Wednesday, June 26, 2013

so sorry for our loss.

As many of you have figured out by now, our beautiful Michelle passed away last Sunday June 23rd at 7:07 AM. it was her favorite type of day, hot, sunny and humid, the first such day of summer which was her favorite season, hence the name "beach girl"

From following her posts you are all aware of the strength, humor, and stubbornness she faced down this disease with, until the very end she was fighting and never wanted to give up, because as she told me last week, i love you to much to quit. so she bravely took on another round of chemo which was 4 days in a row, each day 11 hours. Sadly, her brain swelling became to much, and she suffered several seizures and never recovered from them. In between the seizures she told me she loved me, I whispered in her ear that it was okay to let go, that she had fought to long and endured to much suffering for one person. I told her I loved her and that we would all be fine. At this point she began to breathe more easily, and passed the following morning.

I was going through her things from the hospital, and i found a slip of paper of notes she was jotting down, she told me about this "Invention" she had for gag gift scented candles that actually had awful smells. on the note the was the following:


1. onions or scallions and Garlic
2. Rotten eggs (already done in a stink bomb but may be a good seller)
3. Fish-clam (ask Boo) that was her nickname for our dog bandit who loves clams
4. smell of gas
5. Garlic (again)
6. Blue bathroom sanitizer on planes
7. Nail polish remover
8. Hamster cage.

She wrote this out two nights before she passed, once again humor was the fiber that ran through her entire odyssey. if any of you care to bring this dynamic invention to market, be sure to name it after her.

We all loved her very much, please keep her as an inspiration to all who are suffering through this awful disease. The main purpose of her blog was to help others in this struggle with information on clinics we went to, treatments that were effective and how to keep a positive attitude while suffering through this ordeal.

After being diagnosed with Sarcoma in 2007, she endured 23 surgeries, 120 radiation treatments,  3 cycles of chemo, an assortment of clinical trials and holistic treatments. we tried it all, but in the end it just wasn't in the cards. Through it all, her friends, family, loved ones and blog followers is what kept her going, and for that I thank you. your comments and support made it easier for us to find the strength to get through this.

She jotted down the following quote in her diary "in three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on" Robert Frost.

that exemplifies her spirit, and we should remember that as we recover from this terrible blow we suffered. she was a dynamic spirit, who cast a bright light, so we all have a very large void in our lives. But she would not want us to remember her with sadness, but instead only focus the thousands of hysterical and loving moments she brought to each of us.

thank you again for your support, her adoring, and loving husband Paul.


Rebecca Cardasis said...

"We shall find peace. We shall hear angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds."
-- Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

You were in my dream last night, signing autographs on an 8x10 picture of yourself! I'm missing you more than I can say in words. The pain of losing you is immeasurable, you were a light in my life. You will forever be in my heart my dear, sweet, and oh so loving friend. I will see you in my dreams!

Love you Paul!


Anonymous said...

The morning Robert told me (Georges birthday) I collapsed on the ground sobbing and felt like I would never be normal again. That day George & I were scheduled to leave on a Youth church trip to Colorado. I was asked if I still wanted to go and I thought about it and said yes because it's what she would want. That day was painful and a blue but the next morning I felt a peace when I woke up that surprised me. I think God gave me that peace while I slept because she is finally healed, with Him. I'm still sad and things trigger my sadness but greater than that is the feeling if how blessed I am to have had her be such a huge part of who I am. I loved her so much and am so glad she had you with her. You are amazing Paul and nothing less would have been suffice for someone as special as her. :) I am in Colorado still and every time I have to do something new and scary I'm able to face it because I know she would peer pressure me too...LOL We had so much fun facing life's challenges together, always with humor and silliness. There are so many things that make me think if her; jellybeans, wizard of oz, dirty dancing, liberace, pink, shells, owls, Davy Jones!, too many to count. I pray we all find peace and comfort in those huge memories she created for everyone she met. :) I love you Paul.

Anonymous said...

Paul, our heartfelt sympathy is with you. I remember the day Michelle sat down next to me in the waiting room at Mass. General. I knew right away what a special person she was. Thank you for the loving care you always gave her. Our thoughts and our prayers are with you.
Marva and Norm

Sjn said...

Paul, I am so sorry for your loss. Yours was a true love. You were an amazing caregiver to an amazing woman. Michelle was so strong and sustained so much throughout her ordeal with Sarcoma.
I too, am fighting the fight since 2007. Michelle was an inspiration to me and will continue to be.
My heart goes out to you. xo

SatAtmaKaur said...

