A few personal words about our Judy’s passing…
To say I was shocked by Judy’s passing would be a gross understatement. Yet, I guess, I knew it was coming. I just thought she had a few more months. Judy was special to me. She was my first… the first person with Inflammatory Breast Cancer I’d ever encountered.
I remember well how it felt to find posts from IBC survivors that were years old with no updates available. I thought to myself how wonderful it was that they’d survived X number of years… but where were they now? Alive? Dead? It turned the potentially hopeful, inspiring stories into landmines of doubt and fear. At that time, I vowed to be an active, living voice of an IBC survivor on the internet. Enter Judy.
I found Judy’s blog after I’d returned to work from my own cancer treatment. She had just been diagnosed. She was already metastatic. I made a concerted effort to comment on her blog. Hoisting myself as a flag of hope at the finish line of treatment: cancer-freedom. Of course, that was naive of me. I had little understanding of metastatic disease back then. But still, I made sure I was that living, breathing voice of survival from such a deadly disease. Through Just Enjoy Him I found other Inflammatory Breast Cancer patients, notably, Susan (WhyMommy). Seems we all had the same supportive idea.
Judy was the beginning of my advocacy. She was my window into the dark side of breast cancer. She was my first reality check… the first time I realized that attitude and strength of will were not the impenetrable armor against cancer that the media would have me believe.
Following Judy has not always been pretty. She struggled with anger and fear that I never truly experienced. But inevitably, her faith in God lifted her up again. She lived a roller coaster ride of plunging health and spirits followed by glorious soaring heights. That is life. That was Judy. That is metastatic cancer.
I will miss her voice. I will miss here spirit. I will miss her face smiling back at me from my monitor. I will miss her planking. Heh. I will miss Judy. But I’ll see her again someday. What a glorious day that will be.