View Full Version : What a sad turn of events....

01-18-2011, 11:01 PM
Here I sit in a hospice, next to my best friend for the past 10 years. We had a long distance friendship, having met on the internet at a pet care website. She taught me to knit by phone and internet.

When her cancer returned and she started another round of chemo, she asked me to knit her a chemo cap, which I begrudgingly did for her. She's a master knitter, and I consider myself as either an advanced beginner or perhaps intermediate knitter. I was so intimidated by her skills that it was hard to knit that cap for her...and of course, for the reason I was knitting it. But knit it I did. I knit it when we thought she'd lose her hair, not die.

She's dying of cancer at 55 years old and was admitted to hospice 2 weeks ago. Her husband flew me here to MD (from CA) at her request to be with her as her friend, to teach me the things I want to learn before she can't teach anymore, and because I'm a nurse.

My friend is dying, my teacher is dying, and I'm so lost in the anticipatory grief of it tonight that I don't know where to turn.

Her name is Nancy. If those of you who pray could pray for a painless death for her, that will be very much appreciated.

01-18-2011, 11:30 PM
Oh no!! I don't even know what to say. That's so horrible... she's so young... what kind of cancer is it? :cry:

01-18-2011, 11:37 PM
Oh no!! I don't even know what to say. That's so horrible... she's so young... what kind of cancer is it? :cry:
Thank you. She has carcinosarcoma, it started as advanced cervical cancer that spread to her lymph nodes and is now in her colon.

She's in the process of knitting a sweater for her husband, she's asked me to take the project home and finish it for him. I've never knit a sweater before. The body is almost done, and I know how to pick up stitches, but will need help with it. Her husband also asked me to finish it for him. :/

Jan in CA
01-19-2011, 12:23 AM
Oh Feef..I'm so sorry! Your story brought tears to my eyes. My heart goes out to you and her and her family. :hug:

01-19-2011, 12:25 AM
I have said a prayer for your friend, her DH and you. Finish that sweater and let the love be knit throughout the sweater. It will be a beautiful tribute to all of your lives.

01-19-2011, 07:27 AM
Dear Feef, You are doing something very difficult and doing it very well. You have my thoughts and prayers. And of course you'll have all the help that the knitters here can offer in finishing that sweater.
All the best.

01-19-2011, 11:09 AM
Prayers for a peaceful passing and the peace that passes understanding for you and her family. May God's hand be on you all!

01-19-2011, 11:35 AM
You have my sympathy and prayers. I am crying just now because I know what you are feeling. I went through this with my younger sister. I just wanted a peaceful and pain free death for her too. There is just too much cancer in this world. I know you will get some peace by knitting this sweater for her husband. Bless you.:pray:

01-19-2011, 01:39 PM
feef-all good thoughts and prayers to your friend, her family and to you....

Wanda Witch
01-19-2011, 01:51 PM
My thoughts and prayers for strength and courage to each one of you suffering through this tragedy. Your dear friend's friendship will be with you and the memories the two of you shared always.

01-19-2011, 02:13 PM
It is taking alot for me to respond to this thread, as the memories will likely begin to flow..I too lost a dear neighbor, friend, muse and teacher..Our relationship ship began when she was 89 and I was close too 50..She lived across the street (her husband of 88 still lives there) what began as a "question" (please show me how to quilt) turned into my dear neighbor "craming" every craft she knew into the last 4 years of her life..She taught me to quilt, knit, crochet, tating, sew and soo many others..I too sat in hospice with a pair of slippers I knit for her (on a plane on my way back home) slipped on her feet and said my goodbyes...I inherited all her of crafting supplies and think of her everyday...:heart:

01-19-2011, 02:27 PM
I am so incredibly sorry to hear that. I have empathy for both you and her. I am sure she is a very special person to everyone who is in her life, and it is so nice and honorable of you to stay with her as a friend.
I don't pray, but I do "think" positive thoughts to try and send them outward into the world...I guess positive vibes. She will be in my thoughts, and hopes for the best.
Is Maryland a medical marijuana state? I don't want to discuss the politics behind medical marijuana, but regaurdless of whether I am for or against it (which I will not disclose, because I don't want to create a dividing line of opinion between myself and other wonderful KH members), if it is legal, it would really help her situation as far as comfort is concerned. And of all the diseases that qualify for MMJ, cancer is definitely the top disease.

01-19-2011, 02:30 PM
I will think and hope for not only a comfortable and painless death, but also perhaps that she might have a little longer on this earth (as long as it isn't painful). And learn as much as you can from her, perhaps some new knitting tricks, and pass them on to us so that we all might be able to keep a part of her alive in this world.

