I lost a friend today. My partner in healing. I never knew how much it could hurt, to lose someone I’ve never met in person.
Shannon and I crossed paths online in a Facebook group. I posted one day, in hopes of finding someone else with MDS, going the natural healing route, without much belief that I’d find anyone like me. I was wrong. I received a message from Shannon, and honestly, it was one of the happiest days of this journey, and a relief off my heart.
I wasn’t alone!
You see, ever since I was diagnosed and I refused chemotherapy, this journey has been a lonely one. No one knew exactly what I faced on a day to day basis. I was going blindly into a territory most avoid. Most people just follow their doctor’s treatment plan, and most don’t make it out alive, unfortunately. I chose to live. I chose to be pro-active. But that choice left me lonely, on an unknown journey.
Until I found Shannon.
She was my light.
I knew that if I heard of any treatment, tried something myself, or just needed to vent, she was my girl. We compared stories, treatment options, blood counts, the ups and the downs. We encouraged each other every step of the way, knowing we were on the right path, and feeling so disheartened when we heard of another life lost due to MDS.
Well, today, I was going about my regular routine and it dawned on me that I hadn’t talked with Shannon in a few days. I went to her Facebook page, and my heart dropped. This can not be true. I saw a post from her daughter, that her mother had passed away today. Tears. I couldn’t catch my breath. What went wrong.
This can’t be!
How could this happen so sudden. Why Shannon?
She was incredibly positive. A light among the darkness. While I never met her in person, as she lived in IL and me in CA, we still had such a strong bond even hundreds of miles away. She had a beautiful family, and cared so much for her children.
I reached out and got more information from her daughter. Her body stopped making platelets completely and wouldn’t take the transfusions either. Her bleeding killed her. This can’t be.
It wasn’t until I heard more about the situation that it made more sense, and angered me to no belief at the same time.
Shannon’s blood counts were up and down, similar to mine. Lately, I remember her telling me they were low, but she was so positive they’d come back up as they had in the past. Well, through our discussions, I know she wasn’t fond of her oncologist, because he was pretty negative each time about her choice of natural treatment. This time, she listened to him. He talked her into getting on chemo. And now she’s gone.
MDS is a difficult disease, but chemo is what took my friend away from this world. She was such a strong person, and it angers me that the doctors scared her into their treatment, and now she’s gone.
Shannon, I know you were scared. This whole journey is scary. I know now you’re out of pain, and that alone makes me smile, because you deserve to truly live and be happy. This world was too painful for your beautiful soul. We’ve seen too many young lives lost to this disease, and you were my partner in healing.
Now more than ever, I know I will show that we can heal. I have to. For Shannon. For myself. For anyone diagnosed with this disease. I know Shannon is up there, cheering me on just as she did here on earth.
I’ll do this, Shannon. You knew we could do this. I know we can do this.
There is no other option.