Tuesday, March 22, 2011

ELSA

Elsa asked me several times to let everyone who reads her blog know that she could not post any longer. For the past few weeks, and months, she used all her strength to continue fighting, to make sure that the disease that ravaged her body would get all the fight-back she could muster.

It was her hope when she started "Living with a Sarcoma" that it would help other people with the same condition to benefit from the things she learned throughout the over a decade long battle with her cancer. Her motivation was always to help others, to encourage, and to hopefully make life better for everyone. All who met her got this message instantly, I think. In the end, she told me that she did not want anyone to be sad, but to celebrate the time she had on this earth, and it was her hope for those with liposarcoma, that they also fight against their cancer, because Science will one day triumph over it. As she explained to our daughters, she never knew, when our nine year old daughter was born, if she could live long enough to see her walk. Yet, she did that, and then saw her start kindergarten and to grow into a nine year old who already shows evidence of Elsa's influence in her likings, her personality, her engagement with the world around her. Elsa will not see our oldest daughter start college this coming September, but Elsa's imprint is evident in her, in the deepest core of her humanity. So the eleven years were well worth it, is what I am saying, and is what Elsa believed.

Elsa passed away on this past Sunday morning, March 20th, at home, surrounded by family and friends who comforted her until her last breath.

... don't give up the fight.


Z

32 comments:

Natalie said...

Elsa is such an inspiration to me. Every time I saw her, no matter how poorly she was feeling, she had a smile to greet me that lit up the room. I always felt welcome in her presence. She is by far the most positive person I've ever had the privelage to meet, and I only wish I knew her better. I only hope I can become half the woman she was, and still is. Elsa will live forever, in the hearts of all the people she's met; no one will ever forget her or her stuggle. I consider her a fierce warrior, and a victor; she never lost her spirit, no matter how ill she was. She triumphed over the pain, and I will admire her and her strength forever. My thoughts are with you and your family.
- <3 Natalie F.

Maya said...

Mommy is the best person in the galaxy!!!!!!!!!!! I miss her so much. My sister and I have her genes. We also have her heart. She is Resting In Peace. She is always with us. I love and miss her.

- <3 Maya

CmmD said...

And you know what Maya, your kids will have your mom's genes, so your mom will be with them too!
My heart is with you, Filipa, your dad, and my parents.
xxxxxxxoooooxxxxxxxxxx
Carla D.

David said...

Dearest, Everyone. I am so sorry to hear of Elsa's passing. We love her so much here at the Farber. Ze and Filipa and Maya, please come by again if you can. It will be excellent to see you. Love, David Respiratory

Anonymous said...

Thanks you so much Elsa for sharing your life with us. Your positivity and courage has definitely inspired me, and i'm sure many others around the world to continue their fight with cancer.

Beth Garvey said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Elsa had an amazing and inspiring spirit. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Beth

Kathy said...

I "met" Elsa in 2009 when I was searching for others dealing with Sarcoma and for others who were on the drug trial testing Brivanib. I read her story and loved the fact that she was a long time survivor of this disease. She was always so positive and smiling and happy even through all the surgeries and drug trials. She was one of my rocks, my inspirations, as she was for so many others. She will always hold a special place in my heart and I will miss her. To her kids, husband and family, you will be in my prayers as you move forward. I lost my mom when I was a teenager. We never forget but we do find comfort in the many happy memories left behind. (((Hugs))) for all of you.
Kathy

ESMERALDA said...

I met Elsa back in Macau (our hometown) when I was only 16. She was already, back than, this positive, happy and brave person. She had the most beautiful smile I ever saw...
Later, we met again in the States. She was already happily married and her first daughter was only 2 years old. During the past 5 years I have been following Elsa's struggling with cancer through this blog. She was still the happiest and bravest girl I ever met. Little Elsa was still the little girl I have met once with the brightest smile ever. I will miss her. I am already missing her... but I know she will want us to move on, to learn from her experiences, and to live life fully, because like her husband Zé said, every minute we live is worth living. My heart goes to the family, to the girls... but I also know that they have Elsa's genes and they are also brave!

