There was a lot I thought I knew about Debbie, or at least I thought I knew. Because of how wrapped up in our health issues as long term survivors, we can often forget, that there is more to our lives, beyond our cancer survivorship.
Debbie, a fellow long term survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, passed away a few days ago, complications of the late developing side effects caused by the treatments for her Hodgkin’s.
Debbie and I “met” many years ago, through our Hodgkin’s network. She would communicate with us as a group, or reach out to some of us individually. She dealt with similar issues as the rest of us survivors. Those of us who got to be friends “off list” with her, got to see her “non-cancer” side, how much she enjoyed going to the beach. Or as some of us refer to, how she “lived life after Hodgkin’s.” Of course she loved her family, and being a grandmother.
The comments now appearing on her personal page, which I do not recall seeing as many referring to her past, reflect an impact on so many impressionable mind as an art teacher. There are so many comments being offered for the support and encouragement Debbie gave as an art teacher. Which now made sense to me, anytime that I shared my daughter’s artwork, Debbie’s comments were always so thoughtfully worded, as if being critiqued. All this time, I had never known her, that she had been an art teacher. But all the tributes being paid to her, reflect the many lives she had impacted.
As we get longer into our longevity, with our health issues, it gets harder for us. Sometimes we will not let it show, sometimes it is impossible to hide. I imagine for Debbie, recently, it became harder. Her infectious and youthful smile will be missed by all, as well as the support and encouragement she always gave to others.