Social Media tends to bond people with similarities. Similar interests, hobbies, music and even illnesses.
Cancer is one of one of those illnesses that bonds people rather quickly. Especially terminal Cancer. We are a group of people that bond over treatments, side effects, helpful hints, advice, support groups and stories of when diagnosis happened.
Deb Mumma is one of those extraordinary women I was lucky to have met thru Social Media because of our common diagnosis. Right down to the same pathology. We became fast friends and talked quite frequently thanks to our mutual friend – insomnia. There were many 3am conversations when Deb was recuperating from back surgery. If you’ve ever spent time in the hospital you know how difficult it can be to sleep for any length of time.
Deb loved her family. She spoke of her parents and how after as many decades they had been married they were still just as close as in younger days. Her husband, Ron passed after a long illness. It was very clear how much Deb missed him. The way she spoke of their marriage made me a little jealous.
The pride and joy, that always brought a smile into Deb’s voice were her Children and Grandchildren – 12 little ones in all! And of course her pups, Sully and Kiki.
At Christmas we talked about our kids. Deb worked furiously on two identical doll houses for her Granddaughters. And then there was the trip to Disney World in March. Deb was so excited to tell her Grand kids and witness the expected ‘freak out’. It was very important to her to make lasting memories as her health began to decline. Although she would never admit it or want to talk about it.
The first weekend in April, Deb helped me with a speech I gave in Buffalo (See previous post dated April 7). She knew how nervous I was and offered to read it and give me the honest criticism I needed. Then on Saturday night we Skyped so she could be my audience and I could practice giving my speech to her. Deb was selfless like that. Even though she had been feeling sicker from chemo and her liver failing she still made time to video chat.
Many of us with Metastatic Breast Cancer are active in some way with advocacy. Deb was no different. Her advocacy was on a local level. It was important for her to raise money for those receiving care at Cumberland Valley Breast Care in PA. Deb even designed a beautiful necklace with the help of a jewelry designer with part of the proceeds going to CVBC and to Breast Cancer Research. “Ribbon of Hope & Tears”. This is one ribbon I can endorse. It doesn’t have to have a pink gem. There are 10 gem options and 3 metal options for the ribbon.
In the time I’ve gotten to know Deb, we had meaningful conversations and we were there for one another whenever we needed each other without question and regardless of the time of day or night. Deb knew I never muted my phone and that I am a very lite sleeper so the ‘ding’ of my messenger would never go unanswered if she needed to talk. I’m going to miss that. A lot.
“A dragonfly to remind me even though we are apart, Your spirit is always with me forever in my heart”…..Until we meet again Deb. I love you.