MARY (aka MBJ on BCO) has died.
Doctors gave her four months. She was gone in six weeks. Her passing has left the online breast cancer community at a loss for words.
Cancer is some scary sh*t.
I feel a need to honor this lovely woman who was so generous in spirit and insight; who always had a kind word to spare no matter where you found yourself on the breast cancer path; who so readily shared her own pain in the hopes that it might help others. And she helped so many others.
Mary was just two years out from her initial breast cancer diagnosis when she developed constant shoulder and arm pain. Several doctors told her she had a frozen shoulder; another said she had nerve damage. Mary herself suspected that maybe she tore a muscle or ligament. She received cortisone shots and some physical therapy, but the pain never went away.
Mary was also uninsured. She waited months for an MRI appointment (which, ironically, is tomorrow). When she was finally (correctly) diagnosed in early February (yes, just last month), doctors sent her home with hospice. She died six weeks later. She never had a chance.
But you do.
If there is a lesson in this loss (and dare I say this may well be Mary's legacy), it is this: If you have nagging pain, get it checked out. Now. Doesn't matter if you have cancer or are just afraid you might. Our bodies are very wise. They talk to us all the time; but we don't always listen. And even when we do, sometimes the medical profession doesn't. Sometimes, they get it all wrong. Like they did with Mary.
And listen to your gut. If what you are hearing from a health care professional doesn't sit well with you, keep shopping — until you hear something that does.
R.I.P. Mary. (To hear her lovely singing voice, visit the website her husband created for her here.)