Friday, May 20, 2016

A Dog in the Sun

Like so many of you, I've been thinking a lot about Jody Schoger these days.  She was one of the first breast cancer bloggers I discovered back when I was consumed by it all.  Of course, I was inspired by her tireless advocacy, but it was her encouragement I embraced.  She read my words when I tentatively sent them out there and without being asked, offered constructive comments and feedback, ways to "increase my traffic."
Sometimes, she'd just say "Good work. Keep it up."  I didn't know I was writing toward a bigger goal, but she did.  How did she know without ever meeting me that I needed to hear those things?

She wrote me when my dog, Goliath, died.  She said she cried for him, for me and wrote:  

"Goliath - in his name and bearing - enriched all of us. He went beyond your family into our hearts, too."  

And that's how I feel about Jody.  Beyond the amazing work she did alone and with Alicia Staley and Dr. Deanna Attai to create #BCSM.  She touched me with her laser-like ability to discover what mattered most; my family, my story, my need to share.

She went beyond her family into our hearts  

In the six years I knew Jody, we never actually met.  That's hard to even say because...I knew her...and she seemed to know me.  After reading something I wrote, she'd take time from her days to message or tweet some thought to make me smile or laugh.  

Amazing.  Who does that?   

I think, now, I took much more than I gave, but that was the role she played.  Mentor, big sister, keeping an eye on our little corner of the blogosphere.  How will it go on, I wonder?  Those thoughts were my focus when I found out she was gone.

I stood in my kitchen making dinner that day, pondering.  My family was in the next room.  My thoughts about Jody, my own, because how do I explain this feeling of loss for someone I never "really" met?  

I remembered one of the last messages she ever sent me.  I had asked her about Femara and she wrote back about some intimate side effects and some solutions. Regarding the solutions, she said to do it and enjoy my life.  It's almost cliche, but it's true.  That's the very last thing she ever wrote me.  

I smiled thinking about that.  Maybe it's not the big picture we're supposed to focus on.  Maybe it does start with enjoying our own lives.   Maybe it has to be in order for all other things to fall into place.  Jody probably knew that.

I became aware of the view outside my window. The winter had been so long. The sun had finally found it's way back to Connecticut and the world was green again.  I thought how Jody loved to walk with her dog in the Texas sun.  I saw my new dog at my feet and my family nearby, happily absorbed in their videos and computers.  I thought about how it was finally feeling like spring and how lucky I was to have "met" Jody.  How lucky our breast cancer community was to have her and how future patients will benefit from her work.

I'm thankful Jody's family shared her and so sorry for their tremendous loss, but
she knew what she was talking about when 
she said Goliath went beyond my family. 

Jody went beyond hers.  

Jody, I will miss you and smile every time I see my dog in the sun.



  1. Hi Stacey,

    I was also reflecting about how lucky we have all been to have been touched by Jody. She was an amazing person, and your tribute is simply lovely. Jody had this ability to touch so many lives.

    1. Hi Beth, thank you. Amazing, wasn't she? I think about how she not only knew what I personally needed to hear, but that she did it with sooo many others. All the tribute writers are saying the exact thing. How did she do it all? I miss her already. Sending hugs to you. xoxo

  2. Oh Stacey, this brought tears to my eyes. Again. Jody was like a big sister to many of us. And you're so right, Jody most definitely went beyond her family. She made us feel part of a something bigger and gave special meaning to that cliche, together we are all stronger. Lovely post. Thank you for writing it. xo

    1. Thanks for reading, Nancy. I can't believe she's not out there somewhere. Strange to think of that, impossible to accept. I keep waiting for a comment from her. She always took the time to send some kind of comment, tweet, message. Incredible, really. I know you understand as we were all there together in what seems like the "beginning." The early years. Thank you for being there. Don't go anywhere!! xoxo

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