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feeling very fragile

Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Hi everyone. I was not online for a few days and was blindsided by Andrea's passing. I am saddened and scared.

Nettie had more faith and will to live than anyone else I have encountered. She wanted to be here for her children. Her battle ended. She and I emailed often and I hadn't written her in a while, now I feel so bad for not being a better support for her. Honestly, I got wrapped up in my own treatments and battles.

Andrea had the most strenght, silliness, fun, fighting power; her battle ended.

I just feel so small right now. Maybe it is just the recent losses hitting me so personally, but I feel that the young people with stage 4 have so much trouble. OK, that's because I am young with stage 4 - I am terrified. Andrea is a role model of mine. She laughed at the cancer... and shared her stories with us so that we laughed with her. I try to emulate her. I try to laugh at adversity. But I can't laugh right now.... and I am scared.

Sorry for rambling, I guess this site is more my therapy than I realized. I needed to let it out, to try to recover.

I just hope those that have passed on realize just how much they give to us here.

I want all of you to know how important you are and that sharing all your stories - good and bad- helps me.

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Jana -

Thank you for sharing your feelings with us all. I know we all feel fragile at times - regardless of our diagnosis. Letting those feelings out helps us purge ourselves and also lets others know when we need a boost.

I don't really have any words of wit for you right now, but I do want you to know that every one of us is here for you and you are in my prayers daily.

Like I mentioned in a previous post - it's OK to get knocked down - but you gotta get up. Know there are lots of hands here to help you when you are ready!

Love ya, Jana

- Bob

Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Jana, Im so sorry that you have to be so scared. I know its an awful feeling. Im sure it was brought on by Andrea's passing. I think once you get over the shock of that you will feel better. I know your a fighter but Im sure there are days you just dont feel like fighting because your to tired. Thats ok to. I pray to god that he gives you the strength to fight this disease. Mindy

Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2006

hi jana,
dont feel guilty for not writing her because we all get wrapped up in our own battles and you have a very hard one to battle. i know how you feel about this site being a place to let it all out and please do. i think it is healing to us all to be able to offer words of support to someone on their down days. know that you have strength here if you ever need it and i will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. stay in touch. cherri

chynabear's picture
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Jana,

You put into words almost exactly how I've been feeling since I read about Andrea passing. I have been very troubled and scared and haven't been able to put it into words, so I thank you for saying what I feel... and I'm sure how many of us feel after reading about somone passing; especially someone so young and full of fight.

Please don't hammer yourself for not writing more or for focusing on your treatments. You have been such an inspiration yourself and you were there before and that's what matters. It's ok to take time for yourself to fight your battle... you have a lot on your plate.

It is so hard to see someone so full of fight and determination to beat this disease finally succomb to it. I think that's what makes it so scary; because, we all feel that same fight and determination and think that as long as we have spirit and fight that we will beat it... and then we see one of our own who had just as much fight or more lose the battle. It's important that we recognize that we might not be the one to make it and live each day as if it were our last while realizing that we are not doomed to the same fate.

Now I'm just rambling. I guess I'm still having a hard time puting my feelings into words.

*hugs* for being such a strong and caring person.


Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

I didn't know either lovely person, but I could not help but think after reading the obit: "What I full life she lived!" Andrea was happy with life and with herself - and who can really ask for more?
I guess, more importantly, it brings me back to remembering that I am not solely in charge...there is a master plan. If I have the intention to live each day in the best possible way, then I am honoring myslef as well as The Big Guy upstairs.
I am sorry that you are saddened and scared -- pretty normal feelings for all of us at times.
This little Scottish ballad helps me; maybe it will help you or others as well:
"I am wounded," cried Sir Anthony to his merry men,
But I am not slain.
I will lay down and bleed awhile,
Then rise to fight with you again."

Have a wonderful weekend; walk with your dogs and spend time with your always-loving husband. Take care and know you are thought of very often.

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi Jana,
Indeed, we are a very fragile species, aren't we. I was also rattled by Andreas passing. It forces us all to face our fears. I have said this to others as well as to myself, but I guess it is important to realize that her situation is not your situation. You know each case is different and no two people will respond to treatment the same way, etc. I cannot think of any two situations that have been exactly the same. We all are walking our own path and it is OK for you to be wrapped up in your own treatments. You have to be, because it is your life. You have to take care of yourself first.
Take care and keep believing that you will be OK.

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Dear Jana,

Just sharing your innermost feeling with us proves your bravery! I think Andrea's passing reactivated all of our fears and uncertainties. It also caused my survivor's guilt to flare again.

