Monday, December 17, 2012


Friday morning at 6AM, I posted an entry I called Tears and Fears.  Less than four hours later, the unthinkable.  Those words don't even begin to convey the horror that took place in a small town in Connecticut about ninety minutes and a world away from my own home.

I was waiting for a text message with an "all clear."  I was not paying attention to social media, my news feeds or anything else.  I was in my own bubble.  Waiting.  I did not get the all clear I was hoping to hear.  I got bad news.  Followed by the uncertainty of, "I need further testing" from still another person.  I will share all when it's appropriate.

Yes, I've added to my list of those for whom I am a Fearless Friend.  I am still waiting, now, not for one biopsy date, but instead for two.  Both of those will be done at MSKCC.  I will be at the hospital for each.  Nothing is scheduled yet.  

I am shedding tears for one and I still live with fears for two others but after watching such sadness, I am at a loss.  The magnitude of such a horrific event has overshadowed everything.  Then, I saw this article written by Dr. Matthew Katz.  He is a radiation oncologist and he is a frequent participant in the Monday night #BCSM tweet chat.  He wrote a thought provoking piece:

I have no answers to the questions Matt poses.  I can only see the angelic faces of babies.  I hear names followed by the words, "six years old" and I am horrified and heart sick.  I see three young teachers who gave their lives hoping to save the children.  And a young principal, the school psychologist and still another teacher whose lives were taken.  And, a mom.  A young man in New Jersey who reached out on Facebook after he was, for hours, accused of being the killer.  "My mom is dead."

I received an email from someone on Friday.  "One of the teachers is my mentor's daughter."  On twitter, an aunt of one of the little boys was surrounded by a community of love as she waited in Seattle to hear from her sister in law.  Three children attended that school.  The little girls were safely with their mom.  At 4:30, "Still no news."  At 5:30, "He is gone."

I'm certain every one of those adults, despite their own fear...their own absolute terror..... acted fearlessly.  And selflessly.  And they paid the ultimate price.  To be fearless, one must know fear, feel fear, taste fear.  And still, act in ways that defy that fear.  

My heart is broken for those whose hearts will be forever broken.  And my heart is broken for my friend who was told she is now metastatic.  And I move with great trepidation as I wait for these other tests to be completed on two other people.

I'm petrified.  I'm saddened.  But nonetheless, I remain, Fearless.


  1. My soul feels like there is a huge hole in the center of it. I see the faces of these babies and can't begin to comprehend the absolute terror everyone that was caught up in the shooting must have felt. Those children little 5,6 & 7 years old being shot multiple times..or what drove that young man to commit such a terrorist act. I am not going to comment on mental illness because we really don't have all the facts. To me it is an excuse far to often used. Maybe he was just EVIL.. there are those kinds of people in the world..We send our children from the confines of our homes, their safety nets. You don't expect children to be killed once they are in school another safe place for them. I don't know what to say because nothing can take the pain from your heart. Hug your children keep them close regardless of their age...
    Love Alli XX

    1. I hear you, Alli. It's incomprehensible and I, too see the face of a monster because of the many details that have emerged. There is no "making sense of the senseless" and this was senseless.

      Love and hugs to you,

  2. My cancer blog:

    1. Thank you for sharing..... Adding to blog list.....

  3. It is unthinkable, unspeakable, incomprehensible. I too needed to hide away from it all until my brain could process it, and while processing, my heart breaks. Meantime, fingers crossed for your friends who are awaiting results, and many thanks to you for being fearless.

  4. AnneMarie we are all in shock over this horrific shooting. It is impossible to understand why anyone would shoot children and so many. I am also so sorry about your friend and the two biopsies. I know the waiting is so stressful. Meanwhile I admire you so much for your fearlessness. I also know that you have been through so much- from incredible lows to a wonderful event in the middle- you had the terrible storm of Sandy and then some relief getting to go to SABCS and back to horror with this terrible shooting and your friend getting MBC on top of these two biopsies that are so close to you. Please know you are such a special person and you give of yourself so freely to help others. I want to give you the biggest hug and I am hoping and praying these biopsies are negative. Love, extra prayers and a virtual hug - Susan

  5. AnneMarie,

    I, too, am heartbroken by the recent outbreak of violence at the school. Horrific is not even a word that can describe it. Those poor children and their families....the event rendered me speechless and sad beyond belief.

  6. dear annemarie,

    i am so very sorry for all that is weighing on you - such a heavy heart, such sorrow and anxiety for so many that you care so deeply about. i have come to believe that the empathy and compassion we feel for others, painful as it is to experience, is how grace is created. because it comes from love. as we collectively grieve, perhaps our love, empathy and compassion becomes a living entity, and though it is unseen it is not wasted. so wish...feel...weep as you will from that heart of love, and BELIEVE that from it's depth true grace will rise up, then fall upon the wounded and ravaged hearts of others and they will feel it - just some small fragment of grace - the strains of a sweet song, a glance into caring eyes, unexpected moments of calm and peace, a color of the sky or the shape of the moon, and in some beautiful dream, a small child's hand once again fitting so perfectly into theirs...

    i wish you, dear annemarie, as i do for all of us in these sad and bewildering times...grace...

    much love, XOXO

    karen, TC


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