The post read…

Susan Niebur passed away on February 6, 2012 after a lifetime of love, crusades, and strength.  Over the last five years she lived with inflammatory breast cancer, a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer that presents without a lump.  She chronicled her life with cancer here on her blog Toddler Planet with honesty and emotion that were even more rare and aggressive.

I suppose a part of me was expecting to read an announcement like this on Susan’s blog at some point.

But truthfully, the larger part of me was expecting her to once again kick cancer’s ass. To prevail and move forward and hug her babies and lunch with friends and speak of stargazing and the need for more funding and research.

But that isn’t going to happen.

The agonizing part is that I always meant to reach out to her more. To ride up to Silver Spring and see her and some of my other blogging pals. I really wanted to strengthen that bond. I just let time, you know, slip…

Of course, when I heard about her need, I sent her messages. I showed solidarity by painting my nails purple. I sent a card.

It just wasn’t enough and it wasn’t soon enough.


I suppose I should be grateful of this magical thing called the Internet.  It made me feel like I was really with her and experiencing her friendship/life even though I wasn’t. Technically I wasn’t, anyway. I wasn’t part of her inner circle or her immediate family. None the less, Susan’s spirit inspired me. And not just me… she inspired thousands. She inspired people she had never even met.

That is so powerful.

If you’ve been touched by her fight, her candor and/or the power of her words as I have, I encourage you to donate to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Or to engage your children in a science-related activity in her honor.

It would have made her smile.

My prayers are with the family and friends that Susan left behind. She will be missed.