Save Green's Beans Gourmet Coffee

*The purpose of the whole story is not to break your heart but to see that what Natalie saw in me was special.  She was an awesome woman and it takes someone special to be with her.  What I saying is  I am worth the help to keep the dream that we had together going, great coffee and great people.*

Natalie Green and I met back in marching band at Mayfield High School in the mid 90's. Though we didn't date we had a friendship that now I realize would last the rest of our lives together.  12 Years ago we rediscovered each other and became good friends.  After a couple of months the friendship developed into the best relationship I've ever had.  We came to terms with my back surgery from years ago that ailed me daily, and moved on with our life together.  In 2010 through some research and encouragement from our parents we decided we wanted to start a small coffee roasting business.  Natalie's dad was the first one on board buying us a commercial coffee roaster and our first supply of raw coffee beans and from there Green's Beans Gourmet Coffee was born.  Over the next few years we developed our skill and consistency and started to gain a following.  Coffee love was our business and business was going well.  Jump to 2015, with several thousand pounds of coffee roasting under our belt and a good knowledge for blending coffee, we had become a pretty good profitable entity in Las Cruces.  Later in the year we were approached by a friend named Vanessa Smith. She is  this awesome little roller derby girl.  She and Natalie met at a derby bout and hit it off immediately because they shared a common love, Coffee.  Summer 2015 Vanessa approached us about a business venture. She wanted to open a coffee shop and serve our coffee.  We were so excited and by February 2016 they opened and Natalie and I went to work with them at Nessa's Cafe to help them get the place going.  
Things were going well until the middle of the summer when Natalie started to notice that something wasn't right with her physically.  Hassling for insurance delayed us getting to see a doctor.  By the end of the summer she was starting to notice that something was really wrong and finally insurance was made available so we started the tests.  At this point we are not working at the Nessa's anymore and we are missing the farmer's market more than ever.  Savings was starting to dwindle.  A week before November I dropped the hitch of my small trailer on my foot breaking it and making it impossible to work for a few weeks.  So, finally in December we get a diagnosis for Natalie. Uterine cancer.  Our worst fears are about to be discovered.  The Doctor said that a full hysterectomy would be the best and we agreed and the surgery was scheduled.  We prayed and researched on  how the best way was to battle cancer.  In January the procedure was done and Natalie made it through with flying colors.  April 27th was her first follow up, 3 months later.  Slow recovery but she is such a trooper.  She was so safe from the oncologists opinion that she didn't need radiation and they said no chemo for sure.  Awesome!!!! Awesome!!!! Awesome!!!  Late February 2017 she notices that she has a little nagging cough.  We took her to her primary and they started to treat her for an upper respiratory infection.  She also noticed some pain associated with her surgery area as well.  We called her oncologist and she described the symptoms of the pain.  The nurse said she would talk to her doctor and get back to her the next week.  This goes on for 3 more weeks, no response to our weekly calls.  In the mean time she is not getting better with her upper respiratory problems and now she is noticing an extreme pain in her hip.   Her primary car Dr decided that she needed a chest x-ray to look at her lungs.  We get the imaging done and wait for the results.
 I remember the day vividly when they called us with the horrifying results from the chest scan.  Shadows were showing on the chest x-ray.   What the oncologist told us about her risk for a reoccurring  cancer even with such a low low risk seemed to come true.  The cancer did spread to her lungs.  The look of terror and fear on her face, I'll never forget it, never.   i just held her. My hands were about to be completely tied and I didn't know it.  This is all happening around mid March.  At this point she is barely able to walk because of trouble breathing.  I suggest maybe some oxygen for the house and a tank for travel.  She asks if I think she needs it.   I convince her to.  Last week of March, she notices her capped tooth is hurting.  We set up a dental visit and find out that her tooth just broke off and would need dental surgery to get it all out. She said, "I'm just falling apart."  We schedule it for a couple of weeks later.  At this point she is on oxygen and her oncologist had her scheduled to go to Albuquerque for an appointment on April 3rd. 
We get to Albuquerque and see the gene doctor, the one who determines if she is a candidate for future cancer.  It's just a visit and a waste of time.  Back to the hotel to wait for her oncologist appointment on Wednesday the 4th.  That night will go down in my books as the last night I had with Natalie. We tried to rest but I spent  most of the time comforting her and holding her hand.  I had to wheel her to the bathroom.  She was on full oxygen at this point and was still having a very hard time breathing.  Wednesday morning we see the oncologist who suggest we admit her to the hospital.  He sets it up and we take her.  Once we get her in the room they are able to get her a better oxygen source.  Her blood oxygen level was too low.  They bring out the scan that they took that will show tumors in the body.  What I saw was horrifying . 70% plus of her lungs were full of tumors and her bones were completely covered in tumors. I did my best to stand in the way of her view of the screen so Natalie didn't see it and dwell and I just started to talk to her and try to distract her.  Then one of the nurses asked if her hip was hurting.  She said yes.  They told her that her hip was broken. The cancer must have weakened her bones so much that it broke from her walking on it because we don't remember her falling or anything that could cause it. 
At this point the doctor told Natalie's folks in private that she was in bad shape and that originally when he said that she had days to weeks to live it was more like days,  I didn't know this at the time.  I stayed in the room and continued to talk to Nat about kicking cancer's ass.  She was ready.   Later in the afternoon her parents told me in private.  The worst day of my life so far.  I composed myself and rushed back to hold Natalie's hand and to keep talking to her.  By the end of the day her blood oxygen levels hadn't improved much.  The doctor suggested that we put her under.  At that point they could biopsy the lung tumor and determine the type of cancer plus we could get her blood oxygen levels up with a chest tube.  Natalie agreed and so did the rest of us. 

