Sunday, June 10, 2012

Myeloma Buddy Maker Goes on Final Holiday

Myeloma Buddy dolls were sold from Paula's Etsy shop
and all profits went to Myeloma UK or IMF
(International Myeloma Foundation).
(Photo taken by Paula from her blog.)
There are many of us who have the "Myeloma Buddy," created by Paula Kilgallon of Rainsford, UK, in her efforts to raise funds for, and awareness of, the disease that she tried to manage for a little more than three years. It was never a 'fight' for her, but a constant opportunity to bring a different perspective to the various experiences she faced with an unswerving positive attitude. She deserved to overcome MM if having a remarkable sense of humor was the way to do it, because Paula had that in abundance.

Her blog "Feresaknit" is a chronicle of her sewing, knitting and crocheting her way through tests, procedures, hospital stays that she referred to as 'holidays,' and the untrammeled, ram-rod test of character that she passed with flying colors when her support system of medical transport failed to show up or kept her waiting for hours when she was clearly ill, or her mother-in-law called to insist that she needed to have Paula come over to take care of some niggling task(s), or her Professor wanted to 'discuss something with her,' and she refused to delay hearing the very bad news. Only she gave it to all of us with her usual aplomb, trying to prepare us for today. She never gave up; she was released.

The circumstances that connected me to Paula back at the end of December of 2009 gave us both a chance to share some laughs, some insights as well as photographs as we became pals on a journey none of us expected to take. Please take the time to read her second posting here of her search for the testing bureau for her license to drive. Paula should have been writing scripts for Comedy Central.

We followers were enthralled by the entrance in January 2010 of the Jack Russell/Staffordshire Bull pup "Tommy" in her life who immediately ate one of her crafting needles requiring a hefty vet bill for the stitches required to sew him up after retrieving the needle from his stomach. Tommy was paving the way for her very own Buddy in September - who would end up sleeping on her bed, in the fresh laundry basket, really anywhere it was convenient for him and Paula indulged him, adored him, and shared him with us, too.

Paula's husband, referred to as "B," has a mother who would have tried the patience of Job, but Paula was stronger - for awhile. Some of her postings about the M-I-L were riotous about repeated phone calls and misunderstandings that were reminiscent of the once popular British weekly comedy series, "Are You Being Served?" (A dear friend of Paula's posted this about her.)

Along with the Buddy antics, we worried about Paula driving "B's" car, losing her keys and being afraid to tell her husband, discovering Buddy had chewed through the seatbelt in the back seat of B's car, and a myriad lot of other aspects of the life she was living and letting us in to be like Nosy Neighbors, peering over the blog fence at everything, listening at the keyhole of her existence. When she completed her stem cell transplant and the numbers, at first, seemed to be heading in the right direction, we were her cheering section.

Paula shared many of the various treatments she endured which left little, if anything, to the imagination. But her ability to see the humor in some of the grimmest situations pulled us all through with her. And who among us forever after will refer to PJ's or pajamas as "jim jams?"

Paula received a well-earned reward of the Inspirational Cancer Blog badge and Top Health Blogger for her blog. Her blog readers were seldom disappointed as she wrote about her life - the good, the bad, the frustrating, the bizarre, showing photos of many of her projects and the precious 'postings' of her own Buddy - with us often. We were privileged confidants about her enduring marriage to "B" whom she clearly loved with the same vibrancy she lived. Her creative artistic energies won her first place in local contests and her many gifts, both of actual creations or her thoughtful comments, won her first place in our hearts.

When you look up at the stars shining brightly from the heavens, perhaps you will join me in imagining one of them might be Paula who certainly was a star while she was with us. I will miss you, dear friend.


  1. You've said it so much better than I could ever do. Thank you. X x x

  2. Beautifully said, I am crying over what you wrote. But, she did touch our lives,(she did not know me), but I loved reading her very funny blogs. I will miss her.

  3. What a "spot on" summary of Paula's journey, and her eloquently expressed as only a true "writer" could. Thank you for this remembrance of a very special lady.

  4. what a beautiful tribute to paula. you captured what we all so loved about her, sandy, and brought back so many memories of her extraordinary kindness, amazing wit, generosity, and the great passions she felt for the loves of her life. it brought me great comfort when i read it, just having found out we had lost her, and i am sure i will read it again and again whenever i feel lonely for her. thank you for helping us remember so much of what made paula, paula, with your marvelous gift of writng - so beautiful and touching, and true. warm hugs, karen sutherland

  5. This is so beautifully written, so heart-felt! We will miss the cheerful and courageous Paula.

  6. I thank each of you for your comments. If I have captured the essence of our remarkable friend, it was because I had help from a Higher Source while writing it. I was just the channel and tool to record it.