Tribute | We remember Margaret Rohner
Sharon Mills <email@example.com>
Malinda from Alabama
gretchen from Maine
Diane <firstname.lastname@example.org> from Levittown, PA
Nina <Survivor1025@aol.com> from Peekskill, NY
someone i wish i could have met, the strenght,
and courage your mom must have had, must have
been just amazing. I am a 2x cancer survivor
of breast and anal cancer, i was diagnosed at
age 40 with breast, age 43 with anal. I am now
46 and facing another problem, of abnormal
bleeding, and they are having a hard time gett-
ing a biopsy, because when i had anal cancer
they radiated the outside pelvic also, no gyno
or gyno oncologist can seem to get a D&C. I
have been so worried, i have been abnormally
bleeding on and off since Nov. 2006, after they
had radiated my anal cancer and outside of
pelvic, i didnt have a menses for 1yr and 8
mths and this passed Nov, i started bleeding
sometimes, enough red, sometimes pink, some-
times nothing but i feel cramping. Back in
Nov, Dec, I had pet/ct scan, and MRI, which
both showed normal, this mth, May, 2007, i
repeated, both tests, both show, something
happening with my endometrium, a "very slight
prominence of the endometrium of the lower
uterine segment", thats what the MRI says.
and PET says something similar. I cant tell
you the anxiety i been going through, knowing
i have something going on in my endometrium
and here it is 6 mths, and noone can get a
biopsy, doctor said, hysterectomy isnt good
for me, because the rads i had could cause
me to have infection. So, we are still trying
to figure out what to do, how to obtain this
biopsy, i think when i had the rads, on the
outside of pelvis, it difused the organs in
pelvic together, and made things tighter.
So, I have been worried sick, about what i
could be faced with....after reading, your
mothers letter, and how she survived, all 4
cancers..i cannot tell you, what an inspira-
tion, and strenght, it gave me, all of a
sudden, i just felt, this overwelhming amt
of "HOPE" and "FAITH" her story touched me
so much, i cried, and my mother was right
here crying to....i lost my father, 3 yrs
ago, so its just me and my mother now, she
had melanoma skin cancer, over 12 yrs ago,
but shes doing very well, knock on wood, she
is 74, and a beautiful mother, i love her so
much, as im sure your mom, was a beautiful
and wonderful lady...she gave me, something
tonight, and that is, inspiration and hope,
and to keep the faith...her letter taught
me, no matter what comes your way, to never
lose hope, and confront it face on, i cant
tell you, how reading that she was a 4x
cancer survivor, made me feel. How she did
it, i dont know, all i know is, she must
have been one extroidinary lady, someone
special, im sorry, she ever got the cancers,
but, she gave me and im sure others, a gift,
that gift is, to face whatever comes our way,
and fight it, and never lose the hope and
faith, or never let it get the best of you,
God is grand i believe, and i think he has
certain people, who he knows are strong, to
share and spread this great gift of strenght
to others, people like me, who, for mths now
and days, have felt, hopeless...until tonight
when i read your moms letter and her survivng
4 primary cancers. May she rest in peace, im
sure, shes with all the other angels in heaven.
I hope reflecting on all the great memories of
her, and times together with her, will always
give you peace and feelings of contentment. I
am sure she will always watch over you....!!
She was/is a remarkable woman, she will for-
ever be my inspiration..I hope you are doing
well, God Bless you and may he always protect
you. Thankyou. Nina
I am so thankful for you mothers story- and to you for caring for her during her times of trial. God will bless you for your kindness...
Shannon <email@example.com> from Clinton, IA
Ellen Lagasse <firstname.lastname@example.org> from Eldersburg Maryland
Annie <email@example.com> from Wheeling, WV
I have been plagued by ill health and similiar pain and misery for several years now.
I wish to say...as I read her last entry about why she had survived so many health scares in her life...
I must exclaim most profoundly...that if she hadn't...perhaps I would not be as at peace this night...because of her. God rest her soul.
Thank you, Mrs. Rohner, for reaching out to my soul. I feel your sincere concern and comfort.
God be with your family forever.
Mrs. BA Mc (age 45)
Loraine from new york city
Donna from Springfield, VA
what a wonderful story to read; truly inspirational. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Aug 2004 and have undergone two surgeries and eight rounds of chemotherapy and so far things are looking good.
I love reading stories like Margaret's. It shows that being diagnosed with cancer doesn't have to mean the end of the world. Every day new treatments and drugs are becoming available that enable people to live longer and more comfortable lives and even though the statistics are not always good, someone has to make up that 50% or 15% and it may as well be ME.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Margaret Smith from London
She reminded me constantly that I hadn't written often enough and I started sending her post cards from my foreign travels and calling her from interesting airports. She was thrilled with each call and marvelled at the technology that put me half a world a way on a cell phone.
