Mar 272019

Julie Mears Henry, 53, died March 26 at her home in Palm Bay, Florida.

She is survived by her husband, John Henry; her father, Charles Mears; and more relatives and friends than can possibly be named.

Julie was born in Kansas City, Mo., and graduated from St. Catherine’s School, Baptiste Junior High, Hickman High School and Rockhurst College.

She trained as a nurse and worked for the American Academy of Family Physicians before becoming a freelance writer specializing in medical topics, co-owner of a book publishing company, and owner of and

Julie, like her mother, brought people together. She loved to be surrounded by family and friends. When she moved to a new town, she actively sought out new connections.

As a volunteer, she cooked meals for children in a group home and worked for Alzheimer’s awareness in Brevard County through the Purple Balloon Guild.

In July 2015, Julie began chronicling her journey through cancer in a blog she titled “Facing My Mortality”. After several months of misdiagnosis, doctors discovered a tumor in her trachea, which turned out to be small-cell neuroendocrine cancer, which was essentially small-cell lung cancer.

During the next three and a half years, she wrote about her chemo, surgeries, radiation, immunotherapy, and numerous hospital stays, many of which took place only because her insurance wouldn’t cover a drug she needed to stay alive, and the only way to get it was to be hospitalized and apply for aid from the pharmaceutical company – which she was finally denied because she was deemed not poor enough.

Through her blog, she shared the difficulty of living with cancer and the extraordinary difficulty of navigating the medical system when you have a serious illness.

She wrote in May 2017:

“I’m angry. In fact, some days I’m pissed off at the world. I’m mad that this happened to me in the first place. That I can no longer hear music or sing. That I’m spending so much of my life sitting in doctors’ offices. That almost every moment of every day is a struggle. I want my life back! And then I feel guilty for being mad when there are others who have lost so much more than I. What right do I have to be angry? And that makes me cry more.

“I’m…human. I don’t think most people who have cancer (myself included) are the brave warriors people often make us out to be. We were thrust into a battle with inadequate ammunition. There was only one choice: Do you want to live or die? So we did what we had to do.”

She posted her last entry in January, after a family visit from all five of her siblings for Christmas. The day the last sister departed, she experienced a high fever:

“I actually thought I might die that night, but never said anything. It felt like 2016 all over again (That was the year I almost died for real.). Although I wouldn’t say I wanted to die, I felt okay about it. I’d just seen a lot of my loved ones, and I’d had a chance to travel more with my husband and do a lot of fun things in the two “extra” years I’d been given. So I was okay with it if God had decided it was time for me to go.”

In late February, she elected to go into hospice care and forego any further treatment.

A celebration of her life will be April 20 at her sister’s home at 1216 Lakecrest Circle in Raymore, MO. All are welcome to drop by from 1-4 pm to share food and conversation. Dress is casual (per Julie’s explicit instructions).

 Posted by at 8:51 pm

  15 Responses to “Aloha”

  1. Thank you for the information.
    I told her “namaste ” go in peace, the last time I talked with her. (She was too weak to talk back) She fought like a warrior she just never relized the battle she was fighting was not like one most would think of as a battle. There were no guns or tanks just a very ugly invisible enemy. But in the words of a wise man “Bravery is being scared and still fighting” in that aspect she was brave.
    I know it is of little comfort to think of Jules being gone, but she is in heaven and no longer feels pain. She can sing, eat and dance up a strom. While I mourn your family loss and my loss of my best friend, I know she is finally happy.

    • You were a good friend Gina. Thanks for being there for her and for the little pick me up visit you had recently. She was so happy you came!

  2. Thank you for the information.
    Jules will definitely be missed, more than you will ever know.

  3. My condolences Jim. My sister was recently diagnosed with cancer. and that gives me a little insight into what she is going through. The two of us used to be very tight, but time has changed that, unfortunately. You’re in my thoughts. I can still picture the picture our Hickman days in my memory. Take care

  4. I am extremely saddened to hear that my high school friend Julie Mears Henry Mears Henry has left us. She did not consider her battle against cancer to be brave, but I would argue to the contrary. She was an extremely accomplished writer, who blogged about her facing her mortality. She took all of her friends and family on this journey with her. Penning her battle, including all of the ups and the downs, were inspiring. Her heart, her wit, her fighting spirit, and her tears, were out there for all to see. And that I find, to be truly brave. You were an inspiration to us all Julie, and you will be greatly missed. Rest in peace my friend, and God bless.

  5. I’m very sorry for your loss. I didn’t know her, but she was a cougar, which makes her one of ours. Thank the Lord, if you can, that she is finally free of pain. Family is in pain, and there’s no way to stop that. Just know that she’s always going to be with you. R.I.P.

  6. Thank you. So sad. So sorry. Please accept my condolences.

  7. Rest in Peace, dear Julie, where there is no more pain.

  8. Blessings and peace to Julie and all those near and dear to her and to whine she was near and dear. I didn’t know her well but even in high school she struck me as smart, strong, resourceful and independent. The chronicle of her journey through cancer no doubt was a balm to those on the same path with her, and I know it helped me and perhaps others like me, to have a window into the perspective of someone directly affected and afflicted.

  9. I’m so, so sorry to hear this but know she’s is a happier, pain-free place. She fought so hard and long!! She will be missed forever.

    Fly high Julie!! RIP

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all .

  10. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. She was a remarkable woman. And now an angel in heaven. She will be greatly missed. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely your

  11. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. She was a remarkable woman. And now an angel in heaven. She will be greatly missed. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely your jamie Hall Hughes

  12. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. I may have only known Jules for 4 years but she and I became fast friends. She was strong and determined in her fight. I visited with her the last two weeks and she was tired and she was ready. “ She’s going to give her Mom a big hug “ She went in peace. I’m going to miss you my dear friend. My thoughts are with John and the family.

  13. “Heaven”

    A Limb Has Fallen………from our Family Tree.
    I hear a voice saying, do not grieve for me.
    Remember the best times, the laughter, The song…
    The good life I lived while I was strong.
    Continue my heritage I’m counting on you.
    Keep smiling & the sun will soon shine through.
    My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest; remembering
    you all & how I was truly Blessed.
    Continue tradition’s no matter how small. Go on with your lives don’t worry about a fall.
    I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chins,
    Until the day when we all are together again.


  14. We all will miss you also, Blessing knowing you are at peace.

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