Her words tore through my heart as the tears rolled down my face. Her words filtering through the reaper that is knocking on her door. Her words spoke of the final days she feels herself resting into.
She is my friend, not my best friend, not even a close friend, but a friend that carries love so strong that she touches women across the world, and she shared some with me.
I am usually numb to the inevitability of death. I don’t get caught up in grief, especially for those that aren’t in my direct trajectory. But this isn’t grief I’m feeling. As I read her words, I couldn’t help but feel the pain she is feeling. She talked about more than just the pain of her cancer, but the pain she has gone through trying to rid herself of the disease. The time it took away from her as she became obsessed with living only to realize that she missed so much over the past years trying to be a warrior while claiming she is not one. She feels defeated and angry in her pain instead of accepting that she has done so much for so many. She has lost the moment because she worried too much about losing the future.
This tore me up, and I will be thinking about it for a while. I contacted her immediately and tried to send some of that love right back to her. What does one say to someone that just posted what may be their final words? How do you console? You don’t; you can’t. You just say what you feel and hope that she accepts, and it doesn’t hurt her further.
Carol has spent the past years fighting ovarian cancer. Not just fighting for herself, but through her Ella Cris Foundation, she has created a community for women to have a place to fight as well and vent and share. She floods her site with info and raises money and passes it out to women who are struggling with the side effects of the disease to include paying bills. She has debated with doctors and been a Cat-5 hurricane on the island that is ovarian cancer—stirring up as much info as she can find on this understudied disease.
She has done so much, and if you have ever had the chance to spend time with her, you know how infectious her passion and love are. She is a suburban mom cloaked in white privilege, big red hair, never without her makeup. However, she has used every ounce of her privilege to help others, most she doesn’t know but she personally reaches out to these thousands of women to let them know she cares and she loves them. She has used her powerful love force to build a community around women fighting the same fight. She has taken her struggle and shared it vividly so others can find someone to relate to, showing them that they have choices and options and to not just take one person’s word for it because there is more damn it.
Unfortunately, none of those options have worked for her. And here we are watching a goddess loathe her very existence because she can’t find the answers to something she’s been answering for others for years. She has lost hope in the pain the treatments have caused. The extra time she has created for herself through the pain of treatment has been spent, well, in treatment.
I met Carol through an MC of all things. We had a Motorcycle run for her foundation. We clicked instantly and hugged and laughed as she spoke passionately about her mission to save the Vagina. Our worlds couldn’t have been further apart as Vagina was so taboo to her while pussies and fucks flew out my jaws, flooding my vocabulary. But as she says, “Vagina isn’t a dirty word,” mine were, and full of ego. She would remind me that I was better than those vulgar words and the false image I was presenting to the world at the time we met.
Anyway, as I reflect, I realize something profound, so powerful that it may just change my view forever and is something I can instill in Rubi. As I teach her not to get caught up in grief of any kind, I will also teach her not to get caught up in the future. You deserve more than pain and grief.
It is incredible what we do for an ounce of love. The pain and turmoil we choose to go through to move onto the chance of seeing our kid smile one more time or hear our grandkids sing in the shower. Maybe it’s even listening to our husband grumble about the motor in their car. These are the times when the song you always hated hearing him play sounds fantastic, and you want to dance with him to it, but you can’t because your bones are brittle, and you can’t catch your air.
So I leave you with what I said to her as I realize how many things I too take for granted.
Life doesn’t suck; the misconception that we live forever does.
This misconception causes us to miss out on so much because we instead swim in pain so as to live another day rather than enjoy the time we have right now, this moment.
Or just maybe, it is those moments that are so powerful they force us to push through the pounds of pain, so we can gain just one more hug, or kiss, or just one more ounce of love. Either way, it goes, I love you, lady! And I am better because I got to feel your love. Which although brief, was albeit powerful
Well it’s been some time since I made a post. So much has been going on. I have been struggling to breathe for about a year now and no real answers as to why other then low hemoglobin. I do mean dangerously low. In the last three weeks, I have had three blood transfusions. Hemoglobin doesn’t seem to be holding. I’ve grown tired and the cancer has also grown. Still in the same area but larger. It has pretty much been determined that there are no tools left in the toolbox as I’m really not strong enough to withstand more toxic treatment nor do I want any. I made the decision to come home from the hospital and let the chips fall where they may. It was recommended that I reach out to hospice but I have not taken that step. I’m not ready to lay down and die just yet. Who knows maybe I’m still secretly counting on divine intervention. Truth be told and always keeping it real, I’m scared, I’m sad and yes I’m angry. Medical science has failed women. I was offered drugs from 1983 with toxicity through the roof that did not work then and aren’t working now. Maybe I hurt myself, I was obsessed with learning everything I could about this disease. I know too much. I talk to women and listen and in many cases I know they have it wrong but who am I to tell them. Just a women with ovarian cancer that decided to eat, sleep and drink the information about it. I have no degree hanging on the wall so I listen and remind myself we all do cancer our own way and that’s ok. Back in 2013 when I was diagnoised my surgeon said we all have an expiration date. Well we certainly do. I have learned that no one should have to come face to face with their mortality. It’s daunting, it’s consuming and it’s mean. I’m not a “warrior” yes, I did what needed to be done and I didn’t ask to be fighting a “battle” with cancer as I was never given any ammunition to fight back with. So many things I want to talk about but its time to let others spread the awareness, I did my best through this page and our foundation. I was and still am passionate about below the belt cancers and talking openly about the vagina . Remember we have been saying for seven years “Vagina Is Not A Dirty Word” it’s a body part.