Friday, October 10, 2008

For Colleen

I met Colleen when my now 5-year old son was a baby. We met on a web forum for those trying to get pregnant. There were quite a few of us on that forum who often found ourselves posting in the same threads, with similar ideas on politics, mothering, life. As we disovered our kinship and became friends, we chose to form our own little forum where we could connect on a day-to-day basis with each other separate from the rest of the pregnancy forum.

In this group, we have shared much. Pregnancies, births, losses, deaths of loved ones, day-to-day vents, promotions, birthdays, anniversaries, the full gamut of what you share with friends. A great many of have met in person. We have such ready contact with each other that I “talk” with them more frequently than I talk with most family members or friends. I consider each one of these women dear friends. Although I never met Colleen in person, I always had a good idea of what she must be ike in person. Her wit and spunky personality always shown through. As did her love for her husband and children and wanting to ensure they would always be taken care of.

And now, I am facing the prospect of losing Colleen. In August she was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare form of liver cancer. She had surgery, but it was found in her lymph nodes. Just last week, she learned the cancer had spread into her abdomen and beyond. The cancer is very aggressive and it pains me, more than I can bear to think about, that Colleen may not have much longer. She has a 5 year old daughter and 2 year old son.

A fundraiser is being held for her and her family on October 28th-November 4th at Tiny Lady Cooperative. There will be a wide variety of knitted goods, yarns, fibers, and other items. Your support would be very appreciated.



Please feel free to "steal" the button for your own blog.

Here is a little more description of what is prompting this event, from the Facebook group "Tiny Lady Cooperative Fundraiser":

As many of you know, our friend Colleen was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare form of liver cancer, back in August.

You can read more about Colleen's story on her blog at www.spiffyknits.blogspot.com.

Colleen underwent surgery to remove 60% of her liver. At the same time, they removed some of Colleen's lymph nodes. Then, Colleen went on to begin regrowing her liver with optimism and grace. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, bad news. On a follow up visit, it was found that there were cancer cells in her lymph nodes. They planned to begin chemotherapy October 3rd. Before chemotherapy could begin, Colleen had a couple more visits to the hospital because of various complications. Last week, the news was more grim. A CT scan indicated that the cancer has spread throughout her body. Chemo is no longer an option she is willing to consider. Mainly because it would take away from her family too much of the time she has left. Plus, the doctors have said that there is a strong possibility that it could even accelerate her deterioration. She wants to approach the time she has left with the strength, grace and dignity that defines her personality.

It has broken all of our hearts to realize that Colleen is most likely not going to be with us much longer. She has taken a "don't ask, don't tell" approach to how long she has, so that she can enjoy everyday to it's fullest. Plus, honestly, the doctors wouldn't be able to give a good estimate for how long she has. Either way, it is not long -- it is just too aggressive of a cancer.

Colleen has touched many of our lives with her intelligence, wit, humor, generosity, talent, and amazing outlook on life. The ladies here at Tiny Lady Cooperative have had the fortune of being business partners with her, and many others have enjoyed her fibers and yarns. Friends from real life, as well as online, have rallied together to show Colleen how much we love, support and admire her.

Please join us October 28th-November 4th as we host an event to raise funds for Colleen and her family. All funds raised will be placed into a college fund for her children.

Thank you in advance for your generosity in supporting this event.

2 comments:

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Many prayers for Colleen and those who love her.

Linda said...

This is just so, so sad. I'm not a praying person, but I'm sending love and good thoughts to Colleen and her family (and to you too, this must be so hard)