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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"What I have..." 'Shirili Green' (www.adn.com/whatihave)

Shirili, Mia and Derrick Green

Please note that  that Shirili passed away on June 17,2013.

What a beautiful soul and spirit. She will be sorely missed.

From Shirli's  Facebook page on June 17,2013, her husband posted the following: https://www.facebook.com/shirili.green?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

"This message is from Derrick. I would like to thank all who have supported us and been amazing friends during this extremely difficult last few years. Shir lost her battle with cancer today but I am happy that she no longer has to suffer, either from cancer or the treatments. I appreciate all the love and well wishes. Mia and I look forward to you all being a part of our lives for years to come."


Happy Thanksgiving everyone, I hope everyone realizes all they have to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving day. Enclosed is an essay that ran in the Anchorage Daily News this past week. The essay is written by Shirli Green who is currently living with stage 4 terminal cancer.  Many of my good friends from Alaska where I lived for twenty years are friends with Shirili and her family, my friend Shani Green brought this heartfelt story to my attention and I really felt driven to share this with as many people as possible. I am also glad to say that this week Shirili accepted  my friend invitation on Facebook! Many Thanks to Shirili Green, The Anchorage Daily News and Marc Lester for sharing...

Thank you to Anchorage Daily News and Marc Lester the photographer who documented Shirili's moving essay with his moving photos as well...
http://community.adn.com/node/158745 (Please watch this slide show) I am not allowed to publish the pictures but am allowed to link you to this, it's powerful,www.adn.com/whatihave

 Shirili, daughter Mia and friends rally for  a cure for cancer...


 In 2007, Shirili Green was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was just 33 years old. After years of treatment, including a double mastectomy, she discovered the cancer had returned in 2011. It  spread to her liver and bones. The cancer, stage IV, is terminal. Shiri writes about the experience of living with the knowledge that she's dying...  May G-d Bless Shrili and her family... Shiri also narrates the enclosed video documentary of her situation; http://community.adn.com/node/158745

It's been nearly eight months since my breast cancer made its return. Eight months ago, I was -- or so I thought -- a healthy survivor. Life was somewhat normal, occasionally interrupted by routine checkups and doctor visits. Though I was aware of the chances of recurrence, I was miserably unprepared for its vigorous come back. Just as my body and psyche were recovering from my first bout with this invasive disease, the cancer was silently spreading over my bones and nesting in my liver. It's a very elusive enemy, I've come to find out.
Four years earlier, I fought cancer for the first time. At 33, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). My breasts were removed and I went through an aggressive chemotherapy treatment to eradicate an unequivocally aggressive cancer. The invasion of cancer derailed my life, together with the lives of my family and friends. It sent a shock through my physical self, but it didn't stop there. It took everyone for a ride. Our lives would never be the same.
My daughter, Mia, who was just shy of her fourth birthday at the time, learned about cancer and its implications at that very tender age. Of course, at the time, we had one plan and one plan only: to fight and to win. My dear daughter inevitably became an integral part of the effort to rid mommy's body of cancer, and though we did all we could to protect her and provide a stable, normal routine, the cancer was fighting back, and it was insisting on making its vicious appearance. It took several forms, but most were expressed through the ugly side effects of chemotherapy.
In addition to frequent vomiting, there was the endless nausea and fatigue. Soon after I started chemotherapy, my hair fell out. My young daughter who used to play with my long, thick hair now had to get used to mom's bald, shiny skull. Derrick, my husband, who loved my hair, had to watch the woman he loves lose the physical attributes of her femininity. My father's face was filled with agony. My mother and sister put on a brave front for my sake. My friends kept saying I looked great, and though they clearly lied, it was a fib I was happy to hear.
In the next few months, my parents and sister cared for Mia as Derrick and I focused on treating and healing. For a while, the cancer made us think we had won, but we hadn't.
Nearly four years later, the cancer viciously came back. The diagnosis was shocking. Cancer on every bone from pelvis to skull. Cancer in the liver and cancer in the eye. Stage IV. Terminal. Just when I thought I had my life back, the heavenly jurors changed the verdict. Recovery is no longer an option. It's the death penalty this time around. I started to spin, but then I decided to fight.
I was outraged. This can't be! I've done everything I could! It wasn't supposed to come back. But it did, and I had to start living the rest of my life. I had no idea how to do so. How do I move on? How do I find the strength to wake up? But the next day, I woke up. And from there, life took control. I started chemotherapy for the second time, only this time, there wasn't as much hope. There was my indescribably strong will to live, but living seemed less likely and dying inevitable.
About a month after diagnosis, things took a devastating turn. My lungs and the sac around my heart were filling with fluid. It seemed like the end, but it wasn't. After cardiac surgery and a procedure to remove the fluid from my lungs, I began to see some light, and the chemotherapy began to work. Systematically, my body started responding to the chemotherapy, and hope began to rise. Then, four months later, another devastating blow. The cancer found its way to my brain. It spread so fast through my cranium that in four months, I went from no brain metastasis to having too many lesions to count. My brain was literally infested. Once again, we thought it was the end, but, thank God, and thanks to Whole Brain Radiation, it wasn't.
Life must be lived regardless of the cards we are dealt. I never thought I would have to deal with dying in my 30s, but I do. Every morning that I get to wake up, I have to remind myself that it may be my last day. And I want to live each day to its fullest -- I really do! But just as always, life dictates the pace. I've been dealt a death sentence, but for now, the show must go on! Yes, I am fighting cancer, and yes, I will eventually die. For now, however, I get to take my darling daughter to school almost every day. I get to sleep in the arms of my loving husband at night. I get to spend more time with my aging parents, and celebrate life with all those who are dear to me. Can I ask for more? I think so, but I must also be satisfied and fulfilled. The only alternative is to be miserable, and I refuse to go there. I'm determined to enjoy the rest of my life.
I'm still here, and I get to write, and read, and see the leaves turn. I get to change my tires to snow tires. I can go out to lunch and joke with friends (who continue to graciously compliment my appearance). I get to correspond with my daughter's teachers, and sign permission slips for days of fun. I get to see my dogs run in the yard, enjoying the golden falling leaves.
I get to snuggle with my daughter as I put her in bed at night, and sing with her and listen to her sing. I get to play board games with her, and watch her growing up. One day at the time. One day and another and another . . . I get to choose clothes at the store with her, and do homework every night.
I also get to be upset at times, and I even get to be disappointed and sad.
Most importantly, I get to be alive!
For now, I get to live my life.
~ Shirili Green
All photos courtesy of Shirili Green...

