In Memory Of
Kim Green's Story
From Erin Etchegary
When Amanda approached me to write something about my best friend Kim, I had mixed emotions. Of course I want to do whatever I can to raise awareness about this horrible disease that took her away from us, breast cancer, and to honour my best friend, but writing about it brings up so many emotions. Kim was an amazing girl who would do anything for those she loved! She was surrounded by so many wonderful people who loved her and supported her.
Kim and I have been friends for twenty years. We have seen each other through all life milestones: grad, boyfriends, her dads passing, university, engagements, moving away, moving home, weddings, and then the birth of our beautiful girls on the exact same day, just hours apart. Kim, as a mom was the best version of Kim. She was so confident and sure of herself! I loved this new Kim and our friendship grew in a whole new level, it brought us so close.
Just as our friendship was blooming, watching our girls grow as best friends themselves, Kim was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in February 2017, two days before her birthday. It was shattering news to hear from your best friend. I rushed to her, and brought her subway pickles (her favourite). We cried and hugged and said she would get through it. That whole year was full of ups and downs, lots of downs. It seemed every time things got better something really bad happened. She did everything she could do to fight and stay with her beautiful little girl.
That summer, on the day of Chase the Ace, Kim received the news that it was now stage 4, it had moved to her neck. Of course, she fought with me not to try to go anywhere with the traffic, I had to get out of the Goulds, but she came first! We cried for a long time that day.
In October, when our third amigo, Jenni Lynn and her little girl who were home for a visit, we decided to surprise Kim with a best friend photoshoot. Best decision of my life. We had the talented Amanda Dinn do photos of us with our three little girls. It was amazing and something I will treasure for the rest of my life. Those pictures hang in my kitchen so I can see her beautiful smiling face everyday!
December was the hardest month of my life. Kim informed me that it had moved to her brain. It was like someone ripped out my heart. Once it moved to the brain, it moved quickly. Kim passed away in the hospital a week after finding the tumour. Three days before Christmas. This Christmas has been a blur. How do you celebrate when you are preparing to bury your best friend?
Breast cancer has uprooted my life. It has left me without the third amigo. Jenni Lynn and I text all the time talking about how much we miss her. It left a little three year old girl without her mother. She will be told lots of wonderful stories about her mom always. It has left her husband, Devin to raise their daughter on his own. Cancer has left her mother and brother without the third part of their family. As well, it has left a void in many people's lives. Kim will always be missed!!!
It’s hard to find a new normal without her in it. All the firsts hurt, every day something reminds me of her. Love you girl! Screw cancer! Let’s find a cure!!!
A MESSAGE FROM DEVIN GREEN, KIM'S HUSBAND
I met my beautiful wife about 12 years ago. We met up at Boston Pizza on Kelsey Drive for our first date. I was so nervous thinking to myself, be yourself, stay calm and don’t say anything dumb. We walked in, got a table, and started talking. Then one of the weirdest things happen she kept talking and we had an amazing conversation. Now I hadn’t been on that many dates in my lifetime and I always found it hard to get my date to talk and carry on a conservation but with Kim it was really easy. She was looking gorgeous in her nice yellow shirt and nice blue jeans. The date was going good so we went to a movie, “The Kingdom” It was a great night and I knew then this was the woman I was going to marry. Hanging out turned into living together in Prince George, BC, where we traveled and got to see some of Canada’s most beautiful landscapes. I proposed to her in Vancouver at the hotel we stayed in that night. We got married in 2012 and I remember her looking like a Disney princesses that she often watched when she was a child.
August 28th, 2014 was the day Kimberley reached her ultimate goal of becoming a mother when her little angel, Lia Margaret Vera, was born. Weighing in a 6lbs 4 oz., she stole Kimberley’s heart and I knew I was moved to number two. She was an amazing mother to Lia through everything. She always put up a brave front for her no matter how bad she was feeling. To Lia, mom was her world and I will not let Lia forget how much her mother loved her. Kim will always be in our hearts.
February 22nd, 2017 was the day our lives changed forever. You often hear about people getting cancer but you never think it will happen to you. Kimberley’s diagnosis was a rare form of breast cancer called metaplastic triple negative meta carcinoma. 1% of woman get this form of breast cancer. Kim met her diagnosis head on, going through 6 rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, followed by multiple surgeries, and a very aggressive radiation plan. Through all the treatment, surgeries and radiation I watched my wife fight and I was helpless to do anything. I had to fully trust the doctors and hope that they were making the right decisions for my wife. As a husband you HOPE with everything you have that she will beat the cancer and survive. Sadly enough Kimberley didn’t make it. The cancer travelled from her breast to her lymph nodes then up the nodes in her neck. It then took over the chest area where the breast had been removed and then travelled to her brain. She was admitted to the hospital on Dec 15th, 2017 and passed away on Dec 22nd, 2017 surrounded by her family and friends.
It’s a different normal when you wake up in the morning and wonder will you get through the day. She is no longer next to me when I wake up or fall asleep at night. The bedroom feels pretty empty without her there which makes it hard to sleep. I listen to a song, see a picture or think about a memory of my beautiful Kimberley and am filled with emotion. I often become overwhelmed and overcome with emotions which makes it very difficult to move forward sometimes. I told my grieve counsellor that if I could have traded places with her I would have The counsellor said to me, “you would have died” but I said “she would have lived”. That is true love she said to me. Somedays are harder than others but everyday I have to live with the fact that I lost my wife to cancer at a young age. Being alone is hard at times, sitting around house, going out with friends and even being around family members. The sad reality is right now I am alone and I don’t like it. I was always a quiet and shy kid growing up and didn’t have many friends. I didn’t really find myself till my college years where I made some great friends and met the love of my life. Raising a 3 year old little girl has kept me busy and has given me something to focus on and without Lia I am not sure what state of mind I would be in or where I would be right now. My little sweet pea is my shining light in all this darkness. I see my wife in her everyday of the week from the way she looks, the way she acts and Lia’s sense of humor. My wife is not here anymore but I get to see her in my little girl. Lia looks at me when we go to birthday parties or family events and she gets upset because everyone has their mommy. I say to Lia mommy is with you my little girl she’s in your heart and she’ll live on in your memories. She didn’t mean to leave us, she got really sick and lost her fight. Lia always said, “I miss her daddy” and I say, “I miss her too”. I often say to Lia, “its you and me forever and always”.
People often say there are no monsters in this world but cancer, any type of cancer, is a monster in my mind. In less than a year that cancer took a beautiful wife, mother, daughter and friend from her family, Lia and I will miss her forever. Kimberly was an amazing, strong and beautiful person who will be missed by all she touched. Her strength in her fight with cancer will stand the test of time. As I have always said, I truly hope one day they will find a cure for cancer so no family has to go through this again.
“Our world will not be the same without Kimberley in it”
Read more about Kim, her life, and her battle at agreenerview.wordpress.com