Jana, please know that you are surrounded by love and prayers here. Tomorrow will be a better day!



jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi (((((((Jana))))))),
I am also quite shaken by the news of Andrea's death; her light burned with an intensity that lit the way for so many of us, and its scary to think that intensity was not enough to keep her with us. I weep as I read about her, and the tributes that others have sent.
As an MD, you have been exposed to countless senseless tragedies, but this one hits close to home for all of us with a cancer diagnosis. I think the most we can each hope for is the strength to walk our path, and the support of others when we need it. A part of those who have lost the struggle stays with me and bolsters my own strength (and fears). I truly feel that part of my own survival and recovery is to reach out to others to the best of my ability. I know I am not as articulate or witty as I would like to be here, but I hope you feel that there are many of us standing by you in your heroic struggle. I am amazed at your personal strength, and know that it is a part of you, even if you don't always feel it yourself.
I'm glad you are able to honest at this site; I don't think there are many places where we can really look our fears in the face and be understood. We are all standing with you, Judy

JADot's picture
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Jana:

At times like this I try to think about Lance Armstrong. I wear the LiveSTRONG wristband to remind myself that miracles do happen. I've read his book countless number of times. It always helped me through the tough spots.

This afternoon I am heading out for a bike ride. I've never had a bad day on a bike and the wind in my hair makes me believe that I am just on the top of the world.

I agree with SpongeBob, you gotta pick yourself up any time when something knocks you down. Nettie and Andrea would expect no less from all of us.

So head out and have some fun - anything that makes you feel good, special, silly or just plain alive. If you go out for a fun drive, mind the cyclists :)

Take care Jana!


nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

I am traveling right now; I stopped and gathered some wildflowers to remember Andrea..they are in a glass of water on the dashboard; a constant small reminder of our fragility. All of you can do some small thing to remember her. Light a candle and pray to whoever your God may be..Bud

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Dear Jana -

I am sorry you are feeling sad and scared, but I totally understand. Andrea's death really dealt a blow to me, especially followed by Nettie's death. A young kid, a mother with young children? This is a terribly frightening disease and I also am scared (and guilty because after all I am 56 with mostly grown children and thus much more deserving of death than those other great fighters) - but of course none of deserve this.

Cry a little and then try and pick yourself up, hard as it may be. You are a great fighter. I myself have been having a horrible weekend inspired by both Andrea's death and a copy of NIH CT scan report which suggests lung nodules even though that was never communicated to me! Some chance it is not even my report and some chance it is a bad radiology report - which my onc says she has seen many of. But, way scary - and I will be having to hang on to my cell phone on Monday to even get a clue what is being to done to investigate - very frightening. And with Andrea's death so present, even more scary.

You are so brave to share your thoughts here.

Take care,

Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi Jana,
I'm at a loss for words. Andrea's passing scared me also. She was so full of life and so young! I keep telling myself that although I can't predict the future I am alive now and that I have to celebrate my life, live each day to the fullest. I strongly believe that those who have died fighting cancer would want us to go on and continue that fight.
It's great that you can come here and share your feelings. It always helps me to know that I can come here, read what other people are thinking and feeling and say what I need to say.
Take care,

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Hugs to you, Jana. I knew neither of these marvelous ladies...but a loss still affects me greatly.
After posting MY feelings here, and reading the replies to yours and mine, I realize that we have a VERY strong family here...and just like a family, if a member loses their battle, we all are deeply saddened.
But, fight on we MUST! I hereby officially invite you to my pity party! I even baked a cake!!! But, it must end tomorrow, Monday is my prep for my first post-cancer colonoscopy. (to tell the truth, I bought the stuff today, and almost hurled just picking up the boxes..hehehe).
So, I raise a glass to all of us, living or not, and toast to the living of life!
Hugs, Kathi

Posts: 297
Joined: Apr 2004

Jana, hearing of Nettie and Andrea has scared me, too. It just makes me mad that we have to put up with cancer. CANCER SUCKS. It really makes me even more mad when I hear of our fellow semi colons who pass. I just try to live my life day by day. Every day is a gift. Laugh and enjoy life. I pray for the families of our friends who have gone to a better world. I also ask God to help us find a cure for this horrible disease. Jana, what you are feeling is very normal. I can remember the first person I knew at the cancer center where I am treated who died. His death really shook me. Any one who dies of this disease shakes me now. It is too close to home, so to say. This is all part of coping with cancer. The disease hits us in so many ways. Terri

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003


I don't know what to say. Of course you are frightened and feeling fragile.

You have been through so much and losing one of our own so young is sooo hard. Andrea was the same age as my daughter. Netties kids were so young. My youngest was 14 and a freshman in high school when I was diagnosed. I wanted more than anything to see the graduation. well, he is graduating on june 6.

A good friends bother passed away recently from lung cancer. He was 49, the same as me. He had been battling for two years and sick the whole time. I ask, why him and not me.

Noone knows the answers, but it shows us all how short life really is.

Sorry for the rambling.

Jana, I am praying for you and all the others still in the fight and having a difficult time.


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