It is with a heavy heart that I must write this post to announce that Sheryl passed away on May 25.
Sheryl always wanted this blog to be an accurate account of the struggles of dealing with stage 4 breast cancer. Stage 4 breast cancer is not a disease that can be fought; fighting implies that winning is possible, which is not true for Sheryl’s diagnosis. Sheryl didn’t fight and lose a battle against cancer. Instead she endured cancer, by attending countless appointments, taking innumerable pills, injections and infusions, following medical advice intended to maximize the duration and quality of life, and putting up with the side effects of treatment and the symptoms of cancer. Sheryl documented all of this in her blog over nearly five years.
The battle Sheryl did fight, where she was undeniably victorious, was to make the most of the uncertain, limited time she had after her diagnosis. She traveled extensively, to Europe, to Mexico multiple times including to the baptism of her beloved nephew, to New York and to Toronto. She made a beautiful new home with an expansive garden in Victoria. Most importantly, she spent as much time as possible with her cherished friends and family. The outpouring of love for her, particularly in the last few days at the hospice, is a testament to the powerful impact Sheryl had on the many people she knew. Sheryl was able to say goodbye to her family and many of her friends in her final days. She remained positive, brave, loving, iron-willed and funny. This outlook was simply inspirational to all who knew her.
The care at the hospice was fantastic but changed from symptom management to pain management. The hospice allows pets and we had our cat, Orchid, stay around the clock for the final few days to help comfort Sheryl while Jasper, our dog, came for morning visits. The end came quickly and unexpectedly, but peacefully, with me and her parents at her side. Caring and practical even in death, Sheryl’s eyes were donated to give someone else the gift of sight.
Sheryl was always particularly impressed and grateful for the care she received from the BC Cancer Agency, especially her oncologists Dr. Sofie Sun in Vancouver and Dr Joanna Vergidis in Victoria.
Sheryl had requested that any service held for her be a positive, joyful event celebrating the good times. There will be a wake held at our house on Saturday June 3, 2017 at 2:00pm. Please contact me or another family member for more information. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to either the BC Cancer Foundation or the BC SPCA. If anyone has any photos or written memories of Sheryl they would like to share and leave for the family, there will be a wall where they can be posted for viewing during the wake. Digital photos would also be appreciated.