Facing the Big D

I just read an obituary of someone that I knew years ago. Her name is Jenny Dodge and she just passed away after a long bout with cancer (longer that the 12 years listed in the obituary, closer to 15 I’d say). I knew Jenny as a massage therapist beginning in 2003 when I desperately needed to relieve the stress from work and life. In my two years of going to her I came to know her illness, her long struggles with it and how it effected family and other personal relationships. Upon first meeting her I couldn’t help but to notice the glass eye and marks left by the early surgeries. Soon that superficial stuff passed and I got to know her. She was a sensitive and giving person that believed in healing people. After a time I felt awkward even embarrassed to piss and moan about work or other things while she’s battling cancer of all things.

Through our conversations I learned that she was well aware of her uphill battle with cancer and dying young was a very real possibility. She was honest about her struggles but obviously had no doubt about fighting to the end and trying any methods, proven or experimental, in that fight. She seemed like she didn’t let the cancer define her and lived her life while facing this mostly terminal illness. She completed her degrees and became a Physicians Assistant all during this time. Reading the obit today made me sad but also conjured up questions of how we would face death. I think that no one really knows how they’ll face this situation unless they’re in it. Those that serve in the military, in combat, and others battling a long illness really know. Ironically, just a year before, I watched a good friend’s father pass away from a VERY long bout with cancer (over 20 years). A true iron man, along with his son, Adam that cared for him in the end. I know well the toll these battles take on the family (RIP Porter Smith). From only briefly knowing her I can say that Jenny faced the fire with style, grace and determination. I only hope that we would all do so in the same circumstances. That’s my take.

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One Response to Facing the Big D

  1. Oak says:

    Well said buddy.

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