Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV My Beautiful Mother, SweetVanilla aka Kathy

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    So many of you were fighting right along with my mom over the past 4 years. Sadly she passed away on Monday. She had such a hard battle with the Beast. I just wanted to let you know how much she (and her daughters) learned from this website. She fought so hard, but we couldn’t save you mom. At least she isn’t sick anymore. I will picture her in a place where she can finally sit in the sunshine without SPF50. Where she can once again walk and talk and sing karoake. It’s not goodbye…it’s until we meet again mom…

    Here is her obituary if you care to read…



    I guess I sholdn’t feel guilty that we couldn’t fix her. She had one of the best Melanoma Specialiast in the world (Dr. Lawrence/Mass General – works with Dr. Flaherty), 7 Ipi infusions, WBR, Proton therapies, 10 months of Zelboraf and none of that could save her either. It did however give us an extra 10 months with her (they initially weren’t even going to treat her and told her she only had a few months it was so bad).


    My condolences on the loss of your beautiful mother. No matter where she was on her on her own journey, she took the time to respond to others–she was one of the first people to reach out to me on this forum, always with such positivity and warmth. You responded to her so often, with such encouragement–you can have not regrets.


    I’m very sorry to hear this, and it’s also very scary because if I read correctly this initially was Stage 1b, and SNB was clear. A person in that situation certainly would feel like it will probably be ok. This disease is just so unpredictable and awful.

    Catherine Poole

    Yes, medicine isn’t perfect is it and we certainly feel a loss for Kathy. She was so incredibly giving to everyone on this forum and inspired many despite her own setbacks. Sounds like she has a lovely daughter too, who will carry on as she did. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family.


    I’m so sorry you had to join this terrible club too. She put up a fantastic fight and you were a gold standard for support. I know Lake Sunapee well, where she’s now in no pain, has no cancer and is enjoying eternal warmth in the Son.



    I am so sad to hear this news. She really fought hard. Its so hard to lose a parent. Give yourself time to grieve and then you will move on to the good memories. I ‘ll always remember something my mother said when my father passed away. After the last relative left about a week after the funeral I was prepared to spend the day with my mom thinking she would need me. She said she needed to be alone to cry and grieve by herself in a way she couldn’t when there were people around. So give yourself time to do this.

    My thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

    Mary Sue


    Very wise advice Mary Sue.



    I am so sorry for your loss. I remember SweetVanilla as a kind person who was very helpful and supportive of others here on MIF. She will be missed.

    Shirley Z

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. You mom was a special person. I remember when she first joined the forums. She said she was trying to think of a name to post under and happened to be in her kitchen so she came up with Sweet Vanilla. She later told me her name was Kathy.

    Her beautiful smile in her picture fits the kind and loving person she was. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    I have been away from the forums for awhile and seeing this news was so sad.

    I’m sure you have many wonderful memories of your mom that you will always cherish. She will always be with you in your heart.

    Thinking of you and your family during this very difficult time. You were a wonderful support system to her and I’m sure it brings you some comfort to know that she is now in a beautiful place without suffering.


    Shirley Z


    As Shirley said, I also remember when Kathy first Joined this forum, as I joined about the same time. I enjoyed chatting with her here. I’m sure she was as great off the forum as she was when she was on.

    She can karaoke all she wants now!

    My condolences to everyone in your family, may she rest in peace free of the beast.



    It was so sad to read that yet another member of this group had to leave- I’m so sorry you lost your Mum. Don’t ever blame yourself however- we can only try our best and hope, there are unfortunately things that are beyond human reach. You must be very proud of your Mum- despite everything she was going through, she always managed to be upbeat and positive and supportive towards others. It takes a lot of inner strength to do that!

    I hope you’re surrounded by family and friends right now who can support you.



    I’ve posted a memorial on the main page under Kathy Dill. My heart aches for the loss of my Mom but it also feels like it could beat right out of my chest knowing how many peoples lives she touched. I wish you all the best in your journey through life with this disease. I wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy.

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