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Another Jewel Loss

In response to a beautifully written testimonial, I had to write my feelings down.

Last week I received the news that one of our nail friends passed away from cancer. I was utterly shocked. Words couldn’t escape my mouth as I had no idea that her treatment plan didn’t work. This death is the 3rd that I’ve experienced in the nail world. First it was Vicki, then Debbie, and now Amanda.

A friend in the nail world wrote something so eloquently and moving, I cried. There was something in her words that struck a chord in me that the dam broke and my river of tears just flowed. How well did I know these women? Well I knew Vickie and I cherished our last conversation together not knowing at that time that she was besieged by the “C” word. I met Debbie at the Nail Tech Event in Orlando several years in a row back then. I loved Debbie. We had a few common threads (no pun intended) and like most of the nail world, no one knew she was sick or had “C”. As for Amanda, I honestly don’t remember how I met her but I followed her story on face book and of course her amazing talents portrayed by Nails and NailPro magazines.

Why did this person’s words affect me so greatly? Because I “had” the “c” diagnosis in the late 90’s and I thought I wasn’t going to be around to see my girls grow up. I was the first of my friends and friend circle that had “c”. I was 38 with a 3 ½ year old and a ten months old baby. My treatment plan was comparable to those who have experienced “c” having chemo, radiation, drugs for 5 years etc. When I passed the five year mark I began to “breathe.”

Five years turned into ten, then 15, and soon I am about to celebrate my twenty years being “c’ free in 2018.

I feel guilty. I am feeling survivor’s guilt. I’ve never experienced this feeling before. I am shocked that I can verbalize my feelings about this. I am 58 years old. Still a young chicken but those Vicki’s, Debbie’s, and Amanda’s were young as well.   I kept on saying to myself, why did I make it and they didn’t? What went wrong for them? Could I have done anything to help with being a medical advocate for their treatment plan?   What if? I can’t control my thought process. I am truly devastated in a way I’ve never experienced before.

Maybe this is what aging does to you? When we were young, we didn’t know much about other people’s illness or deaths because our parents shielded us from seeing that kind of pain. My first experience of death is when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away 6 weeks later. He was 56. This rocked my soul to the core. Then 5 years later, my mother was diagnosed with a debilitating neurological disorder that I watched her decline and pass away 6 years after that. She was 66. Why?   Why did they have to die so young?   Why do the Vicki’s, the Debbie’s and the Amanda’s have their life cut so short? I am not looking for anyone to give me an answer. I just am grateful that I can express myself in a way that will endear these 3 women that have tugged at my heart strings. I hope that everyone reading this will be proactive in following the recommended yearly doctor visits to screen for potential deadly diseases.

Hugs and Softies.


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1 Comment

Maria Martin
Maria Martin
Jul 09, 2023

Kathy, this is beautiful and I really appreciate it. I haven't seen you in a long time, and I am hardly even doing nails these days (tattooing has taken over!) Thank you for so sincerely expressing your thoughts and feelings on this terrible matter. I am currently taking a mastery class for paramedical tattooing and thankfully, our instructor (I like to call her our Sensei) focuses a lot of our work on understanding and helping people on that road to feeling whole and unafraid again. It's so very important. I wish you all the good things and I know that many of us can relate to your thoughts and feelings in all different ways, from all different perspectives and stages…

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