I don’t like Apple. It was inbred into me from childhood and my techie brother who insisted on everything P.C. I think I would be disowned if I bought an Apple product. I don’t own an iPod, an iPhone or a Mac. I am the P.C. gal.
However, I did pause for a moment when I heard of Steve Jobs passing. Pancreatic cancer is a beast and it is even more unfair to its patients than Angiosarcoma. I read a tweet tonight in which someone mentioned that it doesn’t matter who you are or the wealth you possess, none of it can buy you survival from Pancreatic Cancer. Steve Jobs was proof of that.
As with anything, when someone passes from cancer, I recall the people in my life with cancer. Immediately I thought of Merle. I spoke of Merle here after I first met him and his wife at Hopkins and then here as I thought of him last November during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Merle and his wife were staying at Hopkins’ family housing awaiting surgery for his Pancreatic Cancer while I was staying there with my in-laws awaiting Kevin’s official post-op diagnosis. I remember sitting with his wife on the couch in the living area talking about our concerns, our family, our new journeys. She knit me a scarf, and stayed warm in my heart. Hopkins is a HUGE hospital, but one day I was walking down a hallway, and there was Merle, in a wheelchair, doing great post-op with a strong smile. He had spirit, just like my Kev.
Tonight I went to Merle’s facebook page to check-in. Apparently I hadn’t done this in a while. Merle has always been a pretty damned optimistic guy. I can say that everytime I read his blog, I wasn’t really worried about the outcome. He’d beat this. I thought the same about Kev though too, so you can see my inklings are not always right. Well, he didn’t. July he passed from his battle with Pancreatic Cancer. I cried.
As I do everytime, I immediately went to anger at the cancer. Of course. There’s a reason there’s the phrase, FUCK YOU CANCER, it’s because it really is a bastard. So now another widow is in the world, and more fatherless children. And I’m angry about that.
As always, we can do what we can do, and that’s to raise some money. So please visit Merle’s blog that his wife continues to maintain and make a donation for Purple Stride on behalf of Merle, and on behalf of Mr. Jobs.
The anger and my pain can only keep me going for so long, but what really keeps me going is knowing that we have to work together to be done with this already. It may not happen in my lifetime, but I have to believe that it is going to happen.
Merle, you pushed on with a spirit that made me think you could survive anything. I’m sorry you’re not here now, but your wife and I are going to keep working to keep that type of spirit alive until the day that cancer patients CAN survive anything.