Sad news in the blogosphere

If you’ve been around the blogosphere any length of time, you are sure to have seen the daily cartoons of the Chris Muir, cartoons which have been a source of reading/viewing enjoyment for millions of blog readers for the last five years. Two years ago, I joined in a blog-wide campaign to drum up visibility for the website of the cancer treatment center that helped keep his sister, Cathy, alive. Cathy suffered from stage 4 colon cancer.

Today, I read with sadness that Cathy passed away on October 12th from a massive stroke. Here’s the press release from Alvin Community College:

After battling cancer for over 5 years, Alvin Community College Broadcast Communications Department Director Cathy Forsythe passed away on Oct. 12 – several days after suffering from a massive stroke while in Mississippi for treatment. “It’s impossible to comprehend how much of an impact her life has made on others,” Wendy Del Bello, ACC Assistant to the President and a friend of Cathy’s, said. “She inspired so many and gave so much – to her children, family, students, co-workers, friends, neighbors. She even found time to help other cancer patients fight and cope after she was diagnosed.” “She inspired people with her never-ending optimism and strength,” she added. “She was a beacon of hope for everyone who struggles with personal challenges; I can’t even express how much she will be missed – and by how many.” Cathy was first diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer after a routine life insurance exam in 2002. After two surgeries and aggressive chemotherapy, she was declared to be in remission. Six months later, nine more tumors were discovered in her liver and lungs. Having been told by doctors that there was nothing more they could do and the average patient with the same kind of cancer typically had a life expectancy of about 14 months, she continued to look for other alternatives instead of giving in to the prognosis. By a strange set of circumstances, Cathy came across a treatment called radiofrequency ablation and decided to pursue it. The procedure involves the insertion of a probe into the tumor that emits RF energy into the area. The high temperature then destroys the cells surrounding the probe. Cathy had her first treatment in March 2005 and returned regularly since then to monitor the treated areas and catch new tumors early. “I treat my cancer like other people treat diabetes; it’s not the end just a condition to manage,” Cathy said during an interview in 2005. She was in Mississippi for an ablation procedure when she suffered the stroke. Known for her optimism and knack for seeing the positive in everything, she saw cancer as another opportunity to give to others. “I probably talk to 15 to 20 people (with cancer) on a fairly regular basis,” she once said. “I’m like one big pep squad for cancer patients.”

Make sure to read the whole thing.

Cathy did indeed have an extremely optimistic outlook on life, as you can see from reading some past entries from her blog.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Chris and his family as they go through this extremely difficult time.

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