Beth’s Amazing Journey #7

by on ‎02-26-2016 12:06 PM

Many of you wrote to tell me you enjoyed getting to know Beth through my weekly blogs. That was my hope when I began writing them. I want the world to know what an amazing woman Beth Wheeler was. This week I am going to share a couple of stories that will help you understand what a big heart she had.




My daughter, Kirstyn, recently reminded me of this first story. A couple of weeks ago, Kirstyn had been up most of the night with my grandsons who were sick. She was feeling sorry for herself and began to think about her mom when we first began Beth’s journey in her fight against cancer. In November of 2012, Beth had her first surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible. She was hospitalized at UPenn in Philadelphia. Many things turned out to be worse than we hoped or expected. Not all of the cancer could be removed.  It spread throughout Beth’s abdominal region to the point where it was stage 4. She was facing a long road of chemo therapy after she healed from the surgery. Her incision was much larger than originally anticipated. Our world was rocked to its core in just a matter of days. Our heads were spinning as we tried to comprehend what this new journey would look like.




After several days in the hospital it was finally time to bring Beth home where she belonged. Kirstyn called her the morning she was to be released and said, “Mom, aren’t you so excited that you get to come home today?” She sensed some hesitation from Beth instead of the excitement she expected to hear. When Kirstyn asked her what was going on she said she didn’t feel like she should leave her hospital roommate who was admitted the day before. The woman was sick and in a lot of pain. Apparently, Beth spent most of the night helping to care for the woman by emptying her vomit basin and bringing her wet wash cloths and calling the nurse when she needed pain medicine. Beth worried the woman wouldn’t be taken care of well enough after she left. Here was my Beth, recovering from major surgery for stage 4 cancer, with every reason to complain about herself yet there she was, wanting to care for a perfect stranger. That was just who she was. She was simply amazing and she taught us many tremendous lessons about love.


I am going to share one other story that came to my mind this morning. I was able to be with Beth for most of her chemo treatments, but there were a couple of occasions when I just couldn’t arrange my work schedule to be there.   Fortunately, Beth had several friends who wanted the honor of going with her when neither of our daughters or I couldn’t go. I’ll never forget one day when I called to check on her from work and she told me she had the sweetest nurse take care of her that day. Beth told me she was a wonderful Christian and was very involved with her church outreach to homeless people in Philadelphia. The nurse noticed Beth’s Ugg boots and said how they looked like they were warm.  Beth told her they were very warm, cozy and comfortable. The nurse said she would love to own a pair too, but they were a little out of her price range.  So then Beth asked me, “Cakies, can we please buy my nurse a pair of Ugg boots? She is really wonderful and she took such good care of me and she does so much to help less fortunate people in Philadelphia.”  I said, “Absolutely Cakies!“ Beth got her size and the next visit she took her a pair of Uggs. The nurse must have thanked us a dozen times, which gave us both a lot of joy. It made me really happy seeing how happy it made Beth.




My Cakies knew the real secret to happiness is found in making others happy.  She taught us that lesson every day of her life. So, whenever I start to feel sorry for myself I try to think about Beth who always chose to reach out to help others instead of complaining about her own circumstances. 


God bless you and thanks for reading!


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