Thank you Elsa for letting me be part of your life one day. For our wonderful teen memories that I will always cherish. For the wonderful moments we spent together and for the privalege to be your friend, one day. You will be always in my heart, until we meet again.

I love you little Elsa, and rest in peace!

GALVEIA said...

Querida Elsa, obrigada por tudo.Ficarás sermpre nos nossos corações. Foste uma grande mulher, uma grande amiga, uma grande mãe e uma grande pessoa. Como aliás já o disse, uma LIÇÃO de vida e de amor e boa disposição.Nunca esquecerei o teu sorriso. nem as tuas maluquices. Descansa amiga.BIG KISS

Anonymous said...

Sorry Elsa. Never forgot you, never will. Lots of love for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Olho para o lado e recordo vários (muitos) momentos juntos fazendo reportagem em Macau! Quando soubemos que a Elsa tinha um problema todos desejamos, pensamos e queríamos que fosse passageiro! Não foi, ficou no tempo e tirou-lhe a vida! Não merecia ela, não merecia o Zé nem as filhas lindas e o resto da família! Nem os amigos que sempre estiveram mais ou menos perto dela!
A Elsa era um sorriso sempre presente, era um estímulo, uma lição, alguém que devemos recordar como um exemplo de coragem e que tinha sempre uma palavra positiva para nos dar! Que a sua luz nos de forca e que rapidamente seja possível um mundo sem cancro!
Um abraço forte ao Zé pela grandeza que também ele sempre foi! E um forte desejo que o sorriso da elsa perdure nas filhitas lindas que deixou!
Jose costa santos

Anonymous said...

I found this blog a few months ago and I was immediately amazed by Elsa's strenght, courage and grace. She was, and always will be, an infectious example of joy of life, of happiness even in troubles and pain, and you all are a wonderful family.
I am sure Elsa will be always close to her children, friends and family, whenever she is now.

Love,

L.

Anonymous said...

I became "friends" with Elsa on the crazysexycancer site. After my first chemo and right before I had to shave my hair off...I found her video of when she shaved her head and was given courage with her own brave attitude. I've followed her blog and have been inspired by her grace, her creativity, her courage and strength, her sense of humor. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and her girls.

Je Vois la Vie en Vert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Je Vois la Vie en Vert said...

When she came to Portugal she wanted to meet Verdinha. We discover each other in front of delicious "Pasteis de Belem".
I liked her in the first moment I saw her. I won't forget the "courage girl" (for me she looked a girl as I am a little bit older..), her sweet smile and her kindness.
Rest in peace, dear Elsa, and if you meet my mother which closed her eyes for ever on March 9th, 2011, tell her that I love her.
Yes, Maya and Filipa, your mommy is a very good person and she will always be living in your heart !

Verdinha

Michelle said...

Z....I am hysterical reading the news of my friend Elsa. I send you all my love and strength to get through this.
I have so many wonderful shared memories. I'm looking at my dream catcher right now. We made it on the 15th floor.
Please know that am here to help with anything.
Love michelle

Erin said...

Dear maya and Filipa,
Your mom is an amazing soul. She fought sarcoma for over ten years so that she could be with you because she loved you so much. Thank you for sharing her with us--we are better people because of her.

Carla said...

YOU WILL ALWAYS SHINE IN MY HEART!
Carla Brigham

Anonymous said...

I will always love Elsa for her fight not only for herself but for others in hopes of finding the cure! We will always remember dear sweet Elsa!

Rajiv said...

I was deeply saddened to read of Elsa's passing. I met Elsa in early 2010 when I first came across this site after starting on a clinical trial that Elsa also participated in.

I only met Elsa in person once, at hospital, but she was a tremendous inspiration to me, having been on her journey for so long, yet still raising two children and always shining a light for the rest of us. Through my exchanges with her I learnt a lot, not only about coping with illness, but also about myself and what to look to.

