Friday, August 31, 2012

An Instant Connection

It’s incredible where life takes us and who we get to meet along the way. I can’t recollect when exactly I had the pleasure of meeting Beth King. I do remember the location and that moment of instant connection. We were at a cellect support group. I attended the monthly meetings and she was a new face in the crowd. I felt her eyes on me as the meeting was in progress. I kept wondering why I was the one person she was drawn to. Maybe because I was young like her? Maybe I knew her from somewhere and just couldn’t recall? She eventually mouthed to me “Lisa” in a questionable tone. I was confused…thinking how does she know my name? Then she explained that she was at the support group that day because she read my blog post. She recognized me from pictures posted on my blog. That was it from the moment on we had this connection, one that will never die.

We exchanged information and soon after spoke on the phone, sharing our personal battles with cancer. Beth, who looked like she was in her early thirties, was a forty something mother to three beautiful children. I remember being shocked. She looked amazing despite her battle with inflammatory breast cancer. I learned that Beth loved to dance and had a successful dance studio and hot Pilates studio. She became an inspiration from that day on. She invited me to her studio for a class and I regret so much for not taking that opportunity.

The cancer world becomes this interwoven web where us patients all begin knowing the same people and treatment providers. Beth and I were going to many of the same doctors and healers and had the pleasure of crossing each other’s paths often. Its not easy to explain but these appointments are draining and emotionally painful, however when you have the pleasure of seeing that beautiful smile of Beth’s and her husband, Keith’s incredible dedication to his wife and children, even if it was a quick “hello, goodbye, stay strong” moment it made everything better. We would chit chat during our vitamin c drips and share treatment options with each other. The Paracelsus klinik is a place I find very comforting and feel very much connected to. So when Beth returned from Switzerland and we shared all our stories about Dr Rau and the rest of the staff and our mutual connections overseas, it was comforting. She looked so much better. Her coloring was more vibrant, her extremely inflamed arm went down considerably, and that smile was still shining on. That was even more comforting.

Last week, when I did my every now and then “thinking of you, just checking in” text to Beth, Keith responded that I need to gather up the troops to pray as Beth had fluid in her heart and was fighting for her life. I prayed and prayed but I honestly thought that she would be fine and that she was not going anywhere. Several hours later, I received a text from Beth’s phone written by Keith saying “ She passed away today Lisa. She loved u kid!” I felt so angry and distraught that this amazing woman who fought so damn hard to be here for her husband and children was now an angel looking over us. I truly knew in my heart that she was going to make it, I never thought differently. I guess I was in some serious denial. I cant really pinpoint how I feel but part of me feels like I let her down. Like I didn’t steer her in the right direction. I know I shouldn’t think like that but I do. For those battling similar battles, like myself, it is so very emotional when those who were fighting beside us pass. It’s just a vivid a real reminder of just how unpredictable this journey is.

Why is it that the really good people who have so much love radiating off of them and so much to offer to the world, have to be taking at such a young age?

Earlier this week I had my first vitamin infusion since Beth passed. I dreaded the moment of walking in to that place all week, knowing that it was going to be terribly painful and heart wrenching. I even contemplated going elsewhere to get a vitamin drip. And just as expected, it was so hard to be there without that beautiful smiling face. I cried and cried and just recollected all the moments, both fun and serious, that I had with Beth. The other patients asked where “my friend” was since they haven’t seen her for a couple of weeks. I had to share the heart breaking news with the other cancer fighters in the room. They too were so distraught. We all cried together. So here we are, in a little part of Beth’s world, her weekly infusion place, and that feeling of loss was soooo prevalent. So just imagine in here bigger world…… her family, friends, her studio, her everyday life…..just how much she made an impact and will be missed.

I didn’t know her extended family or her children well, however I did have the pleasure of experiencing the loving and glowing energy when I visited her home and attended her fundraising event. You could just feel the warmth and love that Beth had for her family and vice versa. Sometimes I just don’t get why things happen in life but I do know that Beth will forever be an angel watching over her amazing and dedicated husband and she will always be there to comfort and shine her love on her three children and steer them in the right direction.

Tomorrow is her memorial service and celebration. Everyone was asked to wear white. Something about that is so comforting. Perfect color for celebrating a beautiful soul that will forever touch my life.

miss and love you Beth....