01-19-2011, 03:45 PM
I am so sorry. Please do your best through this tough time to complete the sweater. It's the last thing her husband will get from her, and to have you complete it too, her true friend, adds even more importance to it. I will be thinking of you all.

01-19-2011, 06:39 PM
I am saying prayers for your friend and you . You are helping to ease her pain of leaving her husband by completing the sweater for her.

01-20-2011, 11:06 AM
Thank you everyone, for your kind words of support, prayers, and positive thoughts.

Her husband insisted that I go through all of her yarn (and there was enough to open a small shop!) to pick out what I wanted to keep and set aside yarn to donate back to her favorite LYS.

I now have a lawn sized bag of yarn...enough to keep me busy for a couple of years, at least! I think I have 20-30 skeins of sock yarn. And her husband wants me to keep her Addi Turbo set in a beautiful leather case that was a gift to her. AND, I am instructed to continue to teach what Nancy taught me and pass it along. They also want me to have her swifter and ball roller.

All of that is so very generous and kind, but I felt rather like a scavenger. Oh, and she's like me. Can't find my needles? Let's just go buy more! HUNDREDS of dpns that I get to sort through and give to the friend I'm trying to teach.

As for the sweater...I'm moving to Long Beach CA and have found a beautiful shop at the Marina, where I can take it for any help I might need. I WILL finish that sweater for him.

Sorry for the babbling, but I'm sitting here with her and she's now progressed to nearly constant delirium. My friend is already gone at this point, we're just waiting for her body to catch up.

As she always said....it is what it is.

/end rant

01-20-2011, 12:05 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. My grandmother died of lung cancer about 9 years ago. She had brain tumors and they made her forget a lot of things and stuff.
She was an awesome knitter and crocheter. Sadly, I didn't really know this until after she passed away.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. I know how hard it is to lose someone to cancer. Good luck on finishing the sweater for her husband. I know that they will both appreciate your work and dedication.

:hug: :heart:

Sunshine's Mom
01-20-2011, 02:34 PM
So sorry, Feef. I just lost my father-in-law to cancer on 1/10/11 and I know your grief. It's wonderful that you are there with her. Your presence gives her great comfort. I've said a little prayer that her suffering ends peacefully and that her husband's and your grief will be eased by knowing she loves you very much.

Peace, Feef. And a hug.


01-20-2011, 09:53 PM
I have said a prayer for your friend, her DH and you. Finish that sweater and let the love be knit throughout the sweater. It will be a beautiful tribute to all of your lives.

I agree with this. Not only will her husband have a sweater knit by her but it'll be finished by a good friend of hers who took the time to be with her in the hospital during some of her last hours, if not the rest of them. He'll not only remember her but remember how her spirits were lifted by you just for being there. Also, I'm sure she loved the chemo cap, no matter how plain or how many mistakes you had in it. People who have been knitting a long time get more touched by getting something from someone who has a tougher time at it... in a way, it's more special because it might not be this gorgeous thing but it's by someone who cared enough to take the time to make it and give it. I'm not sure how much you know her husband but if I were in your shoes, I'd offer to listen and be there- even if it's only email, snail-mail, IM or cell phone... you know, when he needed to cry or get some hard feelings out. I'm sure her death will touch him pretty deeply, as it is touching you. Also, listening and talking to him about how you feel can help you get through the sad time as well. I really do hope she has a painless death and I know with cancer, sometimes, that's all you can do. My mom's mother died when she and her siblings were still in... hmm... I think middle school... early teens or just before. Their dad died before their mom. Her mother died of cancer but she wasn't in the hospital in her last days... she was fighting hard to make sure her kids would continue to have a good life... working when she should have been resting.

01-21-2011, 07:50 AM
Oh Feef first of all let me send you a big hug:hug: . I have thought long and hard about what I'd like to say to you and now I can't seem to find any of the right words. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. How wonderful that you and Nancy found each other and have been able to share an incredible friendship. I lost my baby sister, (who was also my very best friend), to a terminal illness 5 years ago. By baby sister I mean that she was 56 and I'm 5 years older. I live in TX and she was in MN. Her last days were spent living with her daughter. Hospice was amazing! At our beck and call day and night. I was able to fly to MN and spend the last month of her life by her side. (Just as you've been able to be with your friend.) It's extremely difficult watching someone you love so much die, but you'll never regret being there. I believe hospice has a saying that goes something like: Dying is a process. Death is the "event". I sort of compared my sister's "process" to something like standing outside of this large house at night. You see all the windows lit up and you know there's so much activity going on inside. As the days and weeks went by and my sister slipped closer to her final day on this earth, it was as though every night there was one less light lit inside this home until only one small candle burned in a window. Then that finally flickered out....You will keep Nancy's love for knitting alive and I know that sweater for her husband will get finished He'll cherish it forever. Always remember how much Nancy has enriched your life. God bless her. God bless you.

