Heaven has gained another Angel

I call her my cancer hero. She fought this same shit I am fighting for 6 long ass years. Immediately after she was diagnosed Stage 3 CRC, she married the love of her life right there in her hospital room, they wasted no more time. As her cancer spread to her liver and lungs as she progressed through treatment, her staging moved to Stage 4. But staging is just that, fucking staging and I firmly believe it is used to scare the absolute shit out of everyone because you better believe it fucking does. When you hear higher stages of cancer, 3 and 4, you automatically think “fuck” I don’t have long. That is what you think and that is what society tells you to think. Not Bridget, she was the most positive, strongest person that I know.

Bridget and I met because our boys bowled tournaments together back in Arizona, well wait let me rephrase that, my son bowled, her son tore the lanes apart he is that fucking good. Jakob is the kindest, sweetest, most caring guy, he went on to join the PBA (Professional Bowlers Association, aka Pro Bowlers Tour) where he makes a living doing what he loves. Her and I never talked that much back then, usually it was just when our boys crossed with each other, but she was always very upbeat and positive, she had that smile that would like up a room. She had already been fighting her battle for 4 years when I was diagnosed and like most things when you go public with some ‘big news’ your phone starts going off like crazy with calls and messages of people wanting to help, sending prayers and well wishes etc. I remember I think it was a week or so ago after my initial surgery she reached out to me and said:

I’m here to tell you I know what you are going through and I know what’s coming your way and it is going to fucking suck. I’m giving you honest answers here, you are in for some fucking hell but you will get through it. You just have to take it day by day and you will get through it. If you need to scream or cry or swear or just want to talk, I’m here. I understand because I have been living in this hell for the last 4 years.

I never did really reach out directly to her for a while. My best friend started a GoFundMe for me and I began to use those updates as a sort of diary if you will to put my thoughts and feelings out there so people can read and see my treatment journey but then I decided to start this, anyways back to Bridgette. I remember scrolling Facebook one day a year or so in which puts me just about done with my first 6 months of chemo, and I’m scrolling thinking that I have seen any her post photos of her cats lately or any updates on her Supernatural stuff. Not that I have any idea what Supernatural is but I got used to seeing it and dammit it made her happy so I noticed it. So I remember reaching out to her to check and see how she was doing. If I remember correctly without scrolling through all of the shit on my phone, I had just had a PETSCAN and it came back clear but I want to say she was not given great news. I think it was around this time that she was running out of options for chemo, I think this was her last few options for different drugs to try before her and her team of Doctors came up with another plan. I remember her telling me her CEA tumor marker number was very high and that it was pretty significant in her lungs. She had asked how I was doing and holy shit did I feel very guilty for my results of my scan, here I am young, I had just turned 37, Stage 4 cancer, less than a year and I got a freaking clean scan while she is over here running out of fucking options, how am I supposed to tell her that without feeling guilty. So I think I told her that I had just finished treatment and was awaiting results but that things were moving along better than they expected. She’s not an idiot, she followed my own updates I know she did. I just kept wondering to myself, why does it appear I am winning and she has been fighting this hell for the last 4 years and has not only not improved but in fact is advancing in staging. I wonder this because if you know me, you know the real me, I think of others, never myself. Let me take the burden, let me take the pain of others so they can feel better, so they can be happy.

We would talk off and on over the next year or so, mostly me checking in on her especially when I didn’t see her post photos of her cats I always feared something. I remember when she posted an update that she in fact had run out of treatment options and the only choice left was a clinical trial requiring her to drive to Mayo Clinic down in Arizona from their home in Las Vegas quite often. She was hopeful but I could read through her words that she was getting tired. More and more over this last year I would see what I call rant or vent posts of her getting scared or her being tired and just wanting to feel better. She had started a Facebook group that I was added to of people who deal with Metastatic Cancer and told me to invite anyone I know, a support group of such. Then COVID hit, this hell we all are currently going through and she was unable to travel anymore to Arizona. It just wasn’t safe for her to do, so she stayed home and isolated with her family and her cats. I remember seeing the post either from her son Jakob or Brian had told me that they found a spot in her brain, they were going to do an MRI to determine if it was just one spot or multiple. The first thing I said out loud was “fuck” this is not good. Deep down you know when it goes to the brain it’s not good and I hate to think that way but when you are dealing with cancer, especially shit that has already advanced to other organs, you just have to be real and ready for anything. So then she had made an announcement that she was going to start radiation soon. Unfortunately it just turned for the worse from there. Again I noticed she hadn’t posted in a while but being where the cancer was now, I really did not want to bombard her or her husband with messages so I just waited. She ended up in the ICU and was there for sometime, then we got the news that they were calling in Hospice, she had a few months left. Overnight she was put on life support and sadly passed away the next day.

I did not mean for this to be a play by play of her fight of sorts, again the entire point of my website here is to try and give a patient’s perspective of what living with this shit is like which you will see as I add more to this. Also this is a way for me to get shit off my own chest, I write so much better than I speak, I always have. I try and give a presentation or even speak to a counselor and I ramble on like an idiot (you should have seen some of my presentations in high school and college…it’s a wonder I passed). Bridget is by far the strongest person I know, she never gave up hope, and she lived, boy did she live. I’ve seen a lot of her photos from what I think is com-icon convention, I think that’s what Supernatural is, again I have no clue I’m just guessing here. She’s so happy. She took her hair loss like a fucking champ, always had the biggest smile and never let it get her down, even if it did you wouldn’t have known it . But like any mother she lived for her son Jakob. Again, I didn’t know them that well but I didn’t need to, I can see it. In her photos, in her posts, she loved watching him bowl, doing what he loves. Jakob if you happen to see this, she is so proud of you! We all are but you know NO ONE’s love compares to that of a mother’s, NO ONE. To Jakob, Michael, and her sisters, my prayers and thoughts are with you all always. She was a shinning light, a true hero to me, someone I grew to love and look up to and I will remember her always. Together with my cancer brothers and sisters, we will continue to fight daily for a cure to this hell that takes so many from us.

God saw you getting tired, a cure was not to be, so He put His arms around you and whispered “Come to Me”

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