Some Thoughts on a Friend’s Death

People keep dying. Each time a brother or sister in mets dies I lose a friend, a confidante, a supporter. I lose someone who really, truly, absolutely gets it. Each time, I am confronted with my own prognosis. Each time I am both acutely grateful for the extended time I’ve lived with mets and acutely aware that I’m getting closer to the end of this run.

I am a believer, a religious person. I have confidence in what (Who) is waiting on the other side. But I am also a material person, not a spiritual being. I like being alive, and I want to keep living.

There has been a great deal of suffering in my life. I have known many kinds of pain, loss, humiliation. There have been enormous joys in my life. There is still joy in my life, and there is still pain and all the feelings in between. Feelings are the hallmark of being alive, even (especially?) when they are unpleasant.

Other people are getting sicker. Their disease is progressing, metastasis spreading. Some people have a very grave prognosis; others are floating with me in the limbo of uncertainty. Uncertainty as to time frame; the outcome is known.

My own cancer seems to be stable at the moment. I’m not having scans or exams done, so I don’t know for sure. Using the location and intensity of pain, though, things seem stable. Stable is good.

Doing the things I need to do takes more intention and energy now than it used to and I need more help than ever. On the other hand, I can still live alone, I am on a relatively low dose of narcotics, and I can still work a bit. I need to use a walker, but I can use it to dance, too.

So, yes: I am still fundamentally happy. At the same time, I feel like a rock under a waterfall: slowly but perceptibly over time, I am being worn away. My friends and companions around me are getting sicker and dying. Sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe. Not survivor’s guilt, not exactly, but my continued life with metastatic breast cancer sometimes feels like a heavy weight. The air around me is thick.

When I was first diagnosed, I sometimes wondered “why me? Why did I get sick?” Over a decade later, I sometimes wonder, “why me? Why am I still alive?”

Cindy Graeff died of breast cancer yesterday, the 28th of March 2014. At the suggestion of her family, anyone who would like to honor Cindy is invited to make a donation to Duck Team 6 Street Dog Rescue.

21 Responses

  1. Kathi says:

    Oh, no!!! I’m gutted. I have been off social media for a few days & just reading this now. Oh, Knot, I join you in mourning her. She was a generous, feisty, loving person. We will not forget her. xoxo, Kathi

    • Knot Telling says:

      I’m sorry you found out this way, Kathi. She was a loving person who was loved by many others.

  2. Diane says:


    She was a gift to all of us. Cindy would expect you to keep dancing, even if it is small steps because they all count. Hugs ~D

  3. margiehudson81 says:

    My deepest condolences on the loss of yet another fighter. Big long distance hugs, and a smile at the image of you dancing with your walker. 🙂

  4. I feel much as you do, my friend.

    Cin was such a nice woman. We shared a deep love for our animal friends and taught me a lot about survival.
    She left the world a much better place.

  5. Carolyn says:

    I’m so sorry Knot. It’s just hard, even with the dancing and laughter, it’s just hard. xoxo

  6. Maxine D says:

    Oh Knots – another very sad moment, another grief on top of the others you have experienced – not a nice place at all, and for all your faith, grief is still hard work.
    Prayers and blessings

  7. Christine Shanto says:

    I have found so many friends on this 5 year fight with met BC, and they have taught me so much, and it is the place I come to for support because you all do understand this never ending fight. The hardest place is the loss of online friends from this evil disease and just like you my heart falls each time I read of another’s end after a long battle. It never ends with I am Cured, and in my life time it probably never will. I am also a believer but like you want to live out a full life. One day we will all meet on the other side and share hugs but until then live each day to the fullest and keep dancing. My thoughts are with you.

    • Knot Telling says:

      Hello, Christine. No, it’s not easy at all. I get so much strength from people on line, especially since I’m more or less confined to home now. Many thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.

  8. Jan Hasak says:

    How well you share these deep thoughts. I, too, often wonder why I am still kept alive, while others around me succumb to the disease. It’s nothing I’ve done or merited. My heart goes out to you at the loss of another from our midst. Expressing our thoughts as metastatic patients is crucial to help others understand even at a basic level how we are coping and what we are sensing. Being Stage IV is certainly unique, and not an adventure I would have chosen. My best to you. XOX

    • Knot Telling says:

      It is definitely “not an adventure I would have chosen”! I agree that sharing our lived experience is a very important way of increasing knowledge and awareness of this deadly disease. When I read other mesters’ blogs, I am encouraged by the message of “I will go on” – not some frantic positivity for its own sake, but putting one foot in front in the other for as long as we can.

      Thank you so much for commenting, Jan. I enjoyed your blog very much.

  9. Melissa says:

    Why. I love you. Why not. I love you more. I’m crying. You humble me.

    • Knot Telling says:

      Now you’re making me cry. The better I come to know you, Melissa, the more impressed I am. Hugs.

  10. Beth Gainer says:

    Another one lost. It’s so sadly heartbreaking.

  1. 31 March, 2014

    […] a confidante, a supporter. I lose someone who really, truly, absolutely gets it.” writes Knot Telling on her blog. This week we lost Cindy and Jessica from our online world. We mourn their loss as […]

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