I have written about my cousin, who is 78, has had multiple rounds of breast cancer and has been through various brands and cocktails of chemo and most of the new clinical trials.
My understanding of cancer is that it is very smart and can hide, or adapt, to the many things we do to try and stop it. You can try to stamp it out only to have it rage back at some point in the future. There HAS to be a way to irradicate this and I will keep trying and researching as much as I can to give myself any kind of edge against this disease. By doing so, and blogging about it, I am hoping that together we can clad ourselves with our armour and shields against this “beast”.
About 3 weeks ago, my cousin, who was given 6 months to live, 2.5 years ago (she said NO to that prognosis), fell and hit her head. It was at that time that a scan showed that her cancer had taken over her brain and spine. She was told 4-6 weeks and sent home to hospice care. She refused all of the big pharma drugs, until last week. Another fall put her in bed. Her ability to swallow was taken away, her appetite dwindled and her ability to stay awake, steadily declined.
Her daughters, who both have stayed round the clock with her, have obviously been devastated. This woman, who is my personal hero, has been their steadfast rock and counsel. To watch this disease break down a person to the level they have witnessed their mom decline has been traumatic and heartbreaking. I am not telling you anything you don’t know if you have been thru this. What once was a vibrant, energetic mom, wife, sister, grandma, aunt, cousin and friend, was reduced to a mere fraction of herself in a matter of weeks.
My mom spent some time with her on Friday. There was not a lot of conversation from her side, but she was awake and mom, who also has no shortage of words, got her to smile about some of their childhood memories. My cousin held my moms hand with both of hers, I believe this was HER way of saying good-bye to her childhood friend and cousin. She kept her gaze on my mom while mom strolled down their special memory lane. She dosed off before my mom left, and stayed that way until this morning.
This morning, my cousin left this world and has gone to her forever home in the arms of Jesus. I pray for her beautiful daughters, who knew this was coming, but are dealing with so much greif today. May the Lord bless and keep them as they go through this time of loss. She has left the “shell” that she was gifted to get through this journey and has earned her wings. As hard as this is, those of us still here fighting owe this woman a debt of gratitude for trying some of the new “meds” on the horizon…things that may help extend life for others, she tried first! I will forever admire her strength and grace in living with this disease and her spirit of fight!
God Speed Janet! We love you!