(NBC) - When Katy Scherer's husband Jim died of pancreatic cancer, an artist friend created custom cards to express her feelings.
Today, those "crisis cards" are available to everyone facing critical situations.
"We didn't feel there were appropriate cards to send to someone who was in Jim's position," Katy Scherer explained while displaying a series of three "Crisis Cards" she and artist Christine Linson created.
It was Linson's inability to find just the right card that led her to create her own.
"I'm so frustrated when I go to the store," Linson told her best friend, Katy. "I'm so frustrated I can't find anything that I think is appropriate to send to Jim."
After Linson did the artwork, she and Katy Scherer worked on the verses, and Jim actually approved them during his five-month struggle with pancreatic cancer.
He died May 11, 2009.
"People who have cancer want it to be recognized that this is their reality, that this is their situation," Katy said.
One of the cards actually mentions cancer in the verse, and Scherer thinks that it's completely appropriate, and needed.
"We thought that was important," she explained. "We thought that the patient, too, likes to have it addressed, likes to have it out in front, that this is the reality of their situation. You can't hide from it."
There are currently three versions of the Crisis Cards, and any proceeds from their sale will go to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Right now they are available only online at the website Scherer and Linson have set up.
"I have much to be thankful for," Katy Scherer said, "and having known Jim those years was such a gift, that this is my little way of paying that back."