Wednesday, February 6, 2013

IN MEMORIUM

Today is the one-year anniversary of the death of Rachel Cheetham Moro. There will be many tributes to Rachel in the blogosphere today...
She was a pretty and witty and wise breast cancer activist. To honor her, I am rerunning the post I wrote a year ago upon learning of her death. Writing that post forced me to acknowledge the stark, deeply dark truth of cancer. Here's to Rachel, and to all those we have lost to this dreadful disease.
[Monday, February 6, 2012, 3:28 PM] When I started blogging about breast cancer 10 months ago, the world wide web opened up and extended her loving arms around me. I came in contact with (and was embraced by) a great many people fighting this disease — all writing about it with humor, with bravado, with insight. I knew, statistically speaking, that some of these lovely bloggers that I "follow" would one day stop blogging. Not because they had writers block (though that certainly happens); and not because there was a dearth of things to blog about (the Komen controversy alone could fuel us the rest of our days). Nope. I knew they would stop blogging because they would pass away.
This morning, I read that Rachel from The Cancer Culture Chronicles died at the age of 41 from metastatic breast cancer. She had a tenacious wit and a marvelous sense of humor. She wrote a guest blog for Breast Cancer Action in December; her last blog post was just a couple of short weeks ago.
And now she's gone. You can read the amazing story of her life here.
I created a "We'll Never Forgetsection on my blog. It wasn't my idea. I'd seen it done by other bloggers. I just never wanted to have to do it. But I have one now. It's a place our fallen angels can now rest in the blogosphere.
Rachel was not the first to fall silent.

Cheryl, of Indigo Dreaming blogging fame, passed away in mid-January. Cheryl lived in Australia and battled secondary breast cancer and was also a very brave and upbeat gal; you can read about her story here and also here. (Thanks, Alli and Julie.)

But the first to die, for me, was Lynn from Canada — age 50, she passed from metastatic breast cancer on December 29, 2011. Lynn's husband Denis was the blogger in the family, and he wrote (and continues to write) with great heart and compassion about his experience as caregiver of a BC patient. He is now a husband without a wife; a father of two children who are now without a mother. You can find Lynn's story (and that of her husband and children) here.
I wish my list didn't exist. A virtual graveyard is not what I had in mind when I stepped into the design section of Blogger. But it's a brutal reality of breast cancer. So what can we do about it? Stay educated about cancer. Live a clean life. Donate time (or funds) to organizations that you have vetted and are confident will make the most of your donation. And keep laughing. Find the humor in life. That's something these women did in spades. Rest in peace, pretty ladies. Rest in peace.
PS: A mere 2 HOURS after I wrote that post a year ago, I heard the news that yet another beloved blogger and breast cancer activist had died — Susan Neiber. And so I posted a second time that day:
[Monday, February 6, 2012, 5:47 PM] Another heroine has fallen... Susan Neiber (aka WhyMommy) of Toddler Planet fame passed away today from a rare and aggressive form of inflammatory breast cancer. She leaves behind a family that includes two small children. She was a scientist for NASA.

I discovered Susan's blog just a couple of weeks ago... January 22, 2012, to be exact; it turned out to be her last post; for me, it was her first. I was only just beginning to "know" her. An article about her blog ran in The Washington Post online on January 24, 2012. And today she is gone.

Rest in peace, Susan.
(© Copyright Rennasus 2012)

8 comments:

  1. Hi Renn, I didn't read this post last year, or at least I can't remember. My mind was in a jumble at that time, sometimes it still is... Thank you so much for posting this, for bearing witness to these wonderful women. It's so important to remember the faces and all the lives affected. And I often think of all the faces we don't "know" as well. We honor them all through posts such as this. Thank you, my friend.

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    1. Nancy, thank YOU for doing the same. {{{hugs}}}

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  2. Thank you for a beautiful commemoration to some of those we lost.

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  3. Too many, dear Renn, too many. It just exhausts me. Love to you. Kathi

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