I wish I could make it better…

As I mentioned earlier, I am leaving tomorrow for a trip with several other survivors.  Frankly, I am finding that I am having conflicting emotions about going.  One of my dearest friends and my “traveling buddy”, Kelly, will not be there.  Kelly is a good example of someone who passed away but certainly did not “lose her battle” to cancer.  She was much more than a fighter and refused to see her life any way other than a good one.   I often find I cringe when I hear this reference to cancer.  First of all, it implies that with enough fighting cancer can be beat.  Obviously, that is a myth.  Kelly endured a level of suffering that is hard to put in words and fighting this monster was impossible.  Instead, she showed us all what bravery and endurance is and continued to love and live.  Just a few months prior to her death, she came to visit me from her home in Indiana and was in much distress; however, that visit was full of fun and I shall always cherish our time together.

I think of Kelly’s daughter Lindsey,son James and daughter-in-law Kayley so much.  When I reflect on my emotions about the loss of my friends, I realize that I can’t come close to understanding the grief that they and other children bear.  Truthfully, I have difficulty coming to terms with the absolute unfairness of the loss of their moms.  Many of these children are the ages of my children and I often question why I am here and not these amazing women.  I have feelings of guilt and confusion about this. 

I am impressed beyond words at the work and change they bring about in their communities to do their part to make sure other women know the symptons, etc.  For example, my friend Carin has done incredible things through her organization, Lydia’s Legacy (http://www.lydiaslegacy.com) which she created in memory of her mother.  Dina, another wonderful person, has worked tirelessly through Teal There is a Cure http://www.tealthereisacure.org in memory of her mother.  These are only 2 examples in our community.  I find so much strength in working side by side with these amazing men and women and am so blessed to know them.  I do hope they also find a little comfort in knowing they help me and other survivors…but I still wish I could make it better for them…




  1. Well said. I am in awe of so many people who face multiple health problems and countless other issues but truly continue to “live” their life.


  2. Lindsey

    Patsy, I know if Mom were here she would tell you the same thing I tell my friends: treasure every mother/daughter moment and make the most of every day. I know survivors guilt is real, but please don’t let it rob you of the joy that can be found in each day. Mom loved you so much, and so do I. Rather than feeling envious that other women are keeping their ovca at by, I am happy for them. Travel, laugh, smile, eat and drink yummy things, and enjoy each day, and when this life ends, go meet your travelling buddy at the pearly gates! I’m sure she will be looking forward to more “adventures” with you! xoxo


  3. Great blog here. Glad to find you. Many of the cancer labels make me cringe too. There are so many myths floating around out there as well. I’m sorry to hear about Kelly. I hope you do have a good trip. Keep on writing, that’s one thing I have discovered that does make things a little better.


  4. Elizabeth

    Looking forward to reading your blog about the retreat. It was wonderful to meet everyone. I am so thankful for an amazing weekend. I agree with Lindsay about the mother-daughter time. It seems Lindsay has inherited her mother’s wonderful spirit. I never met Kelly, but I feel I know her. I’m off to visit my daughter in NC. Can’t wait.


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