They said she lost 30 pounds in two weeks. Seems like a lot. But they said she just stopped eating and drinking. Diarrhea, dysphagia and dehydration took over and the diagnosis was in. Ovarian cancer. No one was sure what stage, but it didn't sound too hopeful.
She was the sister of my friend's sister in law. I didn't know her but once I heard the words, ovarian cancer, I knew she was now my sister, too. I asked plenty of questions and quietly decided that I would find a way to help or to at least encourage, pray and introduce her to hope. But, sadly, it wasn't to be. Within 24 hours of her diagnosis, I learned that this dear woman had slipped into the arms of Jesus because of this wretched, whispering disease - ovarian killer cancer - just two days before Christmas.
When I heard this I wept. I felt guilt. I felt sadness. Why should a sister succumb and I still get to sit around the Christmas tree and gaze upon the beautiful eyes of my children and grandchildren? I wake up every morning three years post battle and resume my activities of daily living? Yes, I know about the stages and the importance of finding it early and treatment and strategies and successful chemo...
So why was my cancer found in the early stage? And why was the chemotherapy I endured deemed successful? Why am I in remission and why is my sister dead?
I am glad I am still here to tell my story. It surely was a blessing that my t
ime was not up (I am not ready [at least in my mind] to cross into glory. I still have a long to-do list.) But when I hear of other women who are afflicted and die according to statistics, I weep and wonder.
Meanwhile I continue to carry the torch of hope. I try my best to tell my story to those who will listen. I also try to listen better to others who want to tell theirs; I pray longer and trust God more. I try to laugh more and care less about silly things. There is plenty of advice out there about how to `live like you were dying.` So that`s my goal these days; because I sort of know what that feels like.
But today, my heart is heavy. I will battle the guilt in my own private way and I will wear teal for you, my sister...in your memory.