My sister died - she was my best friend
My sister, Carol died in November 2011. She was 53. She was beautiful and she was my best friend. Carol was diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma in 2007. ALCL is very rare. Carol endured years of retched chemotherapy and radiation; so much so that she couldn't get out of bed; she spent weeks at the Hospital in isolation. And the cancer still came back. Again, months of chemotherapy, stronger and more frequent. It almost killed her. But this woman, my sister, my hero would not give up. She couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, had to leave a job that she loved. Gave it all up to put all her energy into fighting the cancer. And oh, she prayed - with every ounce of her being she told God that she wanted to live. She never complained. Not even when she was having bone marrow tests on a regular basis; not when she couldn't eat for weeks on end - none of her favorite things, no longer able to spend time in her beautiful kitchen cooking the fabulous meals that her husband loved. Nope, her nourishment came from a tube in her stomach. And then she had emergency surgery - her femur cracked from years of chemo. But she survived. She refused to give up. Even after she had a tear in her intestines due to so much diarrhea. That was a mild inconvenience in Carol's eyes. Then she fell one day. She was dizzy. She cut her leg. This was extremely dangerous for her because she was so weak. But after a week in the hospital, she was back at it. Always fighting. Then in 2010, she had a stem cell transplant. That time failed. The damn cancer came back. My older sister was lucky enough to be a perfect match and donated her stem cells to Carol. I wish it had been me. But for about a month after that, Carol was ok. She started gaining weight. And all the while, we never stopped praying. I promised everything to God to let her live -- begged and pleaded. Then one day in November, Carol developed a low grade fever. She was two hours from away so the decision was made to bring her by ambulance to a local hospital. Within twenty four hours, my beautiful, smart, funny, courageous sister died from sepsis. As quickly as that she was gone. And I was to see her that weekend. She was taken from me and I miss her more than words can express. Every day is a struggle just to get up in the morning, to go to work, to care about anything at all. She was cancer free when she died. The love I have for her is such that my heart is aching and there are days that I still can't accept that she is gone. She was the light of my life, always there for me, no matter what. She was my safe haven. I miss her so much and she fought so hard, and I am angry because I just don't understand why. I haven't prayed since I lost her, and I don't think I ever will again. No matter what anyone says. The pain I feel is raw and deep. It's cold and dark. I miss her voice, her smile, her hugs and her love. I will never know anyone more special. The only consolation is that if anything is there after we die, she is with my other sister, Diane, who died in a car accident when she was 26. It's been over 30 years and I still miss her. Carol should have lived. She went through hell. She never once thought she would die, and neither did I. She had so many plans. She was generous to the point of ridiculous. I mean, she was the best there was. And she is gone.