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Old 01-18-2011, 11:01 PM   #1
Feef
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What a sad turn of events....
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.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:30 PM   #2
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Oh no!! I don't even know what to say. That's so horrible... she's so young... what kind of cancer is it?
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CoolWool View Post
Oh no!! I don't even know what to say. That's so horrible... she's so young... what kind of cancer is it?
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. :/
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:23 AM   #4
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Oh Feef..I'm so sorry! Your story brought tears to my eyes. My heart goes out to you and her and her family.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:25 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by luvmykid28 View Post
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.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:50 AM   #7
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Oh Feef first of all let me send you a big 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.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:27 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:09 AM   #9
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Prayers for a peaceful passing and the peace that passes understanding for you and her family. May God's hand be on you all!
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:35 AM   #10
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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.
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