I am sorry for your loss. I did not really know Michelle, we never met, but it feels as if we did. Her blog was Godsend when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
Michelle is a guardian angel for all of us.

Jennie's Beans of thoughts said...

Paul, Thank you for sharing such lovely thoughts about your wife and her last little 'memos' for her blog readers. I knew Michelle back in Junior High & found her on FB years back. I've followed her strong journey and was shocked to find that it's come to a close. She was a strong fighter and I'm sure your love helped her through all of this.

May her spirit live on in all of our hearts.

Love Jennifer

Unknown said...

Dear Paul, like the person above I too went to school with Michelle in junior high school. She was such an amazing spirit back then. She and her mother helped me through many hard times of my own. I moved soon after we went into high school and parted ways. About 2 months ago I had looked for her on FB with hopes of reconnecting. I was extremely sad to hear through another classmate of ours that she had passed. I am slightly far away and had wanted to attend her funeral but unfortunately things didn't work out and I was very disappointed. Last night she came to me in a dream. She looked exactly as I remembered her, smiling, happy and healthy. I asked her how she felt and she said she wasn't in anymore pain. I asked her what is was like to pass and she mentioned to me some people who had been waiting for her on the other side. I told her you had wrote on her blog and she said you had left a note for her but she didn't know what it said. Soon after I had woken up but I felt her leave. She was gone as quickly as she had come but I was left with such a peace that I knew in my heart she was ok. I don't know if you believe in this sort of thing but I wanted to pass this along to let you know in case you do. Hoping she made her rounds last night and she came through to you as well. My thoughts are with you and her family during this time.- Linda

Anonymous said...

I still find myself logging on to Michelle's blog in hopes that it was just a bad dream and there will be another funny, witty and inspiring post from her...only to again stare in disbelief at the screen. Michelle was the only person that I have met on my cancer journey that could relate. She was also teh only person that I would ever get out of bed at 5am for to do sunrise yoga :) Although we only met face to face for a weekend I felt like we knew each other for ever. I miss her so much. Michelle sent me a necklace with our phrase "I'm pretty sure that with a cape and a tiara I could change the world". I've kept the necklace with me since I found out she passed and read it when I think about makes me smile. We never met Paul but I'm sending a big hug...Gail

Anonymous said...

Gail, she told me about you and your special bond. :) she really appreciated you and having someone that truly understood. :) - Jess

Unknown said...

I followed Michelle after
"meeting" her through Elsa Diaz. We were all on that Brivanib trial. Sadly, my battle with Sarcoma has been ongoing and I regret to say that I lost touch. I was thinking about her today and stopped by to see how she was doing and am very very very sad to see this post. I can only send my deepest condolences. She was a beautiful person through and through.

The Astonishing FartMan said...

Dear MichelleOnLongIsland and Paul,

Michelle, I can't believe it's been a year. You are still my SuperHero.

Astonishingly, it's been two and a half years since my last big surgery, and I am still "NED." You know how wonderful those three letters can sound. Scans coming up in July--fingers crossed. Whatever happens, my wife and I will find a way to muddle through.

Paul, we never met, and I never actually met Michelle either, except via the internet and via our blogs, but I still owe you a big debt for sharing your dear Michelle with me. She was and still is a great inspiration to me. She helped me through some tough times with her strong spirit and her wacky humor. I hope life is treating you well, Paul, that you are happy, because you deserve to be.

Anonymous said...

Paul, I'm sorry for your loss.We met at Spohnc.Today post surgery I thought of michelle.She came to visit me at the plainview practice one day and expressed such joy of living and always telling me to keep hope.I did.....even now when I'm scared and unsure I will have hope and remember each call or text filled with a positive outlook.What a gift to have been blessed with her friendship. K.

Anonymous said...

Paul, I'm sorry for your loss.We met at Spohnc.Today post surgery I thought of michelle.She came to visit me at the plainview practice one day and expressed such joy of living and always telling me to keep hope.I did.....even now when I'm scared and unsure I will have hope and remember each call or text filled with a positive outlook.What a gift to have been blessed with her friendship. K.

Kristina L. Allen said...

