Friday, July 28, 2006

Lisa Pierot: An incredible Woman

I just hung up from speaking to someone at our local paper, The Palm Beach Post, and I'm crying. I'm crying because I just found out that someone I never knew in person but had come to know in her weekly columns has finally died. It's not a surprise. She wrote about her battles with metastatic cancer, which kept recurring and worsening. I hadn't seen the Sunday Post consistently and she did take times off during heavy treatments, so I finally called. She died several months ago.

Many of her columns are linked here on her website,The Metastatic Life.

You would think columns by a woman dealing with a progressing cancer would be depressing. In some ways it was. She didn't sugar coat her experiences. What hooked me on this column was her unrelenting honesty. I admired her. She wrote of her mother's cancer and her wish to have her mother with her at her own death, but her mother died first. She wrote about everyday things and gratitude, pain, her fears, of her love for her children and friends. She wrote about her wish that her friend raise her young daughter after her death since her husband was a short-tempered man, one she would not judge to be a good parent. His reply to her was that he would win custody since 'she would be dead, anyway, and couldn't fight him' (it seems her judgment was right on there).

I'm sharing this because I'd like my readers to get to know her just a wee bit, and to memorialize her in this way, even if by reading only one article.

I still have those tears in my eyes. Lisa, you made an impact on thousands of lives. I don't know if you knew it, but I hope you did.


Pris

14 comments:

erin said...

My darling Pris, what a loss. I am sorry for your sorrow, and I can't wait to find some time and read Lisa's writing when I have more freedom really absorb her words. Isn't it amazing how sometimes it is the people that we know through writing or blogs, etc. rather than know personally that have the most impact on our lives?

RachelChisholm2006 said...

Thank you so much Pris for the link to Lisa's writing. What an inspiration she has been and will be to others.Through her words she lives on.

Pris said...

Thank you both for posting. The newspaper said so many people have called them to say how she inspired them, whether they had cancer or not.

Michael Parker said...

I too am sorry for this loss. It is amazing how attached we can become to the person behind the words. She sounds like an intriguing person and columnist. I will check out some of her writings.

pepektheassassin said...

Pris, you are such a beautiful, caring soul. And she was also a beautiful person, inside and out. I began to read her pieces and couldn't stop. I read many of them, and they all took me back to my own mother's death, from breast cancer, and she became like the child, and I was able to bathe her and feed her and just touch her like I never had before. We slept together, and listened to music, and I read to her. She was a great strength to me. I am a survivor (so far, so good) of melanoma. Dr. Loren Eiseley writes of times in our lives "when the kaliedoscope shifts, and nothing ever after is the same." Writing about it, was also for me a sharing, a catharsis. So, I will probably never be famous, but I have left "the words" for my children and grandchildren, as she did. Erica Jong wrote in one of her poems: "Since flesh can't stay, we keep the breath aloft. Since flesh can't stay, we pass the words along."

Thanks for this.

Pris said...

Michael
I have one of her articles that I clipped and I'm not sure is in the links. I plan to scan it today sometime and add it. It was the one about wanting her mother to be with her so badly when she died, yet knowing it was likely that she wouldn't. I know how much more stronger my own mother's presence in my life became after I got sick, even though not with anything life threatening.

And pepe, I have a friend who's a long time survivor of melanoma, too, and she's just now been journaling about that, as well as her courtship and marriage, to pass to her children when she finishes. Those words do indeed last on. I had the last letter her own mother wrote before she died in her forties of pneumonia, when mother was 13, and have read it time and again, trying to get some glimpse of the grandmother I never knew.

Plus Ultra said...

Hi Pris, perhaps you should also read my post "The Patient Answers"....the word patient could be a noun or an adjective, and the word answers could be a verb or a noun....I can identify with you, but remember there is always more beyond.....even beyond the pain and death!

Pris said...

I do love your blog. I've read parts of it before. I think grief is going to be there, no matter what our beliefs are about what comes after. It's the loss here and now that's so painful. Thanks for your hopeful words!

Nea said...

Hi Pris....hits close tohome. My own mother has been battling cancer since she was 47, she is 92 now, and she has a rare form of blood cancer. This one there is no treatment for but transfusuions. I have begun writing about it myself, more as a journal, but I guess in a way it is also therpeutic. Not for hr though, just for me. She is the one that is fighting the losing battle. She has decided to just let nature takes its course now, so I guess she has just about six months. It is a wake up call, do what you can while you can as much as you can, because those last months you don't want to just think about all the things you would have done. She said to me a couple days ago, I knew that I might die of cancer, but I didn't know I would have this long, I am actually gratefull I got to see most of my Grandkids grow up and marry. Now I am just tired. I will go and read her articles.

Pris said...

Nea
It really shows us that doctors can't predict the end and thank goodness she had this long. A friend of mine had breast cancer in the eighties and it had metastasized, so the doctors didn't even want to start reconstruction. Told her to get her affairs in order. She told them no. She had the chemo and the reconstruction and she's still alive, healthy and going strong.

Nea said...

You just never know, Dr's don't know everything that is for sure. Sometimes they just toss the dice. With Mom they didn't give her much hope when they found the Lymphoma, that was back when Scott graduated from high school, 10 years ago. She has had five different cancers. I guess she might have others now. It all started with breast cancer. We talked tonight, she did't mention her health at all, that is the way she is.

Pris said...

She really is a survivor, Nea. I'm glad you've had her all these years.

Emily said...

My name is Emily Pierot. I was Lisa's youngest daughter. Tomorrow, March 2nd, will be the 6 year anniversary of her death. It brings me peace to still be able to google her name and read about what an insperation she was to others. I have few memories of my mother, but I am able to know who she was by what people say about her on their pages. I like to believe that those words are the few I can trust online. Thank you for this post and I hope life is well.
Emily Pierot

Pris said...

Emily, it means so much to hear from you. I;m glad my blog brought some peace to you, Your mother meant a lot to so many people. Thank you for posting.