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Sad day

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

Today was very sad for me. My dear friend, also named Gail, also a colon cancer survivor, diagnosed the same year as I was, passed away today. She had been in a hospice home for about a week and a half. I went to see her several times, and she was not able to really respond, but I wanted to see her and spend time with her family. I saw her last night, and I knew time was very short.

Gail joined our county's Relay For Life planning committee the same year I did, and we just clicked. I'm going to miss her, but I'm so glad she's no longer in pain.

I wrote a blog entry about her, called "Survivor's Guilt."

It can be found here;

www.survivorcity.blogspot.com

Reading this, it sounds stilted, I think (my entry here, not the blog). Just kind of processing it all and wondering once again how I got so fortunate to have an early diagnosis.

*hugs*
Gail

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2934
Joined: Jan 2010

One never knows what makes the path smoother for one and rockier for another.

I know you must have many emotions going through you mind right now. Just remember, you gave Gail some very important things while she was here...you gave your friendship, you gave your encouragement and you gave your heart.

Prayers for Gail, her family and you dear.

Marie who loves kitties

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Gail,

I commented on Facebook, but I again just want you to know I am sending you a warm hug and prayers are being said.

Lisa

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

Thank you again!

*hugs*
Gail

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

Thank you, Marie.

*hugs*
Gail

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2301
Joined: Jan 2009

Gail,
I am so sorry that your dear friend Gail has passed on. It sounds like you had a wonderful friendship.
Thinking of you and praying for you.

Aloha,
Kathleen

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I have been following your comments on FB and I know this is a very sad time for you. Keeping you in my prayers.

Jennie

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

I appreciate the prayers, Jennie!

*hugs*
Gail

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

Thank you, Kathleen. I went to her viewing tonight, and there were hundreds of people there. So many people loved her!

*hugs*
Gail

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

Bulla dDear gail
I am sorry your friend died from crc, we say the same things so often about crc.
Just breathe and the sorrow will to pass.
Hugs,
Pete

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

Yeah, it does seem to happen too often, doesn't it?

*hugs*
Gail

Sonia32's picture
Sonia32
Posts: 1067
Joined: Mar 2009

Sending you loving hugs.

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

And I feel it! Love hugs!

*hugs*
Gail

ketziah35
Posts: 1147
Joined: Jun 2010

I am so sorry for your loss.

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

Thanks, Ketziah!

*hugs*
Gail

rogina2336's picture
rogina2336
Posts: 188
Joined: Apr 2011

So sorry to here about your friend. Prayers Kim

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

The prayers are so welcome!

*hugs*
Gail

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4283
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Gail

Death is always a sobering reminder to us of how fragile life can be. I think when we see someone pass away that was in our timeframe of diagnosis and we find ourselves still standing it evokes that common feeling of "Why Them - and Not Me." This in turn leads us down the path of "Will I Be Next?"

Of course these are the great unanswered questions. The quest for these truths I will be pursuing until it's my time for me to lay down.

In my first year of fighting, I met this guy in Infusion. He had a poor attitude and was "Woe is Me" all the time. I tried talking some sense into him, but he never heard me. Each time I saw him he looked worse and worse. That Thanksgiving, I saw his wife wheeling him out in a wheelchair and I told Kim, the end is near for this guy.

A couple of weeks later there was a flyer posted at the cancer center saying that this man had passed away. He didn't fight, he just put a stamp on it and mailed it in.

As I said, I was early in my thought processes then but it was a funny feeling to still be living and breathing when this guy had died. I had that first tinge of survivor guilt then.

Having just completed my seventh year and motoring towards my eight season now, I don't feel the survivor guilt like I used to.

Why?

Because I've fought hard for 3/4 of a decade and I've taken my beatings along the way and paid the price for "Admission to this Show." I have nothing to be ashamed and I suffered as we all suffer. It wasn't handed to me.

I'm still upset at the loss of many of our friends and will always wonder "Why Them and Not Me." Just goes with the territory, I suppose.