I just read this and could do nothing but cry. I happened upon this because I started a blog called Radiation Hell as I face my first round. WOW, what a hero Michelle was. I'm sorry that I did not know of this, nor her. Thank you for posting as you did. My heart goes out to you. God Bless.
Kristina L. Allen

Kristina L. Allen said...

Dear Paul,

I'm a writer, and I do not believe that I could even begin to write your wife's story, but someone needs to. I've read through some of her blogs, and I think my life will never be the same. Please get in contact with me. I think I could help you write your wife's story. You can help thousands of people with her story of bravery and courage. I hope to hear from you.

Kristina L. Allen said...

Dear Paul,

I'm a writer, and I do not believe that I could even begin to write your wife's story, but someone needs to. I've read through some of her blogs, and I think my life will never be the same. Please get in contact with me. I think I could help you write your wife's story. You can help thousands of people with her story of bravery and courage. I hope to hear from you.

The Astonishing FartMan said...


This is a reply to the very kind note posted on my blog by Michelle's friend Jess.

For some reason, I can't seem to post a reply on my own blog, so I'm hoping this message will reach you, Jess.

Yes, I’m doing pretty well. How kind of you to ask! I am still NED (three years now), which is pretty miraculous considering the history of my illness.

I think of Michelle often and often go back to read entries on her blog. She was (is!) such a beautiful soul. It is so hard to believe it has been almost two years since she died. I pray her husband Paul is doing well and finding some happiness in life. I pray you are finding some joy in your life, too.

As you probably noticed, I don’t blog any more. This sounds silly, but the last time I blogged was immediately after I had a big surgery for a recurrence (the very same day they let me out of the hospital), and I have been disease-free ever since then. So now I feel superstitious that, since The Astonishing FartMan “retired” at exactly the same time when my cancer went into remission, if I bring T.A. FartMan out of retirement it might cause the cancer to return. I’ve had some great ideas for blogging, but have been too superstitious to write them.

It is rather ironic, yet appropriate, too, that Michelle’s comment was the last one posted on my blog while it was still “active,” and her comment orders me, “Hey FART! BLog make everyone smile!” If I ever do blog again, it will be because she told me to!

As you know, life can be terribly difficult, sad and painful, but it also gives us chances for love, beauty, joy, kindness, laughter. I have such a debt to Michelle. She had a way of making me feeling like my life mattered when it seemed like it didn’t.

Jess, I see you also seem to have a semi-abandoned blog. Well, I don’t want you to feel guilty about that, but I am going to read it (and maybe even post a comment)!

I am (formerly) . . .

The Astonishing FartMan

Mary Kay said...

You were in my dream the other's actually not too rare; I think of you often and I know you're with me and with us all. It's funny sometimes, when I need you, especially when I need your crazy, outrageous, in your face courage you're there...ever present and shining like a star. I count myself a lucky one my dear to have you as a best friend. Its amazing how far the heart can reach. Anam Cara. I'll see you in my sleep.

The Astonishing FartMan said...

I still think of you, my super hero, MichelleOnLongIsland. You always tried to make the best of things, even when your life was so very difficult. I know you are free now, with your toes in sand that sparkles like diamonds and warms your soul and lets you laugh the easiest laugh of love and joy. Try not to worry about us. I think we are going to be okay.

The Astonishing FartMan said...

Has it been three years since you went away? Thinking of you, MichelleOnLongIsland. I'm still here, hanging in there, but getting older, uglier, stupider, and more worn out every day. Cancer took its toll on me, put some hard years on me, but in July it will be four and a half years since my last recurrence, so supposedly they say I'm almost "out of the woods." I have faith that you are joyous and want us to be happy, too. We are trying. Miss you, silly girl.

Anonymous said...

Just thinking about you Shell-Shells. This time of year I always struggle a little more. 4 years and the hole is still there, I've just adapted best I can. I didn't know grief was like that, I thought it was a cycle and there was complete healing but now I realize it's just a wound that scabs over and you learn to live with it and try not to scrape the scab off. My daughter misses you too, I always told her you were more like her than I was. Her love of fashion and actually having I try to live my life more like you now. I try to shine everywhere I go and have fun without caring what people think. I am kind to everyone I meet and pick up little gifts for people when I can, just to let them know they are thought of and loved. I try to emulate the things I admired about you, it keeps you alive in my heart. I love you and miss you still and always, until we meet again my "sister"... Jess-Jess

Rebecca Cardasis said...

Missing you every'd be proud of my tan! How I wish we could sit on the beach together!
Love you Mich xo

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