Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sweet Emily

You're going to have to forgive me this morning, but I'm going to share something that's not the slightest bit related to melanoma.

This is Emily. I had the honor of meeting Emily when I was waiting at Sloan Kettering for an appointment with my oncologist a year or two ago. Emily was waiting to see her oncologist as well. Drawn to her by her Virginia Tech sweatshirt, my mom and I began to chat with her. Emily had spunk. She may have been battling an incurable brain tumor, but the girl had one of the best attitudes I've ever seen. Over the last year, Emily's cancer progressively got worse. She was constantly in and out of the hospital, quickly losing her vision, etc. However, her spunk was still there. With the help of her friends, and even strangers, Emily was able to cross off a few items from her "to- see" list before her vision got worse.

In January I received a text from Emily asking me about Yervoy. Her doctors, with no other treatment options, and stating that Emily only had a few months to live, thought that they would do a trial with Yervoy. She wanted to try whatever she could that may possibly give her a few more months here with us. I shared my slim knowledge of the drug, told her how my mom and I continue to keep her in our thoughts, and Emily encouraged me to be healthy and well. I didn't hear much from Emily after that day in January.

I logged onto Facebook yesterday and saw the post I feared: Emily passed away yesterday at the age of 26.

Why am I sharing this with you on my melanoma blog? For starters, Emily was an awesome gal. She was a kind person, and even during her darkest moments, she cheered me on. Emily also had a way with words. I encourage you to check out her blog:

As an ending to this post, I want to share something Emily once wrote:

"Recently, two people have commented on all the fun I'm having on FB and in pictures. First, happy to trade--really, dying and relying on your parents, is not "fun." I'm just doing what I would encourage you all to be doing: live. Just live every day to YOUR fullest. In fact, because both your hands work and you haven't fallen three times in two days due to balance issues, YOU should be having more fun. If you're not; you're doing it wrong. If you hate something in your life --change it."

I think we can all learn a little something from that.

Rest now, sweet Emily.

"How do you live your life? I live mine with both eyes open – even if only one takes in the picture." 
Emily Morrison


Unknown said...

I was fighting against a cancer stage 4.I think it is very important that family support to win, because i was very weak;really helped me participate in one group of affected by cancer, so my mood improved, also helped me a lot a medical adviser in (they are doctors),this is important .I recomended not surrender, because sometimes the first treatment does not work as me, and sometimes change doctors it is necessary.Read positive thinking books gave me more energy.During my cancer,i changed my diet,now i eat vegetarian organic food(now i not eat meat).I think is a set of things that help.

Mack said...

Hi Chelsea - I remember the day that Emily met you at MSKCC. Emily was so excited to have met you, another young adult cancer survivor. The two of you had an instant connection. I can see why - Emily was a strong advocate for Brain Tumor Research and you are just as strong an advocate regarding the risks of the sun and melanoma. You were a good friend to Emily. Sincerely - Emily's Dad