Wednesday, January 30, 2013


This was on the wall in the Oncology Unit
Just returned from St Louis.  My parents and I drove up last week.  While it is always good to see family, this trip was bittersweet.  My mom's youngest sister has cancer.  She was diagnosed last March.  We don't know that she will live to see this March. After her chemo, the cancer has accelerated and she has had other complications. Her doctor told her in December she may only have 2 months.  We basically went to say good-bye.  How the hell do you walk out of a room knowing you will probably never see that person alive again?  It is hard.  Someone who is so vibrant and creative and full of life shouldn't go like this.
   When we all heard the news last spring we were stunned-as anyone would be-or has been hearing those words. We thought chemo, surgery, she'll beat this.  We didn't think that after surgery.  We just hoped for time.  How many people have thought about what they would do if they got that diagnosis-me, i often thought i would take a trip somewhere i hadn't been but wanted to go.  The reality is, you stay home and fight your illness.  You feel like crap half the time and just struggle to get through the days.  You see your friends and family.  There is no "one last trip."  There is only fighting one more day-day by day.
  I've been through the death of family before-sudden and drawn out.  You expect it with grandparents.  They have lived a life.  The younger ones-that's not easy.  (Not that death is easy, but sometimes  is more "expected" and easier to accept.)   I can't talk about her or think about her with out crying.  She was such an influence on me.  Some of my earliest childhood memories are of her.  The time she did my hair and make-up.  Dressed me up in a fancy dress and shoes.  Announced to family at dinner that "Cinderella" had arrived for dinner.  I walked down from her room upstairs to my grandmother's kitchen and felt like a princess..(the 1965 version of Cinderella had been on tv prior to this) but it wasn't '65.  It was later, '68 maybe.  I know i was older than 2.  Anyway, many memories flood my head these days.  I dread the day the phone call comes and we make the long drive back to say the final, final goodbye. 

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