Is it possible to live a full and meaningful life with cancer? Kathleen thinks so. After she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2017, she spent a year on a chemo regimen that provided about 10 days of feeling well enough to live a fairly normal life between treatments. She joked about writing an imaginary blog for about a year before realizing... against all predictions of her imminent demise, she was still somehow alive. She decided she would write a real version of her blog to honor those diagnosed with any late-stage cancers. They might live longer than expected and she wanted to provide a bit of a guide that tells them what that might be like. Posts on the Together, We Are Strong cancer blog can also be read on her personal blog at https://livingmylifein10days.com/.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Kathleen lived in the Chicago area for 20 years working as a social worker. After moving to Wauwatosa, she worked another 20 years teaching psychology at South Milwaukee High School and MATC. Her three sons and their families live near enough where they can stop by home to enjoy time with Kathleen, her husband, Bill and recently adopted dog, Riley.
Through her work as a social worker and teacher, Kathleen has always encouraged people to live life as if it were a series of adventures. In keeping with this philosophy, she appreciates all the wonderful experiences she has had in her life. Fostering newborn pre-adoptive infants, traveling to New Orleans with carloads of teachers and students to help clean-up after Katrina, and working with a board of community members to help create Tosa’s Farmers Market have all been experiences she cherishes and feels honored to have enjoyed in her life. Though not the experience she would have chosen, she does not believe living with an end-stage cancer should stop anyone from living their life with meaning.
Kathleen passed away, at her home in Wauwatosa, surrounded by family, on Monday, July 26, 2021.