My last conscience moments with Natalie Green.
I remember telling her that I was going to be there by her side making sure that she was taken care of the whole time.  I asked her to relax and get some much needed rest. You see she thought that in a few days we would revive her when she had better  O2 levels and we were going to drive to mexico to a cancer center that seemed like a good hope.  It was the only lie I ever told her, ever.  She smiled at me and said ok and that she loved me.  I hugged her and kissed her on the nape of the neck and she giggled.  First time in months.  She said, " I love it when you kiss me there, always have."  I told her of course you do, that's my spot.  I held her so tight knowing the gravity of this situation fully.  I didn't want to let her go.
Thursday April 6th when I got back to the hospital her O2 levels were in the safe zone and we all felt a little relief  and I spent the day whispering into her ear that I loved her and to rest that I was there.  By the end of the day though her O 2 levels plummeted.  Friday the 7th when I came in my heart sank.  Her O2 levels were at an all time low.  The Dr had a meeting with us.  He said that today was the day.  I had spent the last year watching my best friend deteriorate before my eyes.  I watched her suffer and finally it seemed like relief was coming for her.  The decision was left to me to pull her off life support.  How did it get to this I wondered so many times. When they finally pulled her off life support I just held her in my arms, kissing her face and whispering in her ear, telling her how much I loved her and how she could finally rest.  

April 7th, 2017, the day that changed everything.  She didn't even make it to her follow up on April 27th.  The doctor said she had 2 primary cancers.  If you know cancer at all that is nearly impossible to beat. 
My best friend and confidant for 12 years. Our anniversary was on April 20th.  Recovery is slow slow and painful.  So, so many reminders of her.  We spent all our time with each other considering we ran a business and lived together.
So now the decision, stop running the coffee business or keep our vision alive and keep her name going ? Despite the painful reminders i decided to continue on spreading the joy of coffee love that Natalie and I had envisioned.  When this feeling was relayed to her parents they were on board too.  
Flash to 5 months later.  A hard and needed business decision is made.  Natalie's parents are grieving severely too.  Them helping me has continually ripped the scab of this wound off over and over week after week when I go to their house and roast coffee.  Her parents and I have decided that they need to heal and I will be moving  the Coffee business to another location out of their house.  
At this point I haven't recovered financially from medical bills and costs from the last year.   I am trying to raise the funds to purchase the equipment and coffee bean stock from Natalie's folks.  Any and all donations go to the growth of an idea and love that Natalie and I shared, great coffee and great service.
  • Dave & Katherine F 
    • $50 
    • 49 mos
  • Nathan Lefever 
    • $200 
    • 49 mos
  • Janet Walker 
    • $50 
    • 49 mos
  • Bill Ogden 
    • $30 
    • 49 mos
  • Flo . 
    • $50 
    • 49 mos
See all

Organizer

Joe Bencomo 
Organizer
Las Cruces, NM
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