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A life lived well. Marilyn, Marilf, The Xeloda Queen.

14 REPLIES 14
belinda
Member

Re: A life lived well. Marilyn, Marilf, The Xeloda Queen.

Remembering Marilyn this weekend a year on from her death. A life well lived, rest in peace. X
belinda
Member

Re: A life lived well. Marilyn, Marilf, The Xeloda Queen.

Thank you, I will pass on your posts to Marilyn's partner Di. X
celiab
Member

Re: A life lived well. Marilyn, Marilf, The Xeloda Queen.

Just to say that I am sorry Di and Belinda to hear this news. Marilyn gave me lots of advice (as did you Belinda) when I shifted onto xeloda a couple of years ago and above that was an inspiration. Thinking of you.

GrannyScouse
Member

Re: A life lived well. Marilyn, Marilf, The Xeloda Queen.

Oh Di, I've only just seen this post as I very rarely come onto the site these days.  My sincere condolences to you and Marilyn's family and friends.  What an incredible lady she was.  Thank you so much for allowing Belinda to share with us your letter to Marilyn's Rabbi.

 

Having met you both at The Christie a few times, I want you to know that I immediately felt very comfortable in your presence, and it was obvious that you had a very close relationship.  As you know, Marilyn and I had the same oncologist, and I still always look out for you both in Outpatients and in the main coffee area.

 

The world has lost a very amazing lady.  RIP, Marilyn.  And Di, my thoughts will always be with you.

 

Maureen xx

carolihne
Member

Re: A life lived well. Marilyn, Marilf, The Xeloda Queen.

Thank you Belinda and Di for posting the tribute to Marilyn.  Truly a life well lived.  At peece now x 

Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: A life lived well. Marilyn, Marilf, The Xeloda Queen.

Thankyou Belinda, may I pass on sincere condolences from all of us here at Breast Cancer Care to Marilyn's family and friends at this sad news

 

Lucy BCC

blondie
Member

Re: A life lived well. Marilyn, Marilf, The Xeloda Queen.

I am absolutely devastated to hear of Marif's passing. For me she was one of the 'old gang' that I have followed and talked to through several forum reincarnations. She and I are the same age and got the same metastices at the same time (2003). So long as Marif was still there, still posting, I could feel safe. Safe in the knowledge that, despite the fact that I had cancer spread, I was not alone that there was Marif too - still surviving, still keeping going. Without her here on the boards I feel so much more vulnerable.
I realise this sounds selfish (I am going on about me and not mourning the loss of Marilyn) but what I am trying to say is that,although I never met Marif, her being in this world made it a better and safer place for me. She did that for me and I will always be grateful for her life, it may have been well lived but it was a life full of giving too and for that I thank her.
Blondie
Steris
Member

Re: A life lived well. The Xeloda Queen, Marilyn, Marilf.

Hi Belinda,

 

Thank you so much for sharing this letter and getting to know about Marilyn's life both before and after her dx.  She was a formidable lady who has touched so many people's life's and been a tower of strength to many ladies on this forum as well as dealing with her own health issues.

 

We corresponded a few times and what I'd read it was her nature to help and support others,  We all miss Marilyn for support and warmth. She gave me so much hope while I was on Xeloda with tips and things to help with the side effects.

 

Bless you Marilyn, my thoughts are with your partner Di, family and friends.

 

Love

Chris xxxx

 

 

NannieSpiky
Member

Re: A life lived well. The Xeloda Queen, Marilyn, Marilf.

What a beautiful and touching tribute to Marilyn, the Xeloda Queen who has given us all such hope and strength in the world of living with cancer. Thank you Di for sharing this with us.
Liz x

juliet66
Member

Re: A life lived well. Marilyn, Marilf, The Xeloda Queen.

Thank you so much for posting this. What an amazing woman, definitely a life well lived. Inspirational.

RIP Marilyn

 

Julie xxx

scottishlass
Member

Re: A life lived well. Marilyn, Marilf, The Xeloda Queen.

Dear Belinda, Thank you for sharing with us the letter that Di gave to the Rabbi which tells us about the marvellous life that Mariyn had.  I also went back to read some of the letter that Marily and I shared over the years we knew each other. We supported each other through treatments and talked about DLA and SBC and Xeloda etc. What I did not know until today that we were born a day apart in February 1950. It is very sad that she was unable to drive when her diabitis affected her eyesight. I would be distraught if I could not drive my car as I love driving too.I will miss her PMs and posts. Thank you for letting me read this letter. Take care, Val 

elliedog
Member

Re: A life lived well. The Xeloda Queen, Marilyn, Marilf.

Although I did not know Marilyn it was easy to see from this piece that she was a brave, good person that put others before herself.My thoughts are with her family. xx
roxy12
Member

Re: A life lived well. The Xeloda Queen, Marilyn, Marilf.

