Monday, January 08, 2007

Riding the See-Saw

Imagine a wound that had been slowly healing over two years, strength and mobility returning after months of numbness and atrophy.

Now rip the scab off and start poking in the raw tissue.

Caroline was a friend of Sam's. Caroline had what I understood to be an aggressive lymphoma, for which she'd undergone every possible treatment, and had even been previously in remission. Caroline's husband was in my family support group at Gilda's, and Caroline was in Sam's wellness group. She was a woman who refused to give up - who always dressed fashionably, makeup done, hair (or wig) in place, traveled, laughed, lived and loved with gusto. She certainly didn't look middle-aged, even in the midst of horrible chemo. And she always inspired Sam in her own fight. Often we'd come out of our individual groups and on the drive home Sam would tell me how uplifting it felt to be in Caroline's presence, despite how heavy the group sessions got. I thought, if ANYONE can beat cancer, Caroline can.

Caroline passed away last Wednesday.

And I can't stop crying.

I've said this before, and I will say it again, without apology for the colloquial profanity...


This whole thing was really driven home yesterday when I took Kayleigh to Build-a-Bear to spend her Christmas gift cards. While I stood by and observed, she passed from bin to bin, carefully weighing the decisions. Ultimately, she decided on a big floppy brown bunny and a white bear with blue patches of fur. She dressed the bunny in a striped blouse, jeans and sandals. The bear got a fleece pullover, khakis, tennies, and a baseball cap.

She named the rabbit Samantha Kate Bunny. The bear was named Grampa Bear.

So... yeah... kinda sad today.


go_go yubari said...


So sorry to hear about Caroline.

Yeah, cancer sucks...but I'd like to build upon that with an all encompassing death sucks.

It does. It really, really does.

Hang in there...

Ali said...

I knew a girl like Caroline in my 20's. She was always so vibrant and up-beat. There seemed no way cancer was going to suck her down.

But it did. Unbelievably it did.

You've said the only appropriate words Todd.


Karyn Ann in San Fran said...


Your words brought tears to my eyes. Caroline, to you, was an icon - she wasn't going to succumb - dammit!!! I am in total agreement with your comment - FUCK CANCER!! As if it hasn't taken enought from us (Caroline, your Sam, my Bruce, etc etc ad nauseum) this past year, the beast had the nerve to mess with me too - thankfully melanoma "in situ" - but, still...major GRRRRRRR!

My thoughts are with you and the kids.

Karyn Ann in San Fran