Remembering Lesley Czyz......

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11/9/2010 12:55pm
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Replies: 8

Six years ago today, our friend, Lesley, joined the angels in Heaven.   I only got to see Lesley twice---once at a MPIP 'bash' in Asheville, NC, and once at her home in Mexico..... Mexico, New York, that is.  We had a great time in Asheville... The party in my room went on until early-thirty!  Guitars, singing, chatting... I'm surprised the hotel didn't kick us out, 'cause we made a little bit o' noise! =)

"Love and Light" Carole and I went to visit her just a few days before she died.  It was heartbreaking---just a few months before in Asheville, Lesley was so vibrant, didn't look sick at all, sang all night with us, kept us laughing, and we became really close---and now, her new journey was to start soon.  When we got there, she lit up--she recognized us and welcomed us to her home.  She was sitting in her recliner and we had a great visit.  Within just a short time, though, literally within an hour or two, Lesley was hallucinating---possibly from the meds; possibly from the brain tumor(s), or both,----and seeing little green men with tiny, neon beady eyes, and fire around her bed (on it, under it).  Carol and I would go over and 'put out the fire" and tell the lil men to go away.  Sometimes we'd tell her there wasn't anything there, and she'd say.."I know.  I'm hallucinating." 

She was terrified and just wanted out of the house.  Her sweet hubby, David, gently helped her to the car, and the 4 of us drove around for a bit, seeing the big town (hah!) of Mexico, including the "bus barn" where Lesley had worked. (She had been a school bus driver.)    She was still seeing the little green men, now riding their bicycles backwards, coming for her.  I was sitting in the back seat, snuggling with Lesley, and I started singing.. asking her to sing with me.  We started with the song I wrote, "Wings of Hope", and she sang the words she could remember.   I think "Amazing Grace" was the next song, and by then she had calmed a bit, and sang with everything she had in her. Then we sang "Jesus Loves Me", and she sang her heart out!!    Through this horrible nightmare, Jesus held her in His hands, and gave her peace--enough to return home and not be afraid.  .  David can correct me if I'm wrong, but Lesley hadn't hallucinated before, and she didn't again after that one night.  I can't tell you what it meant in my heart to be there with Lesley through her worst time, and to be able to sing about Jesus with her!   A coincidence that Carole and I were there? Not a chance. 

Lesley, I love and miss you, and am blessed to have known you.  I shall meet up with you again someday!

Big *Hugs* to David and the girls today,

~Lisa~

 

David and Lesley:

 

In Asheville:

Glenda, Dian and Lesley: 

Note:  Dian was doing interferon during the bash---can't believe she even made the party---From Spokane, WA to Asheville, NC!

Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in an attractive & well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body totally used up & worn out, & screaming WOOHOOO, WHAT A RIDE!!

I'm so sorry that I never had a chance to meet her.  It breaks my heart that you lost your friend.  The double edged sword of friendships - you get both the best and worst.  I'm glad you and Carole were there for her.

Love,

Amy

I continue to praise God in this storm, counting my blessings & enjoying my "bonus time!"

I'm so sorry that I never had a chance to meet her.  It breaks my heart that you lost your friend.  The double edged sword of friendships - you get both the best and worst.  I'm glad you and Carole were there for her.

Love,

Amy

I continue to praise God in this storm, counting my blessings & enjoying my "bonus time!"

Amy, I wish you could have met Lesley, too.  She rocked!!  You would've absolutely loved her (and vice-versa). 

I know what you mean about that double-edged sword---BUT..... if it weren't for melasuckanoma, I would never have met so many great people from this board, including YOU, my friend!  I am blessed to know/have known them!!

Love ya girl---I'll try to call again soon and check up on ya!  Still nit-picking around here..... GRRRRRRRRR!!

~L~

Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in an attractive & well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body totally used up & worn out, & screaming WOOHOOO, WHAT A RIDE!!

Bill G - (11/12/2010 - 10:46pm)

Yes, I too remember Lesley fondly.  Thanks for the touching tribute, Lisa

A very touching tribute.  I have found it absolutely amazing the  combinations the Lord has allowed and/or brought together in the face of what melanoma attempts to do to us.  What we are allowed to do to help each other to face the horrors on earth helps so much to endure until  our end.

I'm me, not a statistic. Praying to not be one for years yet.

Ahhhhhh, Lesley.  I sooooooooooooo remember her.  Many years back in MPIP history there was a lively bunch of Stage IVbees who chatted daily and supported one another in their travels, but there were shall we say, a somewhat less than poster children of melanoma cadre who collectively flipped off melanoma and squeezed every bit of life that there was each and every day? 

Well, Lesley was one of them.  At the time, Lesley, Trauble, myself and others would chat and post and stir up the masses on a daily basis, often sardonic, usually irreverent, normally suggestive and always pointed and directed to beleive that one of us might get out of here alive later, rather than sooner.

I was running the cyber bar here at the time with every person who entered chat, I would ask them what they would like to drink, even though most of us could not, but everybody spelled out their favorite drink and I digitally mixed it up and slid it down the cyber bar to them as an imaginary escape that we all enjoyed......and we all got loaded.....not on real liqour but on the elixor of brother and sisterhood created by MPIP.

Fast forward to when I met Lesley in person.  On her way to Ashevile, where she met Barbie Girl, I was in the hospital in Charlotte getting juiced on IL2.  At the time, I had an ex-wife stalking me with the hopes that I would die and she would get money, so my Surgical Onc put me in the hospital under an assumed name so I would not be bothered by that.

Now, Charlotte is a pretty big city and  as a result, you just can't just wander around in Carlinas Medical Center and stroll into patient rooms, let alone in the middle of the night.

Well, Lesley did.  It was the middle of the night, I was in ICU no less, with my skin looking like I was covered with potatoe chips and all sorts of tubes in me and I opened my eyes and there stood Lesley and Garth.

She just waltzed in.  How she got in, I will never know. even more I don't know how she got out !

David, who did not come in, was out circling the hospital and driving the getaway car and he and I both regret we did not and have not yet met.

But I am better for it.  We talked, embraced and made that eye contact and physical touch  of understanding that only cancer people can and then she and Garth  were gone.

In the last picture Barbie posted is Glenda, Dian and Lesley all of whom I have met in person,, there is only one living left in that picture and I do know she is better for it as well.

 

Smooch Lesley, I will never forget you, or David or your children.

Charlie S

 

 

 

 

I was very grateful to meet Lesley in Asheville. And Kag, and Glenda..all gone now. They were regulars in chat when I first came, and I spent hours and hours talking with Lesley. She was my rock in many ways.

My most enduring memory of Lesley was the evening she posted to the main board that she was starting with Hospice, that her time was drawing near. I read it with tears in my eyes, and went right to the chat room. Within minutes, Lesley came in there and was there the whole evening offering comfort to those of us who could not bear the idea of losing her.

DebbieH - (11/16/2010 - 4:29pm)

Sadly, I never got to meet Lesley in person but we spent hours together in chat in the "old days".  That was back when the laughs were plenty and you'd find tears streaming down your face and when my husband would ask what I was laughing at, knowing I was on a cancer board, I was hard pressed to say exactly WHAT was funny, but it was.  Then those tears of laughture turned to tears of sadness when things got bad.  Still, Lesley was in chat nearly every night until just shortly before she died.  I will always remember her and everything she went through.  I'll ALWAYS remember the lonliness she was surprised to find and I hope her time in chat somehow helped to ease that. 

Rest in peace Lesley. 

DebbieH