Afterthought, If everyone can say a prayer or some special thoughts for Shirili, doesn't matter what religion you are or are not, miracles do at times happen! 

FYI, back in 1980 I served as a photo lab tech for the Anchorage daily news,  as well as a  weekend photographer. 

G-d Bless and Happy Thanksgiving, James "Kimo" Rosen, Publisher-Dakinetalk

This essay recently ran in the Anchorage daily news; http://community.adn.com/?q=adn%2Fnode%2F158736

Shir also has her own blog at; http://www.thejoysofcancer.blogspot.com/ http://community.adn.com/node/158745



The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this blog site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Publisher of Dakinetalk the blog, but they could? ;D)

53 comments:

James "Kimo" Rosen said...

I believe Shirili's story should be read by as many people as possible, share this, forward it and be thankful for what you have, Shirili is an inspiration to all...

Debbie Eayrs said...

via facebook;"Very very touching..."

Douglas Dunn said...

via facebook;"A reminder of how much we have to be thankful for, and why every moment of life must be celebrated, and why we must seek to ensure that all of our fellow human brothers and sisters have the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of a rich and rewarding life, however long or short their gift is allowed to be."

Judith Whitehead said...

via facebook;"What a moving story that reminds us all that we must not worry about the little things that take time away from each day that is a gift...my prayers go out to her and her family."

Davis "3-D" Danizier said...

via facebook;" Wow! Goosebumps!
Savor the precious gift of living and be the blessing that magnifies that gift to as many in our lives as we can reach!"

James "kimo" Rosen said...

Dave, In Hawaii they call goosebumps, "Chicken skin" Shirili hopes to raise awareness, specifically among young women, so spread her story...

Harmony said...

via facebook;Couldn't ask for a better one for Thanksgiving."

Shani Green said...

via facebook;""Thank you Jim - I think it's very special that her words be heard by as many people as possible - we have so much to learn from her and so much to be thankful for .
Happy thanksgiving !!!!!"

Shirili Green said...

via email;"Thanks for posting it. I hope to raise awareness, specifically among young women, and I appreciate your help in supporting my goal."

Shabbat Shalom from the very cold north!

Shir

Shirili Green

James "Kimo" Rosen said...

Read Shirili's Thanksgiving Day blog;
http://thejoysofcancer.blogspot.com/2011/11/happy-thanksgiving.html

Linda Gross said...

via facebook;" Boy -that really puts things in perspective! My thougths and prayers go out to Shirili and her family and may she keep that wonderful attitude and keep on fighting!!"

Cherly Eayrs Olstad said...

via facebbok;"Have a Happy Thanksgiving Jim!"

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KimoRosen said...

I am sad to post this news that Shirili passed away on June 17,2013.

What a beautiful soul and spirit. She will be sorely missed.

From Shirli's facebook page on June 17,2013, her husband posted the following: https://www.facebook.com/shirili.green?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

"This message is from Derrick. I would like to thank all who have supported us and been amazing friends during this extremely difficult last few years. Shir lost her battle with cancer today but I am happy that she no longer has to suffer, either from cancer or the treatments. I appreciate all the love and well wishes. Mia and I look forward to you all being a part of our lives for years to come."