In her 80s we taught her how to use email and though she was not keen, she did it so that we were all easier to reach.
I sat on a plane one day with an oncologist with one of the big pharamaceuticals, I commented how rewarding his job must be. I also said that he must hear that a lot. He said rarely, most people comment on how sad it is. I realised that my mother and my grandmother made me believe cancer is survivable with the right early treatment.
I wait for the day I follow in their footsteps. Though I don't relish the fight, I do believe I will beat it and it is entirely because of those two women and how well they fought.
linda hopkins <firstname.lastname@example.org> from calif.
nithiyaseelan <email@example.com> from india
Liz--one of Margarets grandchildren <firstname.lastname@example.org> from Richmond, VA
Searching through your suitcase to find the fudge, smelling your warm peach cobbler, guessing at jeopardy together, helping with the French words in your crosswords...what nice childhood memories to carry with me throughout my adult life. You made a wonderful difference in the lives of all your grand children.
Today is Carol's 62nd birthday and we know you are proud. Thank you for giving Mom and all of us hope in battling Cancer. Mom is 6 years cancer free today. Your life showed us you can win.
You are loved and missed very much.
alexander egg-krings <email@example.com> from Richmond, VA
I miss hugging you. I wish next time I go to Pittsburgh I could hug you but I cant.
I wonder if you play basketball in Heaven?
I love you.
Alexander, great grand son, 5 years old.
Pat <pmcdonald> from Nova Scotia Canada
Joanna Chan <firstname.lastname@example.org> from Singapore
I first read your mum's story about a year ago. I was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer in May 2001, at the age of 42. I found her story very inspiring, and was rereading it for the third time today when I learn of her death. I am glad to learn that her passing was a peaceful one. I never had this kind of relationship with my parents (I was adopted), so I can only say I envy you. Thank you too, Carol, for your story. Take care, God Bless. Joanna from Singapore.
I'M SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS, BUT YOUR MOTHER WAS ONE OF THE STRONGEST WOMEN THAT I KNOW OF TO ENDURE THESE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CANCERS AND ALL OF THE OTHER IN BETWEEN ILLNESSES. I KNOW THAT SHE IS DANCING WITH THE ANGELS. SHE WAS A REMARKABLY STRONG WOMEN, GOD BLESS U..
My mother also survived 3 primary cancers. I remember how difficult it was due to the fact that people thought they could catch cancer and little was done to address the person's spirit.
I am grateful that Margaret was generous enough to post her experiences. They are now part of my healing and so she goes on...
Cate Axtman <email@example.com> from Pittsburgh, PA
I feel so lucky to have had such a wonderful grandma for 32 years and so glad that she lived long enough to know my three kids.
Here is to crossword puzzles, jellybeans and Manhattans at 5:00. I love you Grandma! You are one of a kind.
Sue B. <firstname.lastname@example.org> from Middletown, PA, USA
Carol and family, I send you my love and condolences. And, Carol, try to keep in touch so we know how you're doing. We miss you.
Love, Sue B.
Lola from Salt Lake City, UT
I'm so sorry for your loss. I will remember your mom as a pioneer in cancer survivorship and advocacy. She taught us by example, how we could live life fully, while dealing with cancer.
Thank you for sharing her spirit with all of us at EOTP.org My love and prayers go out to you and your entire family. Bless you Carol.
Robert Rohner <email@example.com> from McHenry Illinois
ALWAYS AND FOREVER---------
I LOVE YOU, MOM
Janice Donley <firstname.lastname@example.org> from Pittsburgh, PA
It seems that no matter how old our mothers are when they die that it is too soon. That final cut of the umbilical cord leaves us really standing alone for the first time.
Margaret was a treasure -- I really enjoyed meeting her when the EOTP crew visited your home a couple of years ago. Margaret seemed so happy to be a part of the EOTP group of survivors, and she stood out as an inspiration to all the rest. She will be missed, but I'm sure her light will continue to shine as a beacon to others who walk the same path.
God's blessings to you and to all those who have lost such a wonderful family member and friend,
Carol (Daughter) <email@example.com> from Pittsburgh, PA
WON a 45 year long race against cancer at the age of 90. She was peaceful, in my home with me, in her own room, in her own bed, and died from natural causes, NOT from cancer. She brought me into this world in 1941 as I drew my first breath. I thank God for allowing me to be with her yesterday when she drew her last. To the extent that death can be beautiful, hers truly was.
Please join me in celebrating the life of this incredible survivor. Four separate times she fought and won: 1958 (ovarian); 1961 (endometrial); 1976 (colon); and 1986 (colon). I hope you will take time to read her story. She has been such an inspiration to me, and I hope she will be to each of you as we each fight our own battle against this horrible beast.
