May, 2024
May 2024
Katie Coleman: Sometimes grief and survivor’s guilt hits me when I’m least expecting it
Apr 17, 2024, 13:59

Katie Coleman: Sometimes grief and survivor’s guilt hits me when I’m least expecting it

Katie Coleman, Founder of Chromophobe and Oncocytic Tumor Alliance (COA), shared a post on X/Twitter:

“Sometimes grief and survivor’s guilt hits me when I’m least expecting it. But I find one of the best ways to honor those we’ve lost is by keeping their memories alive through sharing stories of them. If anyone else is missing someone they love, feel free to join me by sharing of them.

I’ll start. Thursday is the birthday of a dear friend who received a cancer diagnosis of his just months after he helped me get to a surgery that changed everything for me. I miss him every day and so much of what I do has been influenced by him.

I have many great memories of him but the one that came to mind when I was thinking of him tonight was in the weeks leading up to my surgery when I had to fly up to Maryland on my own (covid restrictions) to undergo a battery of tests that held my surgery in balance. It was one of the most stressful weeks of my life.

But before I flew home, Bruce wanted to ensure I left with memories other than the cancer center to take with me. His son had passed from a rare kidney cancer a few years earlier and he knew how hard some of those days can be. So when he picked me up in the bright orange Driven To Cure GTR he took me the long way to the airport so we could stop by the National Mall/Washington Monument to get some sightseeing in.

As we parked and walked over, I kept trying to talk but could taste the blood from my bleeding gums (a side effect from treatment I was dealing with) and would quickly look down or away because I was always embarrassed by it, knowing it was usually visible. After watching me struggle with it he paused and told me I didn’t need to talk if I didn’t want to, he could do more than enough for the both of us. He then proceeded to give me the best walking tour of the Monument I could have ever asked for.

When people ask what they can do to support someone with cancer, I often I think about little moments like that. Sometimes, it’s the little things that mean the most. Missing you Bruce- Happy Heavenly Birthday tomorrow.”

Source: Katie Coleman/X

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