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    Catherine Poole

    I’m glad our spammer gave you an outlet! Yes, I haven’t figured out spam and the purpose of it. I’m so sorry to hear about the catheter and these quality of life issues. It is such a hard strain on all of you know to go through this illness, sometimes harder on the caregiver than the patient. But it is hard. So please write us again and please vent here! We understand.


    Dear MIF Friends (and I do think of you as my friends),

    My dear husband Tom died on Friday evening of this dreadful disease. His life was well-celebrated yesterday and his ashes were buried on an absolutely stunning September day in Minnesota under a spreading Maple tree just beginning to turn.

    I wish I could say that he died peacefully but he did not. The last several days of his life, though, he was with his family and close friends and neighbors. He received emails, snail mails and phone calls from people who told him of the impact he had made on their lives.

    We were prepared for this outcome by those of you on this forum who pretty much made the same journey as we did. We learned what to expect and the experiences you shared on this website made it easier for us to make decisions about treatment options and even to choose the “no more therapy” route to respond to this disease.

    I will stay in touch on this forum although as I type this, I look forward to a vacation from melanoma. For those of you taking care of your spouse, sibling, child or friend, I will keep you in my prayers as yours is a difficult road. Thank you for sharing your feelings, thoughts and experiences. It made our last days much easier.


    Catherine Poole


    Yes, do take a vacation from melanoma! You need to make sure you are taking care of you now. That is what Tom would want for you and to lead a “normal” boring life now. I think we all yearn for that. I’m currently in a health crisis with my 16 month old grandson and it puts everything else in perspective. Do surround yourself with good friends and family and do things that give you pleasure. We’d love to hear from you again as well, but rest easy now.


    Oh Ann, I am so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. This cancer takes over our lives to be sure. I hope in the end we fine some peace. I hope you have peace, it sounds like you do. I hope this journey gives us more understanding of life and love.

    Thank you for sharing. His funeral sounds so very good and healing…there is nothing like a maple in fall. Take a break and gather your strength. God bless and much love…Karen

    Catherine Poole

    Dear Ann and other caregivers,

    Just wondering how all of you were doing? You are in my thoughts each day.


    Yes Anne, please tell us how you’re doing today.

    We’re here to listen.



    Hi All,

    Thanks so much for the shout out! I appreciate the care and concern!

    I am doing okay. The first month I was a busy little socialite meeting friends for lunch and dinner and working through the financial aspects of my “widow” status. I was not very sad though and was starting to think it was time to see a professional as I thought that was not normal. Almost a month to the day, the hole in my chest began forming and now I have had days where I really do feel like sadness is everywhere. But the next day, life is good and I go marching on.

    I was blessed with a positive temperament (I take no credit for it; I think it is in the genes and probably from parents who would not allow prolonged pouting) and it is standing me in good stead these days. Yesterday’s moment was at the dentist when I had to complete the form on what new drugs or diseases I might have incurred and what changes there were in contact information. There was a blank for marital status and made me gasp: what is my marital status? I still feel very married but I am not.

    I am surrounded by a strong support system so I feel very loved. My friends who have lost spouses assure me that this sadness will get much worse. I wish this part was over. But I know I have to experience it.

    I will stay tuned in to this forum. Catherine, I don’t know how you find the inner resources to continue to be so helpful and positive to so many when you know that many people do not win this melanoma battle. And how is your grandbaby doing?????



    Catherine Poole

    Hi Ann,

    You hit the nail on the head, it is much easier to give advice when it is not someone you are intimately attached to. My grandbaby is doing well and we pray for remission for him soon. He is a large dose of prednisone and another drug to knock this auto immune disease out. He is rare to this, his age, 16 months is unusual and we know most kids are a lot older for better or worse. We have the choice of many excellent children’s hospitals who found this disease really early! This disease taught me to research like crazy and then turn it over to a learned friend to decipher since my emotions were too caught up in it.

    But sounds like you are doing well and that is really good news. Resiliance is a wonder trait even if I can’t spell it. We see it more in children but sounds like you have a good dose of it. I know how form filling out can affect one: like birthdates or asking about your parents when they are dead.

    Anyway, so happy we brought you “out” and thank you for wise and caring advice to others.

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