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Not Again…

I feel sad today. I feel sad and also angry. This is not the post I wanted to write today. Cancer is always so good at disrupting plans.

Every morning one of the first things I do is check for comments on my blog. I really can’t wait to see what people have said. Then I check other people’s blogs to find out “what’s going on.” Sadly, yesterday there was news about Daria, a fellow breast cancer blogger, who had passed away from metastatic breast cancer.

This kind of news always affects me more than I anticipate. After hearing about Daria, once again I felt tremendous sadness. I know firsthand what it’s like to watch someone you love pass away due to liver failure resulting from metastatic breast cancer. I witnessed the suffering of my mother for weeks as she waited to die from such a thing. I will never forget during one of those last days when her doctor compassionately knelt by her bedside in order to better hear my mother’s weak voice ask, “What’s taking me so long to die anyway?” It was a heartbreaking thing to witness.

Hearing this news yesterday conjured up those painful memories once again and also made me wonder how many more times I will have to hear this kind of news.

That’s the part that makes me angry. Just how many more women (and men) have to suffer and die from this disease?

I didn’t know Daria. I visited her blog, Living With Cancer, once a week or so since starting my own last fall. I have no idea if she ever read mine, she never left a comment. Despite the fact I never met Daria, I still know a few things about her. I know she was very honest. She shared her experience with cancer openly, choosing not to gloss over the “not so pretty” details. She was compassionate and kind. She loved her family, of course, especially her husband Don. She loved flowers and photography. She had many friends. One thing that really stands out is the fact she loved blogging, not just blogging herself, but reading and promoting blogs by others as well.  You can tell this by looking at her extensive blog roll. She embraced everyone’s and willingly kept adding more to her growing list. You didn’t even have to ask her to do it. That alone speaks volumes about her.

In some respects Daria was lucky. She had a voice. She used it. What about all the other women (and men) who suffer quietly and alone through their cancer journeys? What about the ones we don’t hear or read about. What about them? Their stories are no less important or compelling. Their stories need to be heard as well.

Perhaps that’s one of our main roles as bloggers, to be a voice. We need to be a voice for not only ourselves and Daria, but for all those affected by cancer, any kind of cancer. So let’s all keep on writing, ranting, informing, sharing, motivating and yes, even complaining. Let’s use whatever voice we have to make a difference.

That’s what Daria did. And look what a difference one woman from Canada made. Thank you Daria.

How will you use your voice? (and you don’t have to have cancer or blog to respond!)

45 thoughts to “Not Again…”

  1. I too am affected more by Daria’s death than I expected. That surprises me. Maybe it’s because we lost one of our own (a blogger and someone with cancer). Stupid disease.

  2. I couldn’t agree more, Nancy. I’ve been sad ever since hearing about Daria. I too only knew her online. She found my blog and reached out to “friend” me on Facebook. Through her blogroll and online friendship, I discovered the world of cancer blogging and have found other survivors that blog and use their voices. I don’t know if my blog does anything but provide a space for me to report, rant and reflect. But I’m going to continue, as I hope you do.

  3. Lovely post Nancy, and one that I’m sure Daria would have appreciated. You don’t have to tell me twice to keep ranting about this awful disease. How many more do we have to lose????

  4. Hi Nancy,

    I, too, have been moved by Daria’s passing. F*%# cancer. You are right: there are so many worthy people out there who cannot share their voices.

    That’s why people like us must.

    The one thing I never figured was how many people I would know who would die from this disease. A few years ago, I lost a young friend of mine, and the grief has been enormous.

    All you can do is keep blogging and let the world hear your voice, because you have made a difference in people’s lives.

    All we can do is go on with life and savor each moment — and remember those who valiantly lost their battles with cancer.

    1. Beth, Unfortunately, everyone knows too many people touched by cancer. I’m sorry about your friend and how hard losing her (or him) has been for you. It’s kind of you to say my blog makes a difference and your advice, well, it’s perfect.

  5. {{{{{HUGS}}}}}} to you and all affected by this loss. It is one of the unfortunate side effects of building a community with others in the cancer community. When I learn of a fellow cancer patient who has passed, it always knocks the wind out of me. I grieve but try to spend some time during the day reading about positive outcomes.

    1. Danell, I’m so glad you took time to comment about this. This is one of the unfortunate side effects of belonging to such a community, but it’s well worth it for all we gain as well.

  6. Hi Nancy, beautifully said. I was also very sad to hear about Daria. It just doesn’t matter that we don’t personally know each other. Simply by being diagnosed we’ve become the same and I think that’s why there’s so much compassion in this community. We understand cancer like no other. Too bad for us, but at least we’re not alone.

  7. Nancy,
    What a beautiful post and insight: yes, she had a voice and she used it. Let’s all collectively use our talents, our voices, our passion, to do the same.

    Today came (yet another) announcement..but this felt different, and still in research phases. The researchers and consultants I know say that many great things are in development right now. Like you, I’m sad they weren’t here soon enough for Daria.

    Warm wishes to you,

    1. Jody, Thanks for your comments and yes, let’s keep making noise. It sounds like you know some good news that is perculating. I hope great things are in development because it’s about time!

  8. Nancy, I too was so sad to hear of Daria’s death. I visited her blog on occasion and was inspired by her honesty. I so appreciate that you have given her life a continued voice here on your blog. We have to keep telling our stories and also the stories of the people who can’t tell their own any more.
    Daria’s death also coincided with recent discussions between myself and some other BC survivors on Twitter about Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer. It made the reality of life with cancer really hit home for me.
    Thank you for keeping Daria’s voice alive. Debbie

    1. Debbie, Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, as many stories as possible need to be told. It sounds like that was quite the discussion you guys had, wish I could have been in on it!

