The final days of Hollie Stevens: A first hand account from Robert Rhine
Recently I spent the last few days in a room in a San Francisco hospital cancer ward with my best friend Hollie Stevens who is dying. She is 30 years old.
Hollie has always been like a surrogate daughter to me and she requested that I come up from LA to be with her, so I slept on a chair in her room for a couple nights, not wanting to miss a precious moment in the life of a truly astonishing, inspiring, sweet spirit and someone who I love dearly. I’m not the only one touched by this precious soul. At least glance Hollie had 33,650 unanswered emails. There are so many of Hollie’s friends on our G&C social sites that I wanted to let you know what’s going on. Also, a story about Hollie broke in several San Francisco newspapers, so a feel I can now tell you from my perspective.
A lot of you already know of Hollie’s brave battle with cancer, which began as a massive tumor in her breast and has now spread to her liver, bones and now brain. Hollie’s the strongest fighter I know (not to mention a kickboxer and wrestler) and she has lived longer than any doctors expected. But her days of miracles may have run their course.
I first met Hollie in 2006, when she was just 24 years old and I interviewed her for Girls and Corpses Magazine. A strikingly beautiful, tall blond (rising even taller on platforms) Hollie has always been real traffic stopper (literally). We hit it off immediately and I honestly have never met anyone so bitingly funny, bright, honest and a proud adult performer famous for, amongst other things, Clown Porn. Hollie’s a true exhibitionist, free-spirited artist and experience junkie. Nothing scared or intimidated her (until she met Cancer).
Over the years Hollie has graced the pages and cover of Girls and Corpses Magazine and she has done too many events with me to count — including many years sitting with me at our exhibition tables at Comic-Con, Fangoria, AVN and APE, Las Vegas trips, Guys Choice Awards, Scream Awards and dozens of G&C signing parties, bondage balls, fetish parties, readings, clubs and wild events. I even took Hollie with me to a weekend at the regional gathering of Mensa where we both spoke and Hollie screened Clown Porn for all the ‘geniuses.’Classic!
If it was off the wall, Hollie was there, probably performing something that you would never,ever, forget.
Hollie even went with me to the funeral of my business partner Stephen Miller (i2006) who was tragically killed by a grizzly bear. Hollie has been an integral part of Girls and Corpses Magazine and has also contributed superb writing, such as the piece she wrote on her good friend Gidget Gein (after he passed). She’s also a wonderful artist and her artwork hangs in Hyaena Gallery in Burbank.
Then came Hollie’s massive breast tumor, bouts of radiation and her mastectomy followed by loads of chemo. The first time I saw Hollie really sick was several months ago when I took her to her favorite restaurant for sushi. I watched her limp to the table and decline an order for her favorite dish and I knew she was really sick. The cancer had already moved to her bones and a rod was inserted into her leg and hip. But Hollie didn’t use a cane. That’s not her style.
For the past few days, I have sat by her hospital bed in a cancer ward on a floor you never want to be. There’s no good news on this floor and occasionally you hear the intercom blasting ‘Code Blue!!”
I held Hollie’s hand as I walked beside her to brain radiation and woke up almost hourly to an annoying loud beeping alarm as her pick line (a plastic tube inserted in her heart) was clogged with a blood clot. It made for exhausting nights for Hollie and was not helped by the endless succession of nurses and doctors who flowed into the room checking her vitals and upping her painkillers, as her pain rose from a 5 to an 8 (which would be a level 9 and 15 for civilians not able to tolerate a bondage pro’s and Kink.com regulars pain levels).
Hollie never ever complained. Not once. I’m so happy we were able to spend some joyful moments together before the radiation to her brain became more painful and the pain drugs made her very drowsy. I even wheeled her down to the gift store and took her on a buying spree and told her to buy whatever she wanted. Hollie picked some wild knee socks, a book on miniature golf (which actually was a miniature golf course with a tiny club and golf balls), groovy striped sunglasses, trashy magazines and of course tons of candy and blow pops. I also wheeled her around the street in front of the hospital (see attached photo).
My cousin, Nicole, also bought Hollie some silly socks and a box of chocolates that I brought to the hospital and Hollie and I scarfed together the entire thing in one night.
I also went to Hollie’s favorite sushi joint, (in SF) and picked up a load of sushi, which we enjoyed together in her room while watching Adult Swim. I also brought her back Thai shrimp noodles one night and pizza and presto garlic bread on another night, (from her favorite Italian joint).
I’m so thankful I had this time with Hollie. She’s still funny and bright and, yes, sexy, and even though she has lost a lot of weight and her long legs are dotted in bruises, Hollie still rocks the hospital.
It’s hard to say for sure how much time Hollie has left and I’m not going to state the doctor’s dire predictions. But I know she will hang in there longer than anyone will even believe.
I am just home now and I really miss her. I would have rather been in no other place than in that hospital room with Hollie and I’m ready to return on a moments notice when needed.
Update: Hollie has been released from the hospital. All radiation and chemo have been stopped so she can go home with hospice care for her final days… as she wanted.
photos: Robert Rhine
Girls and Corpses Magazine