Nancy, a beautiful soul lost to cancer...
by Jim Wild
(South Saint Paul, MN, USA)
Nancy in May 2000
God how she fought to stay alive!! And although suffering tremendously, she always thought about how others felt, and wanted them to be happy....
When we met in 1999 she was 38 and I was 46. She had never married even though she was so pretty (see picture). She had entered college in her thirties and excelled!! She obtaining a B.A. degree and was turning her life around. We had so much fun together, it was like an underlying deep bond that kept us together through thick and thin. We finally married in 2007, had a beautiful house and a life to look forward to.
But there were already strange symptoms happening... Nancy worried that it was cancer, but all the doctors said that if it was cancer, then it was the strangest case of cancer they had ever seen. The biopsy confirmed cancer -- lung cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes. Stage 3 - 4 was how they put it. Apparently the autoimmune symptoms were the body's response to the cancer, but it attacked her own cells too.
After chemotherapy and many complications, she was almost cancer-free in January of 2009. Beaten down and feeling like crap, her hands crippled, but almost cancer-free. This is where the story takes a turn, and where I have problems with letting it get away. To give you the full story of what all happened I will post her story on the "Theirspace" forum. It is worth reading.
Nancy died on November 23, 2009 at the age of 47. Way too young and so much of life yet to be experienced. What a total waste!! I think of what could have been done if only she had been willing to follow the paths of others who survived. I feel so sorry for what she went through, her life ruined, the joys she had being dismantled one by one -- traveling, enjoying good food and wine, having fun with family and friends. That there was so much left to do and see and experience; makes it all the harder to take!
If she had lived to see her (and our) dreams fulfilled there might be more peace with her passing. But it was a horrible time especially at the end. Basically abandoned by the doctors and nurses. The stigma of a disease which THEY don't know how to fix because they won't open their eyes to study those who DO survive instead of those who are ill! The medical system doesn't really care -- it has been put together with the primary concern of making a profit for all parties, especially the drug companies.
I found out the hard way how solid that system is... it can barely be budged by any idea that runs counter to it's processes, no matter how good or beneficial. And so now what? What of her spirit? What about the special things only her and I could know? (or at least appreciate as one) Who is going to laugh with me? Who is going to care about me? Who will hold me and comfort me?? And who will be there to beam at me when there is a small triumph, or enjoy the meal I made with her in mind because she loves that dish so much? Who can share the joys and life's problems? Who can I take care of??
It has been starting in the morning when awareness returns, then the realization that she is not there nor ever will be there again physically. A sinking feeling. Pacing pacing pacing... going over problems which cannot be solved, as if an answer would bring her back -- all the while knowing it won't. No one else there. Sadness and wonder if she is really OK in whatever experience she is in right now. Guilt. Anger. Despair. Then do it all over again.
There is not much more to say at the moment. I'm sure there is more that will come up, and it's good to know I have this outlet to release those thoughts and feelings. Thank you. My heart goes out to those who have had an even worse experience than I had. At least we knew what hit us.
Please comment if you'd like.