Remembering Neeley Wells Neeley Wells first talked to Rachel Martin in 2013. Neeley had been living with stage four ovarian cancer for 13 years, and blogging about it. She died last week at the age of 44.
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Remembering Neeley Wells

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Remembering Neeley Wells

Remembering Neeley Wells

Remembering Neeley Wells

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Neeley Wells first talked to Rachel Martin in 2013. Neeley had been living with stage four ovarian cancer for 13 years, and blogging about it. She died last week at the age of 44.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In the spring of 2013, I interviewed a woman named Neeley Wells. Like millions of Americans, Neeley was battling cancer. But unlike a lot of people, she was living with stage IV ovarian cancer, and she had been doing so for 13 years. She was never in remission, always in and out of treatment, living on the edge of dying. Neeley was first diagnosed when her daughter, Dillon, was just 10 months old.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

NEELEY WELLS: In some ways, for me, it's a little bit like Groundhogs Day. Like, I'll think, maybe this is my last spring break. And then I'll think, yeah, but I've already thought that 13 times (laughter).

MARTIN: I kept in touch with Neeley after our interview, and I followed her blog. A few months ago, she wrote that she was stopping all treatment. There was nothing left that would give her substantial time or quality of life. Neeley Wells passed away Wednesday night at her home in Portland, Ore. Her husband, Doug, and her now 16-year-old daughter, Dillon, were with her. When I talked with Neeley in 2013, I asked her what it had been like to fight an aggressive cancer and parent at the same time.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

WELLS: It's been great and amazing. And I truly think that in my battle, if there's one variable that's made a difference, it's my daughter.

MARTIN: I imagine you have down days and up days. What does - what does a really good day look like?

WELLS: A good day looks like time with family and friends. A good day for me always involves a social interaction. It involves - I mean, my best days would probably involve some time in the garden. I spend a lot of time volunteering at Dillon's school. I think a good day for me looks probably a lot like a good day for you, with just small variations.

MARTIN: I'd like to read an excerpt from Neeley's blog this past fall, after she'd decided to stop treatment.

(Reading) This decision acknowledges that science has an end, and I will die from this disease. I win because I stubbornly declare myself the winner. And the most likely end is that I will die in the next months, seasons from now at the longest. On the question of what you might say to me, tell me I'm beautiful and powerful and you will be part of watching over my family. Tell me I've made a difference, and your world is just a tad brighter. You can also tell me I'm a self-serving pain in the ass, but I won't love that as much. I'm tired, wiped out even, and also completely content.

Neeley Wells died on Wednesday night at the age of 44.

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