hard that was. Really, no need to apologize for your blogging absence! you absolutely did the right thing and we all understand. Hugs to you and so sorry for the loss of your friend. ♥ ♥ ♥

Pamela Gerard said...

Oh, Elizabeth -- how terribly sad. I am sad for you and your friend and for her children. I hope they have someone who loves them to take care of them. Bless you all.

Gibby Frogett said...

I saw the lovely and sad message you left on my last post and came here... I feel dreadful I missed seeing this the other day when I went to your April posts first (I have a note to come back and finish looking at your recycling posts)....
My heart goes out to you Elizabeth and your friend and her family - I am so sorry to hear this very sad news.
Take care - I now it's going to be hard today but hoping the day goes as best as these things can.
Sending love and hugs to you
Gill xxx

Corrine at corrinegilman.com said...

It is the big suCk cancer. I lost my mom to it and I have friend in stage 4 breast cancer. Those poor kiddos. It was hard enough for me at 25, but for them with missing idiot Dad, so sad. My heart goes out to you and them. They were lucky you were there for them and they will never forget that you charged to the rescue. Hope they will be pen pals from California forever. xox