Another member of the old guard chiming in here (I was a caregiver). Bev has been on my mind nonstop since I heard the news from our dear friend Phuong here.
Be forewarned that I've given up hope of having a somewhat coherent or organized post about it. I agree with everything the more eloquent folks have said so far and resonate most strongly with the post on this thread about just not being able to bring myself to comment.
I was visiting Acadia National Park in May 2017 and was planning to see Eric (brownbagger) who was on business in Bangor before continuing south to visit Bev, her husband and their dog and cat where they live near Dartmouth College. I'd visited both Eric and Bev over the last few years and became good friends with each of them, even more connected than we already were from all the forum stuff we shared here. I came to view them as parents in a way too.
For this forum, Bev was truly the den mother. She tried and succeeded in seeing people as they were, where they were and did all she could to give a very warm, comforting and relateable thoughts. Many cured people end up getting back to their lives after coming to the forum and we see less and less of the on the forum as time goes by. Bev chose to stick around and it's so amazing to see so many names I don't recognize whose cancer journeys (or kidnapping as Bev would call it) that have started so recently be as well-taken care as Bev used to do when I was more active here myself. She has done amazing things for her original crew and beyond on here.
My first reaction besides emptiness and devastation upon Bev's news was also some kind of anger at what I saw in some posts here. It's awful to see a thread title containing only someone's name because we've all come to learn what that means. Bev made it a point to make memorial threads about all the contributions the departed had made to the forum and beyond. I recall very well a time when she stepped into a thread to ask if it was really necessary to jump on the question of what was in the now-dead person's pathology report. So many of us in the cancer community have suffered time and time again from 'x-ray vision' (as member surfingon would call it) where someone asks a question and we are horrified at how easy it was to see through it in a way that asker was blind to. I understand the shock of her passing but still couldn't help but have mixed feelings about those wanting to know what the cause was, whether it was cancer, diabetes, something else, etc.
Beyond that, all I can say is I feel lost. Eric died last July and we weren't able to make our get-together happen in Maine last spring. A near miss. As I drove down towards Bev, I knew it wasn't guaranteed she'd feel up to have visitors, even me. Sure enough, she wasn't feeling so great and so I waved at the highway exit on I-91 as I drove back south to NYC. I'm sad and dejected that my last encounters with both of them were "almosts" that just didn't happen. I'm sad for everyone who knew either of them and even sadder for those who knew both. There are just fewer and fewer of us from way back when.
I'm just 31 and, in a significant way, I feel alone after being 'released' from this kidnapping, which feels finalized but not closed with Bev's passing. Cancer was a shipwreck for me at the end of 2009 as a caregiver and for Bev as a patient (Eric too). It felt like we'd met after each of us had separately wrapped a bunch of driftwood together to at least have something to float on through all the medical stuff off the board and high emotions and frequent losses on the board. In some way, we all eventually made it to different points along some shoreline we'd discovered. I may be lucky enough not to have had this disease myself yet but I have to say I feel very alone looking at my little raft and island of recovery without Bev and am wishing everyone here as much comfort as they can find whether you've known her electronically, on the phone or in person. I was hoping to be able to say happy 10-year anniversary to these friends and parent figures I had and it's just not going to happen in the way I was occasionally too afraid to dream of.
This is all major sucknitude BUTT I'm am so happy to have had her in my life. I really just wish she were still here. Eric too.
51 @ dx (I'm her son - call me Steve)
8/12: referred for hospice
7/12: significant progression
11/10: recurrence; XELIRI+Avastin 'forever'
7/10: NED; lingering CIPN
12/09 - removed 19cm sigmoid colon/prox rectum; 5/13 nodes