01-21-2011, 09:09 AM
I am so sorry you are losing your friend and mentor. It's hard, but rewarding, to be with someone at the end. Hugs being sent over the miles to help get you through and prayers for your friend to have a painless time of it.

01-21-2011, 10:12 AM
You both sound like remarkable women. I really can't find any words to say other than I am so sorry, and I will be praying for all of you.

01-21-2011, 10:25 AM
You are a wonderful friend. Stay strong through this darkness, and don't let it eclipse the light that is still left in Nancy's sunset. If it's okay with you and your friends, it'd be nice to see a finished picture of the sweater when it's completed. You'll do a great job on it.

01-21-2011, 12:32 PM
Feef, You are in my thoughts. I was with my Dad for his last week fighting lung/throat cancer. This was 6 years ago and I feel it strongly every time I hear someone else has to endure the same thing. It's terrible and my heart aches for you. You are lucky to have received teachings from her. It is something no one can ever take from you and you will never lose it. She will pass knowing she has a loving, caring friend in you.

01-29-2011, 05:03 PM
"GOD" Bless you all and may you SOAR through the pain, physical, mental and spiritual. To be a part of someone passing is as special as being there for a birth. "GOD" in very involved in both.

"GOD's" Blessings

01-29-2011, 09:09 PM
"GOD" Bless you all and may you SOAR through the pain, physical, mental and spiritual. To be a part of someone passing is as special as being there for a birth. "GOD" in very involved in both.

"GOD's" Blessings

I know God is here, I just wish He'd take her...it's so painful to watch her wither away like this. We've been here 26 days now and she still hasn't died. I don't know what she's waiting for, nor do I understand why God isn't swooping down and taking her. We're all ragged at this point, and as awful as this may sound, we NEED her to go.

I even did a little dance the other day like a high school football cheerleader thing: "GO NANCY, GO NANCY, GO NANCY"

I :heart: her

02-05-2011, 02:04 PM
My best, very most favoritest friend died Sunday night at 9:27pm. Her husband, daughter, and I were all at her bedside as she took her last breath.

No funeral is planned. Rather, she wanted a celebration of her life to be held at their favorite Chinese restaurant, so that's what we're doing. Nancy adored tie dye and asked that all of us wear tye die shirts. One of her co-workers ordered rubber bracelets through the American Cancer Society that are tie dye and embossed with "In Memory of Nancy Adams -- Uterine Carcinosarcoma." Additionally, we found tie dye roses that will be on the tables at the restaurant.

She was a big Queen fan, and she was a big big woman, so she wants her favorite song "Fat Bottomed Girls" played along with a couple of other Queen favorites. After she died, her husband, daughter and I all added songs that we want, so it'll range from Queen to Jimmy Buffet, Bette Midler, Norman Greenbaum, and a couple of others.

Then I fly home to CA on Wednesday and that's when we'll all return to our regular lives and have to find a way to live without her.

I counted how many skeins of sock yarn I'm shipping home: 40! Along with many other yarns that are scrumptious and yummy. I hope I can honor her by making beautiful socks.

Included in that box is the unfinished sweater she started for Matt, and I will finish it for him. I'll post a picture of it when I'm finished.

Thank you all for your support and kind thoughts and words through this. Sometimes, the internet is the best place for me to express my feelings. A soft breeze at this point makes me cry, so I'm avoiding it like the plague.

Jan in CA
02-05-2011, 02:55 PM
I'm sorry. You're a good friend. :hug:

02-05-2011, 11:40 PM
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, teacher, fellow knitter. I hope you find some comfort and peace in the fact that you knew her, loved her, and could carry a little yarn from her stash home.

The celebration of her life sounds like a wonderful tribute. I hope there was laughter as well as tears. I know I am crying reading about her life and your grief.

Hugs and prayers to you.

02-06-2011, 05:13 PM
I am so very sorry for your loss. :hug:

02-07-2011, 03:14 PM
God Bless!
I think you are very brave and a wonderful friend for anyone to have.
Knit the sweater... her hubby will be very pleased and so will she and it will do her honor.