Hi. Fuck cancer.
On October 13th, a beautiful friend of mine died of early onset ovarian cancer. That blog has not been updated for a very long time, but makes a lovely read. It reminds me of my old blog too, which is now a dead link in her sidebar.
I can’t demonstrate how amazing and brave Laura was any better than linking you to her story in her own voice. I am so, so grateful that I, that we all who loved Laura, have access to this recording of her; I’m also devastated to listen to this story from two years ago and now know the ending. I never wanted to know the ending of Laura’s story. There shouldn’t be a fucking ending. She should still be laughing and smiling and cuddling her amazing husband and her gorgeous cats and eating the amazing food she was partial to. She should be telling people she can’t do XYZ because she’s GOING TO FINLAND! which of course is the best excuse ever to not be available for something.
She shouldn’t be dead. Dead, aged 37. Dead; this beautiful, amazing, funny, vibrant, stylish, loving, did I say amazing yet? woman, who now is a memory and photos and a disembodied voice and other people’s stories. It was Laura’s birthday about a week ago, and we [being a group of amazing women I know online and IRL] cobbled together a compilation of videos of us singing happy birthday to her from around the world. NYC, Sydney, Galway, Paris, Newcastle, SF, Portland, Adelaide,a bunch of other places in the US and Canada and I can’t even think of all the other places. It was funny and loving and we all knew, while singing to her, that the time to say goodbye was also close. When I see my bit I can see my nose, red from crying, and hear the tremble in my voice. But I will always treasure that video, and the total of two photos of have of her and her smiling face. Seriously, that smile. The cheeky twinkle.
The heartbreak of reading over old words of hers where she told us she had the BRCA mutation. The remembered heartbreak of reading her update that, despite the preventative double mastectomy, she now would have to deal with the much scarier ovarian cancer.
The heartbreak now of reading her excited posts – and our joyful responses – when scans came back showing her clear of cancer, and then the later news that it was back. Reading the earlier chapters of this book, and the hope they contained, when I already know what’s on the last fucking page is just devastating. Watching the grief of so many of my friends is horrible, and it’s just unimaginable what her husband is going through right now. I wish I could give him a hug, and tell him (although he already knows) how much Laura was loved and by how many; but even more, I wish I could thank him in person for his love of Laura, and the absolute care and support he gave her.
She was amazing. And fuck cancer.
ETA: also read Madeline’s post about Laura here.