Living on fault lines
I'm here for you...you don't know me or probably even need me! But I want you to know that each day I will be sending you thoughts of love and good health. You are a gift and I am in constant awe of you.
So deep breaths. "We" *are* right here holding you in our collective hearts because, even when I don't believe it myself, I think Jon's song is right "you're never alone". Love and strength beaming its way to you.
Suleika, I was diagnosed with leukemia (CMML) a year ago. A BMT may be in my future, not sure yet; Between Two Kingdoms has been a constant source of encouragement and wisdom for me. You are surrounded by a community of loving support, of which I am a part. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as your journey continues.
I hope the support you're getting from people you've never met doesn't feel too abstract. Your writing has touched so many lives and it's only fair that you are able to draw some strength from it in return. Fuck cancer. Kick it's ass.
Suleika- I started following you and listening to talks and interviews with you after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I went through chemo and about to start radiation when I learned the cancer had already spread. I pushed for the scan everyone said I didn't need and sure as shit, I needed it. It was found in the tiniest amount in my brain. Doctors were shocked and I was praised for pushing for the scan no one thought I needed. But I knew. I knew it!
I have read about you and listened to you and been jealous that you were moving past your cancer. I am floored and saddened you have to face this again. But you will face this head on with courage, demonstrating love for yourself and others. I am always rooting for you.
With love and admiration from Seattle.
I was an oncology nurse. It haunts me to this day and I am 70. You have inspired me to focus on the love my patients and I felt for one another, a love like no other kind. It was hard and I think I felt sorry for myself quite a bit, yet was bolstered by their courage, when they said, "It's going to be OK " to ME! when they saw tears in my eyes. I never have such poignant memories as those I have with cancer patients, especially younger ones. Such courage and so much to say to each other every chemo treatment! Of course the ones who died, are my angels. I keep angels on a little metal tree year round to remind me of that 15 year stint giving chemo to cancer patients. I refuse to call the winners, "survivors", because what does that say about those who's battle was just as brave, but lost. I don't know what to call them. But not a survivor. You made it, and as hard as it seemed when I read your book, one thought stayed in my head. She won't relapse. Not her. She's just not going to...And you did. I was bummed for days, thinking you wouldn't write and I wouldn't know where you were on this hardest journey of all. Thank you for being you. Not ever knowing you, I feel like I know you a bit. And I feel braver and stronger when I read your words. Life is hard in so many ways. You've got you head in an unusual space, which is beautiful and is actually helping more people than you'll ever know. I want you to live, I throw it out at the universe every day. Let this gifted authentic woman LIVE. And I mean it with all my heart. Keep writing. You help me, an old RN with chronic pain and migraine, and I need to read your words. Til I die first. GOT THAT. Me first. You in 70 years.....
My brave, beautiful friend, your words are authentic and reflect the best of us who will all experience living between two kingdoms. I love you, I carry you in my heart, and this news literally makes my bones ache in empathy for you. Thank you for sharing your devastating news. TIJ community has an opportunity to support you and one another.
Dear Susu, I was just remembering Nora Ephron’s story of those cold walls of Cornell/MSK where her boys came to sit vigil at her feet. No words left to say. Just somber shifts her sons took. And how she didn’t want to tell anyone her diagnosis but her longtime friend who she went to lunch with was baffled when Nora ordered two desserts for the first time in their lives. And yeah, Fuck Paris. You knew right then and there. New York got a lot less funny and charming when Nora passed. Some news broadcaster read her top ten favorite things in life & most of them were food related and many of them about eating food in bed!
I think of her often when she said “No one ever looks good eating or drinking standing up or walking somewhere.” Hard to pause, to sit, to take time to savor. In the hospital one of the residents I worked with said other residents presented with the “Starbucks sign” aka holding a cup of coffee making whilst rounds at the hospital. Glad you’re in good hands. Hope you feel a little of the warmth and love you so freely give all of us coming back to lift you up in your hours of darkness. Love from Iowa City where I’m writing my first book about my great grandmother Mary Sullivan who came from Ireland to NY at 12 (she didn’t know her age!) to be a indentured servant girl for for an English woman who taught her how to read and play piano. And how Mary Shelley’s non religious creation myth changed her life. Kindness is never lost. 💓
(((((All the love to you Susu)))) xoxo Ida
We are 2 old women in Santa Cruz, CA who are sending serious kick ass prayers along with lots & lots of love. We won't stop ~
Your book was life changing...your powerful message thru the voice of a best girlfriend...unique, honest and raw story that moved me beyond words. Quite simply...you rock.
Words matter. I have a biopsy coming up for a possible recurrence. I intend to face it as gracefully as possible, and you are a lovely model. I’m keeping it very quiet until we know. With you all the way. Love and no advice
Thank you for trusting this community to hold you so lovingly in our hearts. We are with you, Souleika. We love you. We are rooting for you. I will spread the love as you have asked me to and I will do it in honour and celebration of your light that is shining even as you are going through this dark time.
I'm dropping everything to write you a real letter now. No pity, no advice, just deep gratitude and admiration for you.
Gah. Gutted to read this news…sending you all the love and light and kick-ass vibes imaginable. Also wanted to say I really admire you navigating what must seem a complicated dance between authenticity, public persona, and privacy…I’m a solid ‘+ 1’ in you sharing as much or as little as you wish - as it should be!
Two nights ago my Book Group discussed your book “Between Two Kingdoms”, and we were blown away by how it resonated with so many of our own experiences. We felt a camaraderie with you though we are all old enough to be your grandmother (sigh). I came home and did what I always do, hit the internet full speed ahead because I wanted to see you, and hear your voice, and share your story. Sadly, what I came across was heartbreaking, and I couldn’t be more saddened if you were my own child. Please accept the healing and caring thoughts sent to you from a small group of avid readers in Walla Walla, WA, a new place to visit on your next road trip.
I was so moved by your book when I read it 6 months or so ago. I am a therapist and I often work with people who are or have been sick (or have a loved one going through illness). Your book helped me see things differently and more clearly I think. I am sending my best wishes your way. I am so deeply sorry you are having to endure this, again.
Sending you love and buoyancy as you swim in the ocean of not knowing.