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My friend Judy Flaherty (AKA) Kjude

Patti B

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My friend Judy passed away. We had met here on this forum. She went under the screen name of Kjude. She lived in Knoxville, Tennessee. She only posted a few times but I believe she used to log into the Tuesday live chats. I had answered a thread she had started about Alimta and we immediately became e-mail friends. We e-mailed each other every day since October. Funny thing was, we never spoke about our cancer - just our lives. We had a lot in common - we each had one child, we each had a kitty, both of us were very avid gardeners and found out that we both had the same garden color schemes. We both loved antiques and going to antique stores and flea markets and collected a lot of the same things.

Around the beginning of December, I stopped hearing from her - she had let me know that her tumor was pressing against a nerve and they were going to start some sort of tomography therapy on her. When a week went by, I started e-mailing her asking that she just let me know she was OK. Then I got scared and remembered she had sent me an e-mail as part of a mass e-mail and her daughters e-mail was one of the recipients. So I contacted her daughter who told me that unfortunately, Judy was in hospice and the end was near.

I figured her daughter wouldn't contact me until after Christmas in respect for my holiday, and, unfortunately, I got an e-mail from her today that Judy passed away this past Friday.

I told her daughter Brooke to come to this forum, that all of you will help her and give her some strength and comfort in this horrible time. I hope she does.

I feel so sad - for Judy, her family and for all of us who have to endure this.....

Hugs to all - Patti B.

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I do remember Her from Chat several times and from the forums. My thoughts and Prayers and condolences go out to the Family at this very difficult time. Her wisdom and inspiration wil be missed by MAny of us....

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Hi Patty,

I am/was Judy's best friend and we have/had know each other for 50 years. She told me she had been taking part in the Lung Cancer chats and had been emailing someone she had met on the message boards.

Judy had been having severe pain for a few months because one of her lung tumors was pressing on a spinal nerve. She had agreed to a last (#3) round of chemo, but stopped when her oncologist suggested Tomograph radiation to that one tumor to try to alleviate some pain. She was to have 15 treatments, then was going to continue her radiation. She had six of the radiation treatments at the end of Nov. and was actually able to reduce some of the high doses of morphine.

On Friday, Dec. 1, she awoke with trouble breathing. Her neighbor called 911 and then called me. Judy was admitted to the hospital through the ER and, for the first time, she admitted she could no longer be alone and actually wanted to stay in the hospital.

On Monday, her oncologist said he wanted her to complete her radiation, but didn't think she would be able to complete the chemo. On Wed., she had gotten so weak that the oncologist said she was not ale to even continue her radiation.

Due to the fact of her daughter living out of town, Judy was moved to St. Mary's Residential Hospice on Friday, Dec. 7. It became impossible to control her pain and anxiousness with oral meds, so she was put on a morphine pump on Mon., Dec 10. The combination of morphine, Atavan and Halidol made her have periods of paranoia. She blamed her daughter for abandoning her and asked all of us to get her out of there. This was totally unlike Judy who adored her daughter and kept a sense of humor throughout this two year journey. However, there were other times when she was cognizant and understood her impending death and why she had to be at the Hospice.

The last "conversation" I had with her was on Monday, Dec. 17. Every day after that, she was non responsive. At this point,I was told that she was getting 100 MG of morphine per hour via the pump.

Judy was creamated and her Celebration of Life service was yesterday. I miss her so much I can hardly bare it.

Thanks to all of you for being there for her.

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Dear Tistn -

I am so glad you posted. I am so truly sorry for your loss. Even though I had only been emailing Judy for a couple of months, we had a lot in common and I am struggling with the fact that she is gone. She was such a fun person - I think we could have been great friends had we known each other in person. That I have cried so much over someone that I don't even know what she looked like shows the great impression she has left on me.

We had talked right after Thanksgiving, she had told me she had a houseful and its so hard to understand how 6 days later she could have been so sick. I hate this disease!!

I have talked on-line with Brooke - now I understand my she thanked me for letting her know how much her mom bragged about her. I hope she understands that it was the disease and the drugs talking, not Judy. I have suggested to Brooke that she come here, to this forum, under the grieving section - she will get a lot of support and comfort here. You, too, should come here - the people on this forum will give you both strength.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help either you or Brooke - you will both be in my prayers.

Love and hugs - Patti B.

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Thank you ever so much!! How wonderful to know what she looked like. She had that sparkle in her eye that told you she was full of fun and that is the impression I got from her emails.

Once again, please pass on my deepest condolences to Brooke and the rest of her family. I know she had talked to me once about her elderly mother and how anything happening to her might affect her mom.

Prayer and hugs - Patti B.

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