KINDNESS noun: the quality of being warm-hearted and considerate and humane and sympathetic
You know that moment when God asks you to do something right now? Well for tonight’s post, I’m doing just that; and because this is something I know Ryan would gladly get behind. I’m going to ask y’all a huge favor; to read the following email message sent to me and her friends by a dear friend, Marge (a cancer survivor), requesting we send a birthday card to her friend Carol. I don’t know Carol personally, but by sending her a card, I believe she’ll be blessed by it, just as I am blessed by those of you who read this post and send me messages, even though we haven’t met in person. Please consider sending Carol a card. I guarantee you’ll feel good knowing you did something kind for another…
EMAIL SENT BY MY FRIEND MARGE:
Dear Friends of Marge, (FOM)
I know I have asked many favors of you all throughout the years. And this is a really BIG one!! I hope you will all take a moment to help brighten Carol’s day for me!
You know how I love to send cards as well as receive them! To me they contain a “smile to brighten someone’s day!” Now I have a friend who needs her days brightened! I’m going to share the FB post from Leslie about her sister Carol and then ask you all to send, please send, please, please send a 60th Birthday card to Carol for me! Any birthday card will do really! Just send one by July 17th so she gets it by her birthday July 21st. That gives you a week.
Carol is the sister of a dear BC Sistah friend of mine. Leslie and I spent endless days in the hospital with another friend of ours a few years ago, who did not have family nearby. We did not want her to be alone in her final days. The bond that developed was a deep one between us all of us ladies. I now want to reach out and help Leslie, help her sister during her journey’s end.
Here is the Facebook post shared by Leslie:
Here goes a really long post.
In April, my sister Carol who lives in Austin, TX, found a lump in one breast. In May, she had a bilateral mastectomy. The healing went well enough, but overall she was struggling with headaches, insomnia, difficulty breathing and general lethargy, all of which she kept trying to attribute to underlying health issues. Saturday, June 18, was a particularly rough day. When we spoke on the phone that night, she finally conceded to let a relative take her to the emergency room.
The next morning, our brother in Austin called to say that some doctor had done a CT scan in the middle of the night and declared that it appeared Carol had a tumor in her lung and the cancer had spread to her liver. We swore to each other that this doctor was inexperienced, inept or both. By that afternoon, an internist, radiologist and pulmonologist had all reviewed the results and concurred with the first doctor.
On Thursday, the biopsy results confirmed the diagnosis: Small Cell Lung Cancer metastasized into the liver, unrelated to the breast cancer. Prognosis: inoperable; with chemo, Carol has 12-18 months left. She had her first chemo treatment on Friday, June 24. As I write this, one week after Carol’s midnight trip to the emergency room, she’s now on oxygen, morphine, additional opioids and so many other drugs she can’t remember them all. Whoever pours the waste from her bedside potty into a toilet must use a lid to avoid splashing a drop of urine with these toxic drugs onto their own skin. A parade of people marches through her hospital room on a daily basis, helping her fathom what this means and get her affairs in order.
On July 21, 2016, Carol will turn 60. Two years ago, I, a non-smoker, celebrated my 60th birthday backpacking 430 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago. Women on both sides of our family tend to live into their 90s. If I could give a year or 2 or 20 of my life to Carol, I’d do it in an instant.
This type of cancer is almost always caused by smoking; a habit Carol began at 17. Several years ago, she was diagnosed with early emphysema, another illness due to smoking. Knowing that our mother, uncle and their cousin all smoked and all died from emphysema relatively young, she tried to quit plenty of times. I’m proud of her for going cold turkey the night before her mastectomy and not smoking a cigarette since.
If you want to do something for Carol during her last months, here’s what she asks:
“For those who practice it, please add me to your prayer list. I don’t ask for healing, I ask for God to give me the courage, humbleness and continued sense of humor to get through this with as much gratitude and graciousness as he will allow, provide me with the insight to share this experience and the lessons it will provide with others.”
So, from me: yes, keep Carol and all of us in your prayers, and share this post on social media, via email, read it out loud to someone. If it motivates somebody to stop smoking or not start, it will give more meaning to the life of a funny, stubborn-as-hell sister who, for over 6 decades, was a great sport at taking all sorts of crap from the first roommate life and her parents assigned her.
I have added Carol’s address below:
1509 Villanova Dr.
Austin, TX 78757
For those us you think how hard this will be. It won’t be. It’ll make Carol’s day. How exciting it’ll be for her to receive so many card from people who she doesn’t even know. Send a message, sign your name and then add FOM so she knows it was a friend of Marge’s who sent the card to her.
Thank you from the heart of my bottom (bottom of my heart) …..some humor for Carol!!