This has been a sorrowful week in the world. We lost so many to metastatic breast cancer (MBC), including Jody Schoger. Even though I knew she was in hospice, I was still stunned when I received the news that she passed away. And in that finding-out moment, I knew the world was suddenly worse off for not having Jody’s fierce passion, intelligence, kindness, and advocacy in it.
I never met Jody in person, but like so many in our wonderful online community, I felt as if I knew her. One of the #BCSM tweetchat co-founders and a moderator of the tweetchat, she exuded kindness and caring for all participants. A few years ago, I had a medical scare. I was seeing my oncologist, who confirmed I didn’t have a breast cancer recurrence, as the menacing bone scan report indicated. When I checked in during our #BCSM tweetchat, the first thing Jody did was ask me how the oncology appointment went.
I embraced that act of kindness deep within my heart and will always treasure it.
Frankly, writing this post is so difficult, as words cannot capture the anguish and ache I’m feeling right now. I know I’m not alone in this raw mourning — so much of the world is grieving with me for loved ones lost to MBC. I cannot capture the depth of sorrow and how I feel kick-punched by pain. So I don’t talk about this to friends. That’s how stopped up my voice feels.
Is it possible to love someone you never met?
I’m having a difficult time coping — and breathing — at this very moment.
So right now, as I write this post, I’m about to spiral down into the bottomless abyss of despair.
To keep from doing that — after all, depression is not helpful for me — I am reflecting on what I’m grateful for. I must turn to appreciate what I daily take for granted. No, this is not a post on thinking positively or to bury our heads in the sands of denial. Instead, writing what I’m grateful for will keep me (and maybe others) from completely sinking into the quicksand of anguish.
Here are just a few things I’m grateful for:
The fact that my daughter challenges me on everything these days. It means she’s growing up and is learning about boundaries.
The purring of my cats.
The ability to write and create art.
The ability to go to the bathroom independently, something not everyone has.
Being able to teach and touch students’ lives.
Great doctors, although they scare the shit out of me.
The online breast cancer community.
More cowbell, always more cowbell.
What are you grateful for? Can you add to this list?
Do you have any fond memories of Jody Schoger? Feel free to share them.
Tags: breast cancer, Jody Schoger, metastatic breast cancer