What a lovely and moving tribute to Marilyn.She was obviously a very intelligent and good person. Marilyn was a great comfort to me when I was first diagnosed with secondary breast cancer 2 years ago and I am truly sorry that she has lost her fight with this awful disease. Her legacy lives on though to inspire others with MBC and she will not be forgotten. R.I.P. Marilyn.  xx

belinda
Member

A life lived well. The Xeloda Queen, Marilyn, Marilf.

Marilyn's partner Di has given me permission to share this letter she wrote to the Rabbi involved in Marilyn's funeral to give an insight to an interesting life, lived to the full despite stage 4 breast cancer. Belinda.

 

I thought I might give you an overview about Marilyn if I may. I have been living with Marilyn for 30 years, and we became civil partners in 2006.

She was born in New London, Connecticut, USA on the 23rd February 1950 to Lee Fetcher and Edith Ida Rakosky Fetcher. Lee Fetcher was born in New York, and Edith Rakosky was born in New London, Connecticut, USA. Marilyn’s Hebrew name is Miriam Yehudit bat Chayat Ita, which means Miriam Yehudit daughter of Chayat Ita.

Marilyn was brought up in New London, but went to Boston University in Massachusetts, and after graduating from university she travelled to the UK on a 6 week volunteering project run by Toc H. After the 6 weeks were over, Marilyn decided to stay in the UK, and became a voluntary teacher in a school set up for the children of gypsies and travellers in Hertfordshire. She documented this project with photos, and her work has just been used as part of a recently-published book on travellers in the UK.

Marilyn then moved to Walsall in the West Midlands and became an unqualified social worker for Walsall Social Services. Following this she got a job working for the Council for Racial Equality in Rochdale, and was involved in many campaigns helping non-English families who were being deported from the UK. After working for the Council for Racial Equality, Marilyn got a job as a senior manager for Rochdale Council, and one of her responsibilities was the upkeep of Rochdale Town Hall! Following this job she got the post of Chief Executive for Liverpool Jewish Social Services.

She did this job for about 2 years before she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, and had a lumpectomy operation, followed by 6 months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She volunteered to try out various new treatments at the Christie hospital in Manchester, and was doing quite well until her diagnosis of secondary liver and bone cancer in 2003. This diagnosis came just before 5 years had elapsed since her initial diagnosis, and every year she would have an annual celebration which she called her “I’m not dead day”. Following this diagnosis she was given 6 months to live, so we went to South Africa and the Grand Canyon, two places she had always wanted to see.  Despite the diagnosis, in 2003 she also got a new job in Bolton, which involved projects to improve the life of people in various communities in Bolton. One of her proudest boasts was that she procured the money to build new front garden walls for the houses on Bury Road in Bolton.

After the 6 months had passed, Marilyn decided to campaign for a greater awareness of the women with secondary cancers as a result of breast cancer, and she and 4 other women who were in the same situation set up a group they called BBB. BBB campaigned, but in addition all the members of the group travelled to different parts of the UK, so everyone could meet up, go out for meals and generally have a good time together.

This group has gone on from strength to strength, and the women who have secondary breast cancer are now recognised as part of the wider breast cancer campaigns. Of the original 4 women who set up the group, there are now only 2 left, Ruth and Belinda. But, Marilyn, Belinda, and Jan used to meet up once a year when we went to Norfolk on holiday. But for Marilyn Skype became a wonderful way of talking to women both in the UK and America.

Marilyn has always tried to advise and help other women with breast cancer, even when she has been struggling with her own cancer progression, and invented a ‘cancer pack’ for women who were newly diagnosed. This pack contained all the things which Marilyn had found useful and helpful during her own cancer journey, and she made one up for her friend Sufrana which was full of creams, a soft toothbrush and a few jokes.

Marilyn and I decided in 2003 when she was told that she was dying, that we would face this together and not keep things from one another. Our sense of humour has been invaluable, although other people may have found it startling on occasion, it has helped us through some of the darker situations she has had to face. Marilyn became very ill, and her cancer progressed into the lining of her brain, and she had tumours in her eye socket, which meant she could no longer drive – and she said that as an American being parted from her car was been the hardest thing!

Marilyn developed diabetes in 2004, and it was the progression of her diabetes which had damaged her kidneys which meant that she could no longer take her drugs for the cancer, and in April 2013, her oncologist had to take her off all of her drugs as they were making her kidney damage worse. She was put on Megace, one of the older style drugs for cancer instead.

She has put up with a lot of pain but she bore it all as best she could. On the morning before her death she tried hard to make 2 new young doctors feel as comfortable as she could while they asked her questions, even though she was very weary, as she knew it would help other people in similar situations. In short Marilyn was a brave, warm-hearted woman who has used her life to try to make things better for people she saw as not being as fortunate as she was. Marilyn died at 4.45 am on the 23rd November 2013 in Bolton Hospice, after being admitted to the Hospice at her request on the 20th November.

