Nancy and her dear husband Roel hitting the road on his motorcycle
I’m dedicated today’s post in memory of Nancy Oliveras, who passed away Monday at the too-young age of 46. I wrote a post about Nancy a year ago this month. Nancy reached out to me at a time when I was wondering if I was making a difference with my work.
As she related to me and you, my readers, “Reading about my cancer, my husband and I would cry. It just seemed like there was no hope. One night after my third chemo treatment, I was up and could not sleep. I was crying and scared, so I typed in Google positive words for metastatic breast cancer. From Incurable to Incredible came up. I went to the site, read everything, went to Facebook, requested Tami as a friend, and ordered the book. I felt that night that things would be okay, and for the first time I was able to sleep. I have met so many people who have read the book, and they are now my friends.”
Since that time, Nancy and I became online friends. Despite everything she went through, she sent me encouraging words and even gifts to lift my spirits. I’d look forward to her Facebook messages asking how her “favorite author” was doing today. I was determined that next time I was in California to visit my brother, I’d get to meet her in person. I wish I could have met Nancy and give her a big hug, but I felt it from her just the same.
I feel so blessed for the friendships and connections I’ve made from writing this blog and my blog. Nancy’s passing reminds me to cherish each and every one of you who have touched my life. It will be five years in February since I heard the words, “You have metastatic breast cancer.” It’s been more than 10 years since I was first diagnosed. I am so grateful for each passing day that I can watch my daughter Chrissy grow into a beautiful young woman. Yesterday she and her friends dressed up and went out for Halloween. She’s 13 and it may be her last trick-or-treat outing, another milestone that I will never take for granted.
I don’t know why some people, like those in my book, live far beyond what their prognoses indicate while others like Nancy do not. My book lists common attributes I’ve observed from interviewing people from around the country. But if I knew the magic formula to survival … well that would be a miracle. As I wrestle with this, I can take comfort in knowing that reading about all the amazing people in the book gave Nancy hope and comfort. It opened her to possibilities instead of spending her time in anxiety. Perhaps it helped stoke her fighting spirit so she would not give up and prolonged her life longer than it would have been.
These are all unknowns, but what I do know is that life is beautiful and much more so since I befriended Nancy Olivares.
Nancy’s family is asking for donations to help defray costs of funeral and outstanding medical expenses. To give, click on this LINK.
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