I think over time your feelings will lessen and you'll feel less of those pangs. I may or may not have told you this before....

And listen, I don't want you to beat yourself up anymmore about your early diagnosis. Your fears and concerns over having cancer are real to you, which makes them real to us. Nobody is going to club you for having the sense to get checked out and diagnosed early. If they do, you send 'em my way, LOL:)

I mean you saw a problem - addressed it - and got it done. You're to be applauded for your common sense. All of us wish we could have a do-over and try again.

I think that seeing your friend pass away and knowing you were dx'd at the same time just conjured up the "Specter of Mortality" and showed you a glimplse of what it might have been for you.

It's sobering stuff to be sure. I ask myself every day "Why am I still here?" Especially, when I see so many of us checking out of this hotel. I'll never get over it - will never understand it.

Writing your thoughts in your blog is very cathartic. it's a way for you to put your fears and feelings into the proper context and allows you the safety to vent your emotions.

I'm just glad you're here and I've said this many times, but you know it's not just horsesh*t coming from me. I do think the cancer is behind you forever and you're free of it to continue your good works. There's always going to be a special plan for a special lady such as yourself.

Yes, I've been in some deep reflection and introspection writing my book. Things are going well as I'm just now 1/2 way down. Of course, I want you to read it one day if we can make it work - I always value your feedback.

I am very sorry on the passing of your friend. As much as I try to wax poetically and see the good side of cancer, a post like yours jolts me back to reality to remind me of the other things it is capable of doing.

In doing some research for my chapters, I dug through some of my old posts and read them and their responses. I saw your name many, many times - and always with something nice to say. It made me smile to see you there and read your thoughts.

Love you!
-Craig

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

Hey, Craig.

Thank you for the very thoughtful and thought-provoking response. You always put your whole heart into whatever you write. Your book is BOUND to be a bestseller!

Bill and I went to the visitation tonight for my friend Gail,and it was amazing to see the hundreds of people who showed up for it. It made her family feel so good to know how many people loved her. I would hope when my time comes that I would have even half as many come.

I can't imagine not writing a positive comment on your remarks here. You always write such beautiful thoughts, and you inspire so many. Thanks for that!

I'll be fine. I deal with things like this by planning ways to help the family or ways to honor my loved ones. Tomorrow all of us on the Relay For Life planning committee are wearing our committee shirts to the funeral. And we're all invited to her house afterwards for the party she planned for after the service (she laid out every detail of what she wanted). I've already picked out the song I'll sing in Gail's honor when my Relay team has our annual talent show, and I'm going to make little badges with her picture for the committee to wear at next year's Relay.

So I've worked myself around to a nice state of mind. I'm sure there will be many tears shed tomorrow, but they will be cleansing. After that, it's on to more fundraising and spreading the word about getting tested and sharing information with those newly diagnosed.

As always, you are in my prayers, my friend.

Love you, too!

*hugs*
Gail

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4243
Joined: Feb 2009

So sorry for your loss. It is never easy to lose anyone even knowing it's coming near to the end. May she rest in peace. May God comfort you too in this difficult time.

Kim

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

So true, Kim. We're never really ready for it.

*hugs*
Gail

dorookie's picture
dorookie
Posts: 1681
Joined: Jul 2007

I am glad you are here and I am sure your family is too, there is no answer to why this happened this way or why it happened that way, but I do know the struggles with those questions.

HUGS
Beth

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

Thanks, Beth. That's so sweet of you to say. Glad you're here, too!

*hugs*
Gail

karguy's picture
karguy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

I'm sorry about your loss.It is never easy to lose a good friend.I'll keep you in my prayers.

fatmomma's picture
fatmomma
Posts: 95
Joined: May 2011

So very sorry about your loss. I HATE THIS CANCER STUFF. No one should ever have to die from it. Will be praying for you.

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

Prayers always help me.

*hugs*
Gail

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

Thanks for the prayers!

*hugs*
Gail

Aud's picture
Aud
Posts: 476
Joined: Oct 2009

I am sorry you lost your friend to this awful disease.

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