In memory of Susan in NC

Susan Bumgarner has lost her fight with inflammatory breast cancer.  A friend through the internet and the ibc-support list, Susan was always ready with an encouraging word.  She and her husband Warren were strong examples of the incredible bond that partners bring to fighting this dread disease, and of the love that will survive anything.

Susan was an incredible support to newbies and others fighting IBC; a quick search of the archived list revealed to me just how extensive that support really was.  She was always there, with a reassuring word, a datum, a supporting laugh.  She kidded with us about our disappearing eyebrows, and she reassured those who wrote in the midst of a panicked night.  She did her share of activism and articles, and she fought bravely and without hesitation.

She passed away at MD Anderson this morning, with her husband at her side. 

In her memory and her honor, I’d like to give a nod to some organizations that are helping other people with cancer, in hopes that maybe someone out there searching for help today will find it.

Food and Friends prepares, packages, and delivers meals and groceries for people living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other life-threatening illnesses in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Cleaning for a Reason will help with the cleaning aspect.  Got cancer?  You may be able to get help via regular maid service, to help with one of the most time-consuming and impossible tasks on the list during chemo.  Other groups I’ve only just heard about (from the ibc-support list) who provide free or reduced cost maid service for those who can’t clean are You’ve Got It Maid and IJCSA.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation helps out with all kinds of diagnostic and treatment expenses for cancer patients.  And, as you probably know if you’ve seen those kickly little signs around the internet, the Breast Cancer Site funds free mammograms.  

Locks of Love is still around, gals, and gratefully accepting those ponytails that you’re aching to get rid of.  They use them to make new hair for little kids who have lost theirs due to chemo treatments or disease.  In fact, I’ve got a post coming up tomorrow about a litttle girl and her mom who got haircuts together this winter, and who sent their hair off to help make other kids happy.   I can’t think of a better reason to cut one’s hair, can you?

All kinds of PEAple are getting involved in the fight against breast cancer, with the brand-new, internet-initiated Frozen Pea Fund that was begun to honor our twitter-friend Susan Reynolds and give her strength to help her fight her own cancer.

Every time I think I’m nearly done talking about cancer, I am reminded that none of us can fully put cancer behind us or away from us; cancer will strike 1 in 3 of us over our lifetimes, so we must be aware.  Now … have you done your breast self-exam this month?

Edited to add: I’ve just received news that Christine Buerger, who went by “Hoosier Hottie” on the IBC support list, has also passed away.  I didn’t know her like I did Susan and Norma and Ursel, but she was a friend to many on the list, and it is always difficult to hear of another loss.  Please do your breast self-exam today, and call your doctor if ANYTHING is different in one breast than the other.  Please?  For me?


25 Responses to In memory of Susan in NC

  1. Jacquie says:

    I’m so sorry. May Susan Rest In Peace.

  2. Laura says:

    Sorry to hear about your friend Susan.

    What a wonderful way to honor her and to get some very helpful information out to others.

    We all have a story and you really help us.
    Thank you.

  3. Jen says:

    Man, I HATE this stupid IBC. How many more moms and daughters and sisters and friends need to die from this. GGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRR!!!

    Glad to here YOU are doing well though. 🙂

  4. Elizabeth says:

    You closed this post by asking if we’ve done our breast self-exam this month. I have to tell you that before I started reading your blog, I NEVER did my self-exam. For some reason, it always yucked me out so I never did it. Now I do it. Now I understand.

    I found your blog in November 07 while Google searching for people’s lists of favorite wooden toys. I found your list and some great Christmas toy suggestions for my son. The point is, I found you through something unrelated to IBC. I had never heard of IBC. I have been sending you my good wishes ever since. You have made me a better person. I appreciate my time with my two year old son more. I slow down a bit. I give thanks every day. And I do my breast self-exam. So thank you … for so much.

  5. Robin says:

    I’m so sorry. May she rest in peace, and may all those who loved her somehow find some comfort in that.

    I get such a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I see the words MD Anderson. I know it is a wonderful hospital and they do a tremendous amount of good, but for my own family it was the end of hope.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear the news…

    What a wonderful way to honour your friend… to continue spreading the news about breast cancer awareness.

    Love to you– CGF xo

  7. Kayris says:

    What a tragedy. I am so sorry to hear this.

  8. Angela says:

    I’m glad you were able to blog about Susan. I am not able to. I am struck by the concept of being killed by the treatment and not the cancer. I have wondered if I would be willing to go through HDC / SCR.

  9. Lana says:

    I really, really hope you’re not really drinking diet coke. If you are, please check this out:

  10. Mare says:

    Dearest WhyMommy,

    Susan and her sister joined Patti and myself for dinner while we were in Houston. She was truly a beautiful person and will be in our hearts and memories always. Warren is such a special man and our hearts go out to him and her family. Thank you so much for writing about her so eloquently .. Love, Mare

  11. Becki says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of this. My heart goes out to Susan’s friends and family.

  12. Sarah S. says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Susan. My heart goes out to all the people she touched and loved.

  13. canape says:

    Thoughts and prayers for Susan’s family and friends. I’m so sorry.

  14. Angeline says:

    I’m sorry, its sad whenever someone goes. but when you look on the brighter side, she no longer needs to suffer in pain. Its a relief.

  15. whymommy says:

    I’m sorry. I disagree. We don’t know how much pain she was in. She was a vital, enthusiastic person, right up to and including her last visit to M.D. Anderson, the beacon of hope for many with IBC (as they have the first dedicated IBC clinic in the world, they are often pathfinders for the rest of us). She was a brilliant person, and it is NOT a relief that she has passed.

  16. Amy says:

    I’m sorry to hear of your friend…tragic and sad that this disease is taking so many. Thank you for keep us updated and sending gentle reminders for our own health.

    You continue to amaze me with your bravery and strength!
    Thank you~

  17. Lisa says:

    Sorry to hear about Susan.
    Thanks for the check reminder.
    I think I need to borrow your kids to help wear mine down too ;).
    Love and thanks, L

  18. whymommy says:


    You got it. Wanna drop yours off here on Monday? Stimey just left and it reminds me how much I love a good playdate — and the naps that follow. 🙂

  19. Mrs. Chicken says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Cancer is an enemy with so many faces, IBC being one of the most evil visages.

  20. Ali says:

    I’m so sorry.

    Thank you for doing what you do.

  21. jodifur says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    It was so great to meet you last night in person!

  22. liz says:

    so sorry to hear of susan’s passing.

    may she rest in peace.

  23. itsalittlesad says:

    Sad that Christine’s site still appears active. guess that is how it works in the abnormal blog o sphere.

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