UPDATE ON ROBYN CASANDRA SMITH's DEATH:
I was told today that Casandra's continual refusal to see a doctor(I'd been trying for many years, to get her to go for a check-up) came to an end when she stopped in at Hudson Grille (her watering-hole of choice) in Brookhaven, ordered a glass of white wine, and then, because her skin had (apparently, repeatedly)begun to crack and bleed(!!!), she headed off to the ladies' room, to freshen up. While there, two women noticed profuse bleeding suddenly coming from her abdomen, and thinking she was injured, called 911.When police arrived, they assumed she was a stabbing victim.In fact, Casandra said "No, I'm alright..." but police responded "Lady, you're bleeding, you're not alright.." she was taken to Northside Hospital, where she was treated, and it was discovered she had cirrhosis of the liver, and because her kidneys had begun to fail, even dialysis would not help.Two days later, she was sent to Hospice, where she remained for about a week, when she passed away on Monday, at 8:45 A.M., Feburary 28th(her on-line Obituary says March 28th, but I received this info from her long-time pal, Angie).Somehow, my own contact information was not discovered until a few days ago, so I had no idea that while we (my husband/husband's family) were wrestling with tremendous tragedies, poor Casandra was struggling with living....and dying.
I wish I could've said goodbye.I wish I could've held her hand and told her I was sorry that I nagged her about the doctor, about trying to drag her to a hospital, when she (repeatedly, for months) told me she was "throwing up blood".That I wish she'd read all the information I printed out, on cirrhosis, which is what I worried she might have.That I loved her for her, that she did not have to change, that she could be who she was--alcoholic and all--I just wanted her to be healthier, live longer.That I meant it--what I said about I didn't want "to have to see you die, Casandra, to be standing there, and watch them throw dirt on you;I'm younger than you, it's not right, Casandra...I will be angry, Casandra.Angry at all those people who drank with you, who never told you the truth, who never spent time with a sober you, Casandra."
When I asked her friend, Angie, if Casandra had asked for me, she said "No".
I was of course, deeply hurt, and asked again,"Are you sure?" she responded,"I heard she wasn't speaking to you..."
That was not true, I assured her. But what was true?
That in my frustration with trying to help her, I had, just weeks before this apparently happened, told Casandra "I don't want to hear from you, until you go to the doctor.I'm tired of you calling every few days, and telling me you are ill, you've thrown up blood, you're scared,and then you tell me you won't go to a doctor for even a basic check-up or tests, because you're afraid of needles, of getting your blood drawn.It is ridiculous, you're a grown woman, please Casandra, you're scaring me, you have to go to the doctor." (It should be noted that I offered AA, counseling, free clinics, trip to doctor and/or hospital, etc. She said no to all of these options.)
Many weeks ago, while I was juggling our many doctors' phone calls, and family phone calls, I was on the phone with my Mom, when there was a beep-in, and I glanced for just a second at the phone, and saw she (Casandra) was calling.I kept talking to my Mom, with whom I was discussing my husband's grave illness(see previous posts).I meant to return Casandra's call later that night, but I remember when I saw her name, thinking, angrily, that she was probably calling me, yet again, to simply complain about her feeling ill, and then she would refuse to address it by going to the doctor. Later, I simply forgot(overwhelmed with hubby's illness, demands on my time, unrelenting sadness over several tragedies.See previous posts here at this blog) until the following week.I never did reach her.
During the phone call in which her passing was explained to me,and suddenly in tears while speaking to her friend, Angie, I told her everything I've just stated here. That in addition to what I said, that I felt so bad, so guilty.That I didn't mean she couldn't call me. That if I hadn't been so tired/stressed/exhausted, I would've called Casandra right back. That I wished I had.
If there's someone you love, don't wait to tell them.Tell them right now.