My friend and fellow carcinoid patient, Lynn Guidici, died last Friday. She was 59. I met Lynn in 2012 through the ACOR message board. We both lived in the New York area and had seen some of the same doctors. Lynn was the first carcinoid patient that I met in person. She was diagnosed in 2006 and I was a relative “newbie” in 2012. Nonetheless, we were in similar situations in thinking about debulking surgery, what our next step should be and if we really trusted our doctors. We met over coffee and hit it off immediately, talking and laughing about life, cancer, doctors and poop. We talked and met up regularly to catch up on things. She had a debulking surgery in early 2013 and I went next in September. She never fully recovered from the surgery and continued to struggle with eating and weight loss issues. She went on to have a liver embolization and remained in declining health. I continued to see her, going to Westchester where she lived so she would not have to travel into the city. I last saw her a few weeks ago at her home and knew that this would be my last visit.
Lynn was a warm and caring person who was so proud of her daughter Anabel, who just graduated from high school and will be attending college in the fall. Perhaps going away to college will help her deal with the death of her mother. Lynn's husband Bill survives her as well.
I feel quite upset, even though it was clear that Lynn was doing poorly. Knowing someone who has the same disease is an amazing experience because they have the same hopes, fears and symptoms, making them closer to you than most other people. Seeing Lynn die brings my own mortality up front and personal which is very scary as well.
Rest in peace Lynn, you were a great friend and confidante.