The internet has honestly been my life-line this year. All of my friends will tell you, I've been terrible about calling people and seeing people face-to-face. I know, it isn't fair to my friends and loved ones, but I naturally withdraw in bad times and I've done that a lot this year.
Except on-line. The internet, especially twitter, has a vibrant and thriving cancer community. Once you announce you have cancer, the love and out-pouring and the reaching out is amazing. And I can't lie ... it can be extremely helpful and uplifting to talk to people who are where you are, or who have been there. They can tell you that they had the same thing, they can give you tips and tricks and they can commiserate with you.
I love all the new friends I've met. Unfortunately, there is a downside to this. You quickly learn not everyone will go into remission. Not everyone gets a happily-ever-after ending.
And so it is with a sad heart that I tell you one of my friends, Dave Hodgson passed away on December 31 from metastatic melanoma. Dave was a great guy - always he had warm and caring words to share with me. Even when he was struggling, he was there to be a great friend. I never met him in person. I only shared 140 character tweets back and forth with him, but I consider him a wonderful friend. The world will indeed be a sadder place without him. My heart and prayers go out to Dave's wife and daughter. I will miss seeing him around twitter. It just won't be the same without him.
And I can't help but wonder how many more wonderful people must we lose to cancer? And also, do not be misled - Dave did not lose this fight. Science lost this fight. Medicine has lost this fight. We have failed to find a cure.
To learn more about Dave, you can read this interview he did. His wife is also on twitter, and if you are too, feel free to send her some love here.