'A Bundle of Love and Laughter'
- When Georgia Goodier visited the doctor because of a pain in her side, her doctor told her that she had a urinary tract infection.
- After blood tests and a liver biopsy, Goodier learned that she actually had adenocarcinoma–a type of cancer that develops in the glands that line organs.
- Many members of the SurvivorNet community have told us that recovering after losing a loved one to cancer, especially a child, is not a “one-and-done” process. Dealing with that grief is a highly personal process, and everyone goes through it differently.
Adenocarcinoma is a kind of cancer that develops in the glands that line organs. It can develop in any part of the body. For Goodier, it started in her bowel and spread to the liver.Read More
According to Goodier’s mother, doctors initially dismissed the pain she experienced in her side as a UTI. The discomfort didn’t go away, though, and blood tests and a liver biopsy revealed that Goodier had cancer. Tragically, Goodier’s time passed even faster than doctors expected it to. Speaking with ECHO, Goodier’s mother said, “You look back and think we were just robbed of time with her. We definitely thought we had Christmas and we thought we had most of this year.”
The 23-year-old’s family is stunned. “She was only 22 [when she was diagnosed],” her mother said. “There’s no family history of any cancer, other than years and years ago but there’s no immediate family history of cancer.”
Goodier worked hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle: “She was so fit and healthy. She ate well, she didn’t drink much, she was very active at the gym all the time.” Even months later, the family still can’t come to terms with the fact that Georgia is gone. “She never had any health issues at all in her life,” Goodier’s mother continued. “It’s surreal really. It doesn’t feel real still – that’s why we’re doing as much as we can to keep going.”
Goodier’s doctors believe that her adenocarcinoma began in her bowel and then expanded to her liver. She endured six rounds of chemotherapy, but she experienced multiple septic infections in her bile duct. Antibiotics did nothing to help, and she returned to her home on the first of October. She passed away just four days later.
“She was loved by so many people,” her mother said. “She lived at home still, she loved to be around her family and friends.” Her absence is certainly felt: “It’s just not the same [at home], it’s quiet. She was a bundle of love and laughter.”
Now, Goodier’s friends and family have teamed up for a 56-mile memorial run in her honor. All the money raised from the sponsored run will be donated to the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Liverpool, where Goodier was treated. Just one year ago, Goodier made that same run herself.
Coping With Losing a Child to Cancer
Losing a child is any parent’s worst nightmare. Some parents who lose children to cancer have to live through that reality. It is important to recognize that cancer is something that affects the entire family unit. Parents dealing with the potential of losing their child need support, too.
Many members of the SurvivorNet community have told us that recovering after losing a loved one to cancer, especially a child, is not a “one-and-done” process. Dealing with that grief is a highly personal process, and everyone goes through it differently.
“The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance,” Dr. Marianna Strongin, a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of Strong In Therapy Psychology, tells SurvivorNet. “These labels are tools to help us frame and identify what you may be feeling. They are not linear and can occur in a variety of ways.”
“As you find yourself experiencing some of these stages, it is important to remember that the emotions you are feeling are meaningful yet temporary. If you approach them with compassion, kindness and eventually acceptance, you will come away from this period in your life more connected to your resilience and strength.”
In a previous interview with SurvivorNet, Camila Legaspi shared her own advice on grief after her mother died of breast cancer. For her, therapy made all the difference.
“Therapy saved my life,” Legaspi says. “I was dealing with some really intense anxiety and depression at that point. It just changed my life. Because I was so drained by all the negativity that was going on, going to a therapist helped me realize that there was still so much out there for me, that I still had my family, that I still had my siblings.”