I remained in this slump throughout the new year and now it's gotten worse. I'm desperately trying to pull myself out, but I find myself crying all of the time, especially this past week. Our lung cancer community lost 3 of our long term brothers and sisters. These were people so many looked up to as sign for hope. I don't remember a time that I've had cancer when these people weren't there.
January 28th, we lost Jennifer Toth. Jennifer was a pure badass. She didn't put up with anything from anyone. And if you were her loyal friend, she was that in return. If she wanted to say something about you, she said it to you instead. She was so funny too. Some of the conversations we used to have would probably keep you from your lunch, but it was nice to have someone to be so honest with. She did get to see her grandchildren and I know how important that was to her. She was our lung cancer sister. She beat the statistics, as did everyone I'll be writing about. Maybe that's what scares me so much.
February 1st, we lost Superman, aka Don Stranathan. I never, in a million years, thought that we would lose him. He never stopped smiling. His motivation and encouragement enveloped you. Don LIVED life until the very end. Days before he passed, he posted a pic of himself smiling through his treatment. He smiled through every treatment. He was, and always will be, superman to me. If you had a question, he was there. He walked with God daily and I'm sure he knew things would get better one day. And they did, he's free. The man who was always there will never be forgotten. His will to live despite all other circumstances was amazing. I want to be that positive. I want to pull myself out of this.
February 2nd, we lost Bobbi Johnson Filipiak aka Bobbi Jo. I met Bobbi Jo when she was newly diagnosed. In my opinion it took them way to long to do genetic testing on her. She could've started with a targeted therapy. These hospitals need to be held accountable for their lack of testing. I don't know how to do it, but I promise you, when I pull myself out, I will be making noise for this to happen. Accountability.
Bobbi Jo left behind her husband and sweet young daughter. She didn't want to leave them, no one does. But God had other plans for these 3 angels. I think Bobbi Jo probably hit me the hardest because she does have a daughter she can't see grow up, or be there for her. She was young. And of all the people we've lost over the past few days, I was closer to her. She knew she was running out of time, but just like Don, she was always smiling for the camera. I guess that's what we do. She knew her last treatment was a hail mary, but she did not want to leave her little girl.
Losing these 3 greats has further pushed me into a slump. It's selfish for me to want them here, they are finally free and Kelly Shannon now has more friends with her. I just feel like it's so unfair that we were given this life. Not just me, all of us. I know, life isn't fair.
The hardest part of this disease, as someone who has it, is the survivors guilt. You begin to think "why not take me?" Well, to those of us who remain, God has us here for a reason. I don't know what that purpose is, but I'm so tired and I really miss them.
I haven't been writing much. That's how you know I'm not well emotionally and just writing this has already tired me out. I feel like everything is coming to an end. This world keeps changing, it forgot to stop for us who needed it to. It will never stop, and we have to learn to roll with the punches.
I know Satan is trying to have me turn my back on God because of the loss of these 3. And although I'm an emotional wreck, I'm not mad at God. They fulfilled their purpose and have been rewarded because now they get to go home. As Robert Frost says, "I have miles to go be fore I sleep". He couldn't be more correct. We are no longer being snuffed out before we can make a change. So just give me some time to get myself together, because we are going to make changes for Jennifer, Don, and Bobbi Jo. And all the ones we've lost before. Kelly, you are still my soul sister and I'm a little jealous of the new company you have.
None of us are getting out of this alive. No one. It's the time between birth and death that we need to use to make a difference. Remember, you never see a U-Haul following a hearse. We all come in the same way and leave this world the same way.
All of these deaths have also smacked me in the face and made me realize how precious life is. Each of these people knew that. They soaked it up and spread it around. They were all leaders, the greats. They were people we should all look at as examples of how to live our lives full of love and grace. As of now, I'm scared for my own mortality.
Thank you for your continuous prayers and please include peace for these families and friends. I'm sorry if there are any grammatical errors. It has taken all I have today to write this. Sometimes it's okay if the only thing you do in a day is breathe. Please send prayers, not only for these families and friends, but for the entire lung cancer community who suffered this huge blow. It's getting harder every time to pull out of these slumps. Yes, I'm thankful to still be here, but selfish me just want my friends back. Dear Lord, please hold all of my friends close and give everyone reading this peace and comfort beyond our understanding. Amen. Rest in Paradise friends, until I see you guys again. I'm not sure how I'm going to be okay at the summit this year. Too many lost over the years, it's getting too hard. If any of you need to talk, please message me. I know how alone things like this can make you feel. I'll be here for you. God Bless.