  9. Nancy,
    This was a lovely tribute. I didn’t know Daria but you made me wish I had. And this type of news is a kick to the gut to everyone in the pink ribbon tribe whether we knew her or not. This has got to stop and I hope soon.

  10. Nancy,
    The comfort of bloggersville is that we can share our grief with each other…as those who don’t blog, really can’t understand the friendships and support that we experience by connecting and sharing. Daria’s death hurt. She will be missed.
    Thank you for encouraging us to be a “voice”.

    1. Kim, Keep your voice going loud and strong, Kim. I agree with what you said, it is a special kinship, but anyone is welcome to join in, that’s what is so great.

    1. Marie, You are right, Marie, the suddenness of it all is what was indeed so shocking. It stirs up those feelings of being vulnerable in all of us. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  11. Nancy, yet again, you have brought the truth home to rest. It is painful!
    I lived through my own Mother’s battle with endometrial cancer and ascites fluid build up. Unfortunately Mum lost her battle just a month before Jeremy’s death. My own cancer recurred shortly after. It never ceases to amaze me that I am still here.
    Thank you for enabling us to share in the celebration of Daria’s life and to mourn her passing.

    Through blogging, we have a voice and, of course, we are surrounded by loving, caring friends. Thank you so much. Chez xo

    1. Chez, Well, we are all certainly glad you’re still here! You’ve gone through a lot and I hope you keep sharing the wisdom you have gained from it all.

    1. Lindsay, How nice of you to visit Daria’s blog. It is indeed very sad, but at the same time amazing to see all those people leaving caring comments. She made a difference.

  12. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer Daria was the first person I met online that helped me combat the side effects of his treatments. She was always willing to offer support and suggestions. Even after he passed I continued to read her blog. I was deeply saddened by the news of her passing as were many it seems.

    1. Sandy, Thank you for reading and taking time to comment. I’m sorry for your loss. Other people have mentioned Daria was the first they “met” online. Hope you are doing alright on your own journey.

  13. Like you, Sandy, Daria was one of the first people I met too.

    Nancy, I do believe that we have an obligation to continue to speak out for those who have died and for the next generation(s).


  14. Ooh Nancy!
    I’ve been out of the loop the last few weeks and haven’t kept up with my favorite sites. Coping with James’ death has been all I can handle, but hearing about Daria makes me profoundly sad, as if I can be any sadder. She played an important role for many of us, and I’m heart broken for her family.

    Every minute, cancer takes so many of our friends and family. It is such an evil, wicked disease that I sometimes think it must have been caused by Satan. If so, he must delight in our pain, but I know God also delights in those of us who draw strength from him.

    Be well, my friend.

    1. Brenda, Don’t feel bad about being out of the loop as you say, you have more than enough to deal with yourself. Everyone knows how much you care. I hope you are gaining new strength each day to carry on and find your way again.

  15. Nancy,

    I was deeply saddened too when I read Don’s post about Daria. I sat and cried on my bed for a good hour just thinking about how her family must be feeling in that moment. Strange how some things effect me more than others.

    To answer your wonderful question of the day- I plan to use my (blog) voice to comfort others who may be going or have gone through a similar situation. The blog ‘Diary of a Dying Mom’ really helped me through some difficult times and answered some questions that I had had floating around in my mind for a few years, and I hope that I can provide that for families that find themselves in my shoes.

    I also want to use my ‘real life’ voice (haha) as a journalist to uncover untold stories. Everyone has a story to tell, and I love more than anything being the person to help them share it. I plan to really dive into that more once my recent film is completed. I’ve been getting so caught up in my current job, that I don’t even really care for, that I’ve lost sight of my passion. Going to film my documentary in Belize reminded me that that is what I want to be doing, and that is what I’m meant to do, so it’s all about pursuing that and using my voice and talent to make a difference.

    1. Sami, Yes, hearing about the losses of others stirs up those painful memories of our own. It is great you are going to use your blog voice to comfort others going through similar situations. I know it will be a great help. And as for your real voice, I think you are on the right track. You most definitely should follow your passion, using your talents to tell stories, your own and those of others. I can’t wait to hear them!

  16. Dear Nancy,
    Thank you so much for sharing about Daria. What a dear! I wish I could have known her.

    I joined a lymphedema online support group when I couldn’t find an in-person one. We got very close, sharing how we coped with the very isolating emotions swirling around this condition. Over the course of our three years together, two of our beloved members died. I remember how upset I felt, just as devastated as when two people in my in-person breast cancer support group died. We all knew each other’s hearts so well, even though we had never met in person.

    Just know that you are not alone in your grieving for Daria and so many others out there who are not so expressive.

    Prayerfully, Jan

    1. Jan, I’m sorry for your losses. We just need to remember the joy these relationships bring, despite the “risks.” Thanks for your understanding comments.

  17. Cancer has given me a wound with a very thin little scab on it; it doesn’t take much to rub it off and bring all the pain back. That’s how I felt when I learned of Daria’s passing. And, there’s a whole bunch of fear mixed in their with the pain. I think that will just be our reality.

    Know that you are not alone on this journey! We’ve got a bunch of sisters and brothers – we just need to look around and reach out to each other.

    Thanks for your insightful words, as always.

  18. Nancy, I am so glad that I found your blog through the comment you left on mine. I am so sad about the news of Daria…a cure for this awful disease must be found….in the meantime we will “Keep Fighting Like a Girl” and supporting each other. Almost every woman on my Mom’s side of the family has had breast cancer, even two cousins who were diagnosed in their 20’s….

    1. Debbie, Thank you for taking time to find my blog and comment. Yes, Daria’s death was another sad reminder… But, yes, we will “Keep Fighting Like a Girl!” The genetic link is pretty frightening isn’t it? I’m looking forward to learning more about you. Hope to see you back!

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