Time cut short...

by Jackie
(East Coast)

I was two when my mom was first diagnosed with breast cancer. I knew that her two sister, my aunts, along with her dad, my grandfather had died of cancer of different sorts at young ages. I had no idea what was to come for my own family. My mom was inremission when My oldest sister was complaing of a pain in her leg while getting ready for her softball game, she was 12 at that time and I still have a mental picture of this. I was only 6 at the time. Low and behold my sister's pain was bone cancer, there began the long hospital stays, horrible chemo stints, and overall upheavel of any normalacy in my family. She recovered from her bone cancer until it returned in the form of leukemia when she was 14. My sister gave her a bone marrow transfer which was successful but the chemo she had received in 1994 was so harmful to her young body that she ended up dying at 16 in 1998 from the flu, her heart was too weak.

My family was never the same but it changed a lot more when my mom was told her cance had returned and probably when she was caring for my sister. There began her battle with her enemy for the second time. My mother fought cancer for 16 years and died at the age of 42 at my family home. This was 5 years after my sisters death.

So here I was a 16 year old in highschool trying to live without the rock of my family. My two other older siblings were in college by my moms death so i lived with my dad who was my best friend. One night two years after my moms death my father went to the er for a headache. The did a body scan and found cancer throughout his whole body, he died about 3 months later in Hospice. Needless to say it was fast and tragic.

During the same time my dad was sick my other sister who gave the transplant was diagnosed with cancer. She is a nurse and went for genetic testing. we found out that my family has a syndrome that only 200 families in the entire world have called Li-Freumeni, or basically the inability to fight cancer cells. This was told to me in a casual phone call. My sister since then has had cancer twice. She got married last week but her future along with all of ours is anything but stable. It doesnt help that due to all the loss my relationship with my only two siblings left is unhealthy and damaged. I am truly sorry to everyone posting dealing with loss, it is truly the most difficult thing to deal with and a daily struggle affecting so many aspects of our lives. There is a reason we are all still here though, or so i like to believe.

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Nov 13, 2012
Time cut short......
by: Doreen U.K.

Jackie I am deeply sorry for your loss of most of your family to that CRUEL disease CANCER.
I can't imagine the pain you are going through in your very young life to lose so many people from your family to cancer.
I am also very sorry to hear of your fractured relationship with your other 2 siblings. It is not unusual for even close families to fracture and separate when there has been a loss to death in the family. It is getting more and more common. In very few cases some are drawn closer by tragedy. One just doesn't know how your other 2 surviving siblings are processing the disasters in your family. They may be so scared they are actually not wanting to get close so any further loss may be less painfull. I have heard of some people pushing family members away. They also don't want to be hurt anymore. It is understandable but very very sad. I can feel all the tears in the atmosphere as if the earth itself is crying out for its dead. Our Creator God is the only one who can rescue us from all the cancers and cruel illnesses, and disasters that are coming upon us and claiming lives. Families are becoming more and more disintegrated as a result of DEATH. We all know we will one day Die. But this is happening much faster than we can keep up with. If there is a way I hope that you and your 2 remaining siblings can come together in time and support one another. Especially now as the sister who donated her bone marrow and has cancer may not survive if there is a predisposition in the family for this cancer to claim her life also.
This is one of the saddest stories I have heard and it puts my loss into perspective. You see my husband worked with asbestos and developed a deadly cancer that was incurable, inoperable, and aggressive. He died 6 months ago and my life will never be the same. He was the one in the family that everyone Loved more than any other and who is Missed more than any other. My heart will be broken forever. I had to watch my husband die very slowly for over 3yrs. and to look into his face and see his sadness over him going to die is something I can't forget. My heart goes out to you. May God Comfort you in all your losses of family and Bring you Peace in your Pain.

Nov 13, 2012
Time Cut Short
by: Pat J.Green Bay,WI

Dear Jackie,
I am so sorry for all the losses you have had to deal with, at such a young age yet. My heart goes out to you.
Cancer is a horrible disease. My mother died at the age of 50 from breast cancer. She dealt with it for 11 years. My father-in-law died from it at the age of 56. Cancer of the liver; he went within weeks. He has been gone 40 years and my mom 36 years. Eleven years ago I lost a sister-in-law from breast cancer and 7 years ago a brother-in-law from cancer of the esophagus. To watch them die is horrible, as you so well know.
Why some people have to go through such heartache, we will never ever understand, but we do come out of it stronger people.
Sixteen months ago, I lost my husband of 46 years to a massive heart attack. He died instantly, sitting on the side of our bed, the day after our wedding anniversary. It was a shock; yet, I am so grateful, he had a peaceful death. It doesn't make the loss any easier though. I just think of all the suffering he didn't have to go through. He had been in the hospital after a warning stroke and things just seemed to go down hill from then. We were told he had heart and lung issues and would have been in and out of the hospital alot. I know in my heart, he was such a proud man and would not want to live that way.
Life does go on. Our lives are forever changed after the death of a loved one; especially close ones. They are all so near and dear to our heart. We will always keep them tucked safely in our heart. They are physically gone, but their spirits are always with us.
My brother always tell me he sees our mom in me. I may say or do something, and he'll say, I remind him of mom. Now after my husbands death, I see a part of him in all of our children. Even little things our grandchildren do remind me of him. I tell them they do things that remind me of him and they now smile. The tears have become less, yet they are always there.
Cherish your memories and talk to your loved ones gone. I do everyday. It keeps me close to them. We have a loving God and he is walking with us everyday. I often asked, Why me God? I saw others with their mom, I was 29 when I lost my mom. You were so much younger. I can only imagine. My children would tell me they couldn't imagine me not here; but are now telling me how they don't feel the same