The world has lost another mommy soldier in the breast cancer wars.
Susan Niebur, mom of two who blogged about her 5-year battle with the disease on Toddler Planet, died this week.
As her husband, Kurt, described in a post called "Goodbye":
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.
TODAY Moms readers got to experience Niebur’s passion and emotion when she wrote about the passing of Elizabeth Edwards, who died of cancer in December of 2010. In that post, Niebur eloquently described how cancer had robbed her own kids of a normal childhood, describing them as “veterans of the cancer treatment dance.”
My children come to the hospital with me for checkups and blood draws. They wait patiently during physical therapy appointments, playing with Matchbox cars as the scar tissue is ripped off my chest and I work to regain function in my arms. They help me pull my lymphedema sleeves on in the morning, settle for quiet playdates instead of park and museum adventures, and have adjusted to quiet, easy pets like fish instead of boisterous puppies as we had planned. They cuddle with me in the afternoons when I have no energy, and happily share their Legos and Play-Doh when I do. They are my constant companions, my joy, my loves, and my reasons for living.
She also wrote about her darkest fears as a mother with cancer.
Cancer is a thief that separates mothers from children and tears our world apart, one mother, one child at a time. The grief that we feel at losing Elizabeth Edwards, mother, daughter, advocate, and friend, is real, even if we never met her, because she has showed us the depth of a mother's love for her children, a love that keeps them close and touches us with its strength - and yet, she was taken from them anyway. If she couldn't triumph over cancer, how can we?
The same goes for how many feel about Susan Niebur.
As one reader commented on Toddler Planet after hearing the news:
Be at Peace WhyMommy, your bright attitude and the blessings you leave behind are but a small part of the reason so many have followed your every move. We’ll miss you.
Though many never met her, their grief is real, too, because Niebur was a shining example of courage. She shared honesty and showed hope in the most difficult of predicaments.
She many not have triumphed over cancer. But she sure went down swinging.