A difficult story to tell....   |   Tuesday, November 15, 2011






We at the Oldham Project hear stories every day from families struggling with catastrophic health challenges, but this one still brings me to tears...
Kate (55), and her husband have been together a long time. "I'm losing my right arm." So long that he was the one to give her a 16th birthday party and next he'll be holding her as she is welcomed into Heaven to party for eternity.
Diagnosed a second time with metastatic breast cancer, she's now on her 5th experimental chemotherapy for triple negative, metastatic breast cancer.
Her positive attitude, despite the obvious, keep her, her husband and 3 grown children going. Her candid conversation is open and frank... talking about making quality time with her kids and grandkids, making memories and leaving a legacy, and some day's thinking about not buying new shoes...'because I don't know if I'll get to wear them. Some people with cancer talk about counting years or months.... I'm counting days." Doctors gave her '6 months' back in March of 2011, but here she is, Bold and Beautiful as ever!
Talking with her children, she said, "Tell me the memories that you think we'll miss." Her youngest daughter, who is 21 will miss having her Mom at her wedding and enjoying all the planning....so Kate, with her daughter, made an event of going out and choosing a wedding dress, securing a venue and even buying the accessories and jewelry for her big day.... even though she doesn't even have a fiance! Kate, thinking of her daughter, wanted to make this memory happen for her.
She's making memories with her grandkids... buying things that she'll want them to have to remember her or have later in their lives. They took a last family vacation this past spring... all of them together at Hilton Head, making memories in an overgrown cottage on the beach.
She's intent on remaining positive, making a gratitude list and having a gratitude party... counting all the blessings she DOES have. An artist, she's painted about her cancer journey and a letter to her cancer 'sisters' , which she brought to be photographed with... "hope is there."
"My kids will be fine without me....they know I'll be fine. When I was diagnosed, I told the cancer it could have that day and the day I die, but none of the day's inbetween." And she's living every day like it's the inbetween!

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5 Comments :

Blogger Trina said...

OK, I'm crying. Beautiful story, beautiful woman.

November 15, 2011 at 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These women,and this woman in particular,give me hope. They are amazing in the face of adversity and Kate sounds like someone I would like to know. Her family is very lucky to have her and I will pray that she gets more time. Her hope and gratefulness is catching and I would love to emulate her in my every day life. Kate, keep fighting the good fight and I hope to meet you some day. Either on this side or the other side.
Peace to you always,
jennifer chenault

November 15, 2011 at 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is such a beautiful person. I couldn't be more blessed to have such a phenomenal Aunt.

November 15, 2011 at 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So profoundly impressed by your attitude and approach, Kate, but not at all surprised to find you as a woman of such exceptional substance. Your Father was a professional acquaintence, and your husband a dear friend and colleague. . .he spoke of you, and your then young family so often, and with such pride and devotion. And now, these many years later, its so easy to see why.
My prayers are with you and your beautiful family. I wish you joy, and continued strength on your daily journey. And I thank you for setting an example of a life well lived, and a battle being fought with dignity, courage, and resolve.
Heartfelt admiration in your Memento Mori, Kate.
Cynthia Bruno Schweitzer, Dallas TX
December 29, 2011

December 29, 2011 at 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am beyond blessed to have Kate as a friend and mentor. She is a model of courage and strength, and she is the light of any room she is in. I hope and pray that I can one day be as amazing a person as she.

February 23, 2012 at 2:42 AM  

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