It is a mark of her golden heart, kindness and generosity that she touched the lives of so many people through her blog. I feel privileged to have met her and can only hope to provide to others even a little of the guidance she has given so many people.

She has taught us all a lot about courage, spirit and what it means to love those close to you.

My sincerest condolences to your Family. God bless Elsa, may she rest in peace and her memory live on.

Rajiv

ctrfreddie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.....I have been recently diagnosed with low-grade sarcoma....I'm really not sure what I am in for yet. I have had cancer 3 times already before this.
Elsa's story gives me strength and hope to keep pushing on.
May God bless your family!

Larry said...

Z -

This is Larry, Iris' husband. I just now learned of this blog, and saw the sad news that Elsa passed away on March 20. I am so, so sorry. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Iris and Elsa had a unique friendship. They shared a common misery, but drew strength from another. Elsa was a wonderful person, so positive and optimistic; she was a source of enormous encouragement for Iris. I hope you will hold on to all the good memories you shared with Elsa.

If you are managing like I am, then you are probably getting by but it's not easy. I'd love to speak with you if you feel up to it. Send me an email so I can find out how to contact you. I'm at lrogers19@gmail.com.

Best - Larry

Nuno said...

I really miss her smile!!

Tuomas said...

I am so sorry to learn of Elsa's passing. I met her only recently, on January 18. She will be in my heart the rest of my life and I will be eternally grateful for what she did for us fellow sufferers of retroperitoneal liposarcoma.

I have had this persistent cancer for eight years now. On March 21, my second child, a daughter, was born. If I believed reincarnation I wished she would be Elsa. Now I just hope she has even some of those great qualitees Elsa had and I hope survive to see her to grow into a nine year old.

I wish good luck with Elsa's family. You can be truly proud of Elsa.

Tuomas

Kathy said...

Hi Elsa,
I just stopped by because I was thinking of you. Whereever you are, I hope you are loved, happy and at perfect peace.
Kathy

Anonymous said...

Elsa's braveness and courage helped us everyday. Thank you for the website and the blog. One person can make a difference and I can honestly say Elsa helped us at a very critical time. Her grace, honesty and descriptions were critical to helping improve hope for a cure. Thank you for sharing, and I am very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with your family.

Elise Franco said...

Elsa sure did become an inspiration and she was able to accomplish her mission of inspiring and making those people who are going through the same struggle live a better and positive life. Ze and Filipa and Maya you are strong gals, you were mothered by a warrior. Our love.

liz said...

Hi Ze,
My name is Liz and I have been following Elsa's blog for a while now. I am so very sorry that she passed. She was a lovely woman with an incredible sense of down to earth-ness. She always wished us, the readers health and happiness, I hope one day you will find these things as well.
I wanted to reach out to you to see if you were interested in a new online social support network called I Had Cancer. It is a new and free social support network focused on connecting people based on experiences with cancer so that they can easily communicate with one another and share information.(This site is for anyone touched by cancer, whether you are a fighter, survivor, or supporter) I would like to tell you more if you are interested, so please let me know when you are ready, I understand that loosing Elsa was very difficult. I would love to send you an early-access pass with extra invites for others you may know going through this journey. It might be helpful for you to get in touch with others who have lost loved ones but only when you are ready.

Either way,take care and best regards.
-Liz@ihadcancer.com

alba sofia said...

Dear Elsa and her family,
I want to thank you for the inspiration you have been to my own family. My dad followed Elsa's blog as we have journeyed through the similar difficult path of my mother's liposarcoma. I wish the best for your family and may Elsa rest in peace.

DAVID HAAS said...

Hello,
I have a question about your blog. Please email me!
Thanks,
David

Milton said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

Cancer Treatment Guide

Theresa said...

I was diagnosed with Liposarcoma in May of 2011. I was fortunate enough to have found it very early. Treaments were completed at the end of 2011 and now I am about to have my first scan since the completion of my treatments. I read this blog and it has hit so close to home. I too will continue to fight to show all that we can beat Sarcoma! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
-Theresa