She was so proud of her affiliation with this group, and had the privilege of meeting Cathy Black, Sue D., and Sue B. on one of their
early meetings in Pittsburgh. She had a photo of Sue D., herself and me on the wall near her bed when she died.
I know she and my father (who lost the race with prostate cancer in 1965 at age 54) are now with all the others who have finished the
race to help any and all of us when we ask. I am so happy that my parents are now reunited. I can only imagine the joy of that reunion after 33 years apart.
My mother continues to be my hero. Stronger than anyone I have ever known. Her own mother, Marguerite, passed away at the age of 59 from
a stroke in front of my mother, Margaret, who was then just a young girl of 16. I do believe that the pain of that loss gave my mother
survival determination, and carried her through all her health battles.
Besides cancer she had lots of other health battles too, including a placenta previa birth (lost her baby girl and nearly bled to death),
repair of an abdominal aneuryism, a hip replacement, carotid artery surgery, a plate in her face (severed an artery and nearly bled to
death from a fall), a plate in her foot from a fall, a non malignant tumor (acoustic neuroma) on her left auditory nerve treated with gamma knife which resulted in loss of hearing in one ear, and removal of at least a half dozen basal cells from early dermological radiation treatments on her face in the 40's.
Most recently, at the age of 89, she had a horrible fall on my birthday, November 2002, resulting in a hematoma on the right side of her brain which the neurologist described as gigantic. He said this bleeding would take her life within days possibly hours. We provided no life sustaining measures, as we knew she was dying. She was totally incoherent, incapable of speech, or understanding.
But, she wasn't ready to die. Against all odds, she recovered. She regained her ability to talk, walk, dress herself, etc. She did suffer some memory impairment, but kept her sense of humor. Her Dr. told me he had given up making predictions about my mother's longevity.
She did not want to leave me, before we were both ready.
When asked her age, she used to remark, when she was 74 years old, she was only "47". When she was 84 years old, she was only "48"---always reversing the numbers. It is with awe yesterday that I realized her own mother had died when she (Margaret) was only 16 years old, and I was "61". Reversed numbers again a coincidence...who knows? All I do know is that I will miss her so
very much. She gave me unconditional love and a role model of survivorship which I shall always strive to emulate.
Five days ago she had a big breakfast, took a shower, got dressed, and in the evening said she didn't want to have her daily glass of evening wine, or her dinner. She got into bed. She never got out.
SHE chose her moment of death..and decided it would be Saturday morning, one day after I had returned from a trip away from home. Amazing.
We are having a Memorial celebration for her on Saturday, May 10th at Hoffman-Schneider Mortuary in Dubuque, Iowa from 1:30-3:00 (her birthplace and former home). Her grandchildren and step grandchildren are flying in from as far away as London, England, Boston, California, Florida, and
Hawaii. She has 2 children, my brother and myself, 13 grandchildren, and 22 great grandchildren. Nearly all will be there. She was dearly loved. We will miss her so much.
Good Bless Margaret, and all of you, and thank you for "listening". I think of you all often, and keep you in my prayers.
adenocarcinoma cervix 1b Oct. 1997, age 55.
Radical Hysterectomy/bso/bilateral node dissection
And gratefully dancing with NED at age 61
Georgia P <firstname.lastname@example.org> from MA
although this is a sad time for Carol, and all Margaret's family, there is celebration as well as Margaret LIVED through all the adversity of her illnesses to die a peaceful death in her own bed at the age of 90! She must have been an amazing woman. I am glad we had the privilege of "knowing" her through Carol.
My thoughts are with you all during this time of adjustment and acceptance.
Nancy T from California
What you wrote about your mother is beautiful. That gives us all inspiration. She sounds like an amazing woman. We will all be there with you in spirit to celebrate her life at the memorial service. My deepest condolences are with you.
Fay from Victoria, Australia
My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Many times I have read your Mum's story and it always inspires me. What a true survivor and a much loved Mother to you. I hope your beautiful memories that you have shared with us give you some comfort at this sad time, Carol.
Condolences from Fay
Sue Donley <email@example.com> from Pittsburgh, PA
I so often think about how lonely her walk must have been having ovarian and uterine cancers in the 1950s and 1960s, when "cancer" was an unmentionable word, much less cancers "down there." What courage she showed in sharing her story now, so that later generations of women could gain hope from her experience.
Margaret, thank you and godspeed! Carol and family, I know even a good, long life, well-lived, leaves family with a big loss, an empty chair at the table, a hole that will never be filled. May memories of Margaret's long life comfort you at these times and may God hold you all close.
Michele T <firstname.lastname@example.org> from Philadelphia, PA
ChrisAW from Atlanta, GA