One year ago , Patsy Bushee published “Too old for a stem cell transplant?” in MPNforum.
Here are two paragraphs from that article. You can read it all here.
As we were driving home from that first visit in Augusta, I thought about the fact that I may only be alive a few more months. What did I want to do that is different from what I am now doing? Pleasant surprise-not really anything. I have a wonderful life.
By this time I was getting to know people on the MPN Forum, and they had given me good advice and additional understanding on what this was all about. Because of the support I had gotten, I decided to share my SCT with the group, and made plans for my daughter, who was coming from another state to help, and husband to post pictures to the group of the steps that would be involved during transplant. At the age of 63 (I turned 64 on September 16, 2012), I felt I could give hope to older members that they could live through the process. For the younger members, I thought seeing an older gal go through the process might help them. Only hesitated at first because of the real possibility I might die. However, we cannot run from truth in life, so we moved forward. Death is a part of life that we all will face.
One month ago, she tweeted:
This courageous, bright woman with a sharp sense of humor died last week. She described herself as a Christian, Wife, Mother, Granny, Retired English Teacher, Senior Hippy who met the rules. Recovered from leukemia-had stem cell transplant. Cancer free now, Deep South, USA” She will be greatly missed by all of us. She made a great impression on our community and gave courage and hope to many by her example.
Comments on: "Patsy" (4)
I did’t know Patsy well, but the times that we chatted on FB were always enjoyable. Her strong spirit and deep faith were qualities I especially admire, and more so in someone fighting the battles she fought. Instead of worrying about herself, she was concerned for her husband & daughter. Patsy, I know you are with Jesus and that you are no longer in pain, but here you will be sorely missed. My heart aches for your family, and I hope that they are feeling God’s comforting embrace.
I “met” Patsy on this facebook forum in September, 2012, having followed her SCT trek through the posts shared, then thru the summer – and one day her reaching out to me, of all people. At first, it may have been in objection to a thought shared, but it soon became as sisters in our shared Christian beliefs and heritage – we are both G.R.I.T.S – Girls Raised in the South – she from South Carolina and me from North Carolina and sometimes that can be as stark as being from the North vs the South! It was also sometimes as “hippy” vs “not so hippy”! I immediately set up a Yahoo account JUST for my communications with Patsy as they were proving to be prolific and I didn’t want to lose even one of her exchanges. I still have them and one day I will put them in a special book – for my eyes only as we shared so many heartfelt and personal experiences. Not too far into our evolving friendship, Patsy encouraged – then demanded – in the way only Patsy could, that I should write a book – my book. On December 23, 2012, I began putting thoughts into print and by early January, 2014, I was off to the races and I never looked back. She teased that she would be my mentor and we decided on “My Thorn” but I reminded her that beautiful roses also are covered in thorns and that that would be uppermost in our thoughts when she signed off “Your Thorn”. As her one year anniversary, post transplant approached, April 16, 2013, our communications began to wane and Patsy shared that she was not feeling as well as expected. I kept writing the book, as if to Patsy, but I became hesitant about burdening her with it all and then there would be days that I didn’t hear from her. I knew she was so busy and SO TIRED from all the physical therapy and trips to Augusta, etc. I also knew that she was preparing her speech and that she was meeting with Ann and also helping others through their SCT decisions, etc. and I knew I needed to back off and give her the time she so needed to also continue healing – and helping others. She was in the hospital in the Spring, then again in the Summer and in that few weeks, the stark reality of Post Transplant issues became a reality in my life. Patsy pulled through, by the Grace of God and as she shared, briefly, “He must not be finished with me yet….” Life and Death experiences have a profound affect on us, weather our own or a loved one and Patsy’s certainly impacted my thoughts, heart – and life. Perhaps as an act of compassion or a need to be involved in more important things in her life, mine and Patsy’s time together ceased almost as quickly as it had begun, and the loss was overwhelming, coming suddenly after her hospitalization last summer. Whatever the need, I respected Patsy’s decision as one that needed to be made – believing that she needed to be involved as never before with those literally fighting for their lives. Patsy had SO MUCH to Give and to anyone who was the recepient of her love and compassion – you are truly Blessed by God.
Thank you, Patsy for sharing your story. You will surely live on in the many stories that your children will share with their children. Peace and Blessings…………..
Patsy, you were and are an inspiration for us all! Your courage, believing in the Lord and strength of you and your family should provide direction to all of us. Bless you and your family.