Some of you might remember that I had a small group (two other women) who had pancreatic cancer. One of them, our sweet Cindy, died in late August. The other amazing woman, Chris, I met in NYC at Memorial Sloan Kettering where we were having the same surgery with the same doctor at the same time--January 2010. What are the odds??! She was stage 3 and had some lesions in her lungs and some lymph node involvement. I was stage 2 with no lymph involvement. We became fast friends. She was organized, I am not. She was a hiker and a kayaker, I am a slug. She was an amazing researcher and where I get distracted she persevered. Always sending me emails about this or that "cure" to try. At one point I remember we were talking on the phone and both of us were sort of jumping around because it stimulated the lymph system to remove poisons. We talked about chemo, bowels, eating, pain, medication, exercise, food, wine, family, housekeeping, end of life, money, fear. We compared scars and diet and survival stories. We kept positive. Though when Cindy was dying we sat with her and clung to each other. Meanwhile I got fatter and Chris kept losing weight. We held a vigil around her house last week, each holding candles, singing songs, someone played the recorder. She was still conscious. I took a picture of us the week before that not knowing that it would be the last time I saw her. Her liver gave out and she died Christmas Eve morning. Still a shock even though I knew she was dying.
Rest in peace, my pancreatic sister and friend.