I miss her.

Diane Hudson. November 2013

belinda
Member

A life lived well. Marilyn, Marilf, The Xeloda Queen.

Marilyn's partner Di has given me permission to share this letter. It was a letter she wrote to the Rabbi involved with Marilyn's funeral, to give an insight of Marilyn's life.

A life lived well despite stage 4 breast cancer. Belinda.

 

I thought I might give you an overview about Marilyn if I may. I have been living with Marilyn for 30 years, and we became civil partners in 2006.

She was born in New London, Connecticut, USA on the 23rd February 1950 to Lee Fetcher and Edith Ida Rakosky Fetcher. Lee Fetcher was born in New York, and Edith Rakosky was born in New London, Connecticut, USA. Marilyn’s Hebrew name is Miriam Yehudit bat Chayat Ita, which means Miriam Yehudit daughter of Chayat Ita.

Marilyn was brought up in New London, but went to Boston University in Massachusetts, and after graduating from university she travelled to the UK on a 6 week volunteering project run by Toc H. After the 6 weeks were over, Marilyn decided to stay in the UK, and became a voluntary teacher in a school set up for the children of gypsies and travellers in Hertfordshire. She documented this project with photos, and her work has just been used as part of a recently-published book on travellers in the UK.

Marilyn then moved to Walsall in the West Midlands and became an unqualified social worker for Walsall Social Services. Following this she got a job working for the Council for Racial Equality in Rochdale, and was involved in many campaigns helping non-English families who were being deported from the UK. After working for the Council for Racial Equality, Marilyn got a job as a senior manager for Rochdale Council, and one of her responsibilities was the upkeep of Rochdale Town Hall! Following this job she got the post of Chief Executive for Liverpool Jewish Social Services.

She did this job for about 2 years before she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, and had a lumpectomy operation, followed by 6 months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She volunteered to try out various new treatments at the Christie hospital in Manchester, and was doing quite well until her diagnosis of secondary liver and bone cancer in 2003. This diagnosis came just before 5 years had elapsed since her initial diagnosis, and every year she would have an annual celebration which she called her “I’m not dead day”. Following this diagnosis she was given 6 months to live, so we went to South Africa and the Grand Canyon, two places she had always wanted to see.  Despite the diagnosis, in 2003 she also got a new job in Bolton, which involved projects to improve the life of people in various communities in Bolton. One of her proudest boasts was that she procured the money to build new front garden walls for the houses on Bury Road in Bolton.

After the 6 months had passed, Marilyn decided to campaign for a greater awareness of the women with secondary cancers as a result of breast cancer, and she and 4 other women who were in the same situation set up a group they called BBB. BBB campaigned, but in addition all the members of the group travelled to different parts of the UK, so everyone could meet up, go out for meals and generally have a good time together.

This group has gone on from strength to strength, and the women who have secondary breast cancer are now recognised as part of the wider breast cancer campaigns. Of the original 4 women who set up the group, there are now only 2 left, Ruth and Belinda. But, Marilyn, Belinda, and Jan used to meet up once a year when we went to Norfolk on holiday. But for Marilyn Skype became a wonderful way of talking to women both in the UK and America.

Marilyn has always tried to advise and help other women with breast cancer, even when she has been struggling with her own cancer progression, and invented a ‘cancer pack’ for women who were newly diagnosed. This pack contained all the things which Marilyn had found useful and helpful during her own cancer journey, and she made one up for her friend Sufrana which was full of creams, a soft toothbrush and a few jokes.

Marilyn and I decided in 2003 when she was told that she was dying, that we would face this together and not keep things from one another. Our sense of humour has been invaluable, although other people may have found it startling on occasion, it has helped us through some of the darker situations she has had to face. Marilyn became very ill, and her cancer progressed into the lining of her brain, and she had tumours in her eye socket, which meant she could no longer drive – and she said that as an American being parted from her car was been the hardest thing!

Marilyn developed diabetes in 2004, and it was the progression of her diabetes which had damaged her kidneys which meant that she could no longer take her drugs for the cancer, and in April 2013, her oncologist had to take her off all of her drugs as they were making her kidney damage worse. She was put on Megace, one of the older style drugs for cancer instead.

She has put up with a lot of pain but she bore it all as best she could. On the morning before her death she tried hard to make 2 new young doctors feel as comfortable as she could while they asked her questions, even though she was very weary, as she knew it would help other people in similar situations. In short Marilyn was a brave, warm-hearted woman who has used her life to try to make things better for people she saw as not being as fortunate as she was. Marilyn died at 4.45 am on the 23rd November 2013 in Bolton Hospice, after being admitted to the Hospice at her request on the 20th November.

I miss her.

Diane Hudson. November 2013