Saturday, May 11, 2013

KAREN, TC: AN UPDATE

The blogosphere is a pretty amazing place, filled with some pretty amazing people.

Some are bloggers. Some are readers. Some are commenters. Some are all three; some are two; others, one.

In our burgeoning breast cancer blogging community, we have a special woman who is a faithful reader and commenter on so many of our blogs. She always signs her name "Karen, TC." I never knew what the "TC" stood for; I never asked. 

Turns out it means "The Commenter." How perfect. How clever.

I always looked forward to Karen, TC's comments...
She is a gifted writer who had no interest in starting her own blog. As she put it in a comment to me last month: 
"As you know i am not a blogger, i find such fulfillment in writing comments - to lend support, validate, comfort, encourage, commiserate, express gratitude for all the incredible insight bloggers like you impart, and share parts of hugh's and my dual cancer journey - every single day. writing injects a sense of balance and perspective, catharsis, and helps me get outside of myself - it's just such a tonic to be able to banish worry, which i consider another affliction cancer would just love to consume us with - writing is my way of saying, NO WAY!"
Karen is a cancer survivor in remission. In a cruel twist of fate, her beloved husband, Hugh, also had cancer — and also was in remission. They were so thrilled to both be NED! But last week, Karen found Hugh unresponsive at home, and he was rushed to the hospital. 

AnneMarie, of Chemobrain blog fame, is a staunch breast cancer advocate and beloved blogger; she immediately went into action, sending out a social media rally cry to round up support for Karen. AnneMarie's post "Karen the Commenter needs us" drew 61 comments (and counting!), and her blog became Command Central in terms of our communicating with Karen. (We're grateful she allowed us to hijack her blog. Thanks, AM!)

However, it is with deep sadness that I must tell you that Hugh passed away a few days ago. Karen is devastated. You can read about Hugh and his life here in another wonderful post by AnneMarie.

Let's continue to shower Karen with our thoughts and support over these next weeks and beyond. As we all know,  support is abundant initially but fades all too quickly. Grief does not. If you'd like to leave Karen a message, you may do so on the original post AnneMarie wrote HERE. Thank you.

Karen, TC — we love you! Big {{{hugs}}}...


19 comments:

  1. What a fitting tribute to a wonderful woman. I too have been blessed by the support and love of Karen and Hugh. I feel like i know them personally through her genuine and honest words on my blog. Thank you renn for letting me get to know her through you. Hugs to you all, kate

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    1. OBB! Karen is indeed very generous. I know what you mean, I too feel as though I know them! I'm so glad you guys "connected." Happy Mother's Day!!

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  2. So nice of you for letting all of us know!

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    1. Big thanks go to AnneMarie (below) for starting the tsunami of love! ;-)

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  3. Renn,

    I LOVE YOU..... Thank you for sharing. One week ago, I was absolutely frantic. I read Karen's email and knew I had to reach out. I felt helpless - reading the desperation in Karen's words, not knowing what was appropriate to share.

    It's so clear that Karen's words have touched many. And you have touched me.....

    xoxox
    AnneMarie



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    1. You did what you always do... you went into action. You connect so many of us, AM! It's truly a thread of love.
      I am honored to be part of your fabric.
      xoxo

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  4. oh, renn

    my heart is filled to overflowing for your generous, gracious and more than kind words. they give me comfort, and the resolve to continue hugh's most important legacy, his messages of love and laughter and reminders to live life well and fully every single day. he did not come to that point without great suffering - the truama he endured, resultant PTSD, depression, pain that never fully subsided - but he overcame it all, just to be by my side to help me though my treatment for BC. and yes, he died while he was in remission from MM -so suddenly, so senselessly that i am and will be reeling with every new reality that slams at me to say he is really gone.

    hugh would be (i know he IS) so happy to know that so many dear friends made within both the BC and the multiple myeloma blogsphere have reached out to me with such loving compassion and genuine, heartfelt concern. he knew without a doubt that it was my absolute pleasure to be able to not just write my comments, but to be able to makes such close bonds with people that have nourished my penchant for writing, encouraged me, and included me in all manner of conversations and sharing stories.

    dear, dear renn, i cannot thank you enough for your extraordinary compassion, and for your love, and for your sympathy for me and my family. it makes me feel so grateful, and feeling gratitude in these moments of profound loss will be a big part of hope that i need to hang onto, and the hope that hugh held in his heart and demonstrated in all his words and actions - that we LIVE large and fully and in contentment with the gifts of ordinary days.

    i love you, renn, and thank you and your kind readers who have reached out to me as you have, so generously and with such compassion. i send you all XXXXXXOOOOOOO, LOVE, karen

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    1. KAREN!!! I am so thankful to be able to offer you cyber hugs from around the world.

      I love your line, "the gift of ordinary days." That is really what living comes down to: Having people to love, and having people to share the ordinary days with.

      We have been blessed with both. Love to you.

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  5. Renn, you put into words what so many of us feel about Karen. Karen I wonder if you knew how much you are loved by all of us. How much your words of encouragement and compassion have meant to us on our blogs. You are a pivotal part of this community - an honorary blogger! I hope you are getting a sense of how much you mean to us and I am thankful that you did reach out to us My heart aches for you at this sad time. All my love Marie, Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer xxxxxxx

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    1. Thank you for these words, Marie, and for your mentioning Karen in your blog too. We must circle our wagons around dear Karen so she has a soft place to fall. Thank you for all you do to develop our circles, Marie! xoxo

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  6. Renn, Thank you so much for this post. Friendship is a wonderful thing isn't it? Karen is a faithful commenter on my blog, too, and I also look forward to her thoughts which are always full of wisdom and compassion. I feel so badly about Hugh's death. I hope Karen feels the love this virtual community truly is embracing her with. Thanks again, Renn. Karen if you're reading, hugs to you. We're here for the long haul.

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    1. I hope Karen feels the warmth of our bloggy love too! Friendship is essential! "We're here for the long haul" — what a great line! Thanks for stopping by, Nancy, and sharing how special Karen is to you too.

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  7. Nicely done, Renn.

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  8. Beautiful Renn. Thank you. Karen connects many of us with her love and endless goodness. I feel very fortunate that she found my blog not that long ago. I'd like to echo Nancy... Karen, we are here for the long haul. Much love to you, and to all...

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    1. hear, hear! Thank YOU, Carolyn!

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  9. I'm so sorry about Karen's husband. It must truly be devastating for her. Thank you for keeping the blogosphere posted.

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    1. Beth, it's truly a community, this BC blogosphere! Thanks for being such a caring part of it!

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Your comments are encouraging — and encouraged!