Lulu and Jill

A break from #EpicCaldwellVacay for a moment (which HAS been epic so far, more on that later) to remind ourselves that cancer never takes a vacation. 

While in New York, I learned that my dear friend from Twitter, @LuluChange, had died from metastatic breast cancer. I first met Lulu on Twitter, but we also met in person twice: once at the Living Beyond Breast Cancer conference in April 2015, and once in Seattle in summer 2015. There are a lot of tough broads in the world of MBC, but Lulu was one of the toughest, maybe because she was so determined not to let cancer define her life. She was a professor at a college in Colorado, and she taught right up through spring semester this year because her career was important to her, as were her adult children. When I think of Lulu, I’ll always remember her as deeply committed to changing the world of MBC, and refusing to let people paint a rosy picture of breast cancer. Twitter seems an emptier world without her.

And just today, I learned that my dear friend Jill Cohen, a fellow Hear My Voice graduate and Seattleite, has entered hospice. Jill’s blog, Dancing with Cancer, was the first blog I found when I was diagnosed with MBC, and it gave me so much hope. She lived with MBC for 14 years–in fact, last summer she threw a bat mitzvah for her mets, because come on, that’s funny–and she had the most amazing attitude about her disease. She told me that not long after she was diagnosed, she had a dream that there was a party at her house and the guests were being too loud and keeping her awake. So she told them they could stay, but only if they’d keep it down. And that’s how she viewed her cancer: it could stay, but only if it kept quiet. Unfortunately, her cancer isn’t quiet anymore, so it looks like the party that has been Jill’s life is coming to an end. I’m going to miss her at our local support group meetings, and I’ll always remember her and her husband sitting on our deck enjoying some Seattle sunshine during our last visit together.

All the rest of you metsters: please, no more bad news while I’m away. Just hang on a couple more weeks, OK? And know that I wish I could hug all of you as our community suffers these loses. 

4 thoughts on “Lulu and Jill

  1. I love you, Beth and think about you and your family all the time So sorry.
    I remember when I was in High School probably my Jr. year, I sat next to this beautiful red-headed girl (and she was in the Popular Group and talked to me) named Sally. She missed a week of school and the English Teacher told us that Sally’s little sister died of leukemia; so when she came back to school I told her how sorry I was (probably ’68). She thanked me and said, “You know, it’s been very hard but they are making tremendous strides in finding a cure. We know that they are very close–it gives us hope. It’s miraculous what they have invented.

  2. Fuck fucking cancer. Such miserable shit. The idea of a bat mitzvah for mets is really funny. Thank you for that. I hope your vacation is the most epic of all epic vacay! ((((((<3)))))

  3. Beth thank you for sharing those stories. I literally just wrote something similar yesterday about how cancer doesn’t rest so we can’t either. I’m back in the hospital and had to cancel a family vaca but knowing you are on yours and having such a great time makes me feel better about it! And…I’m getting outta here tonight so we’ll make a new, local vaca plan!
    Rebecca Timlin-scalera recently posted…One Month Left Til The Cancer Beat!My Profile

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