Friday, February 14, 2014

Cancer Kills -

I lost another friend this week to cancer. Damn, I hate this stuff. There's more to curing cancer, eradicating cancer than wearing pink, running in a 5k, and buying pink-covered cupcakes, sending up a pink helium balloon. Please, please, my prayer to the gods and goddesses who surround us all - take this shit away rather than take away the lives of those who are burdened with it.

From the community - 
Sherri West passed away on Wednesday of Stage 4 Metastatic Cancer. Sherri was trained on the Helpline in July 2013. She participated in one of the first in person trainings of national volunteers.

Sherri’s husband shared “that she was pleased to be part of the organization in her own small way”. I shared with her husband that Sherri had a great impact on the Helpline in her short time of serving as a volunteer. As well, serving on the Helpline is by no means small. All of you know this first hand. She helped and supported so many who called the Helpline. Sherri was also excited to be one of our pilot group volunteers for the community outreach program.

My words to the LBBC community - 

Very sad to hear this news. Sherri was my roommate while in Philadelphia. We had a wonderful time together, including exploring the mosaic house in downtown Philadelphia, riding the bus, on top, in the heavy rainstorm, and hunting out a sushi house late one evening in the rain. She talked with me about practicing mindfulness, living in the moment, and seizing the goodness that comes my way. She encouraged me to continue with my teaching and chaplaining. We corresponded once we both got back home; she gave me perfect places to visit while my husband and I visited the northern CA and southern OR coasts in August. She was so sad when her cancer took a turn for the worst. She knew her days were numbered, and she was determined to live those days to the fullest, which included spending time with her husband and family (she's been on medical leave from her job since about August) and serving the LBBC community.

I am saddened; Sherri was a beautiful woman. It will be awhile before I can remove her name from my phone.

I can't add, "may you find peace," because I believe that Sherri had found peace, and was practicing that peace right here, right where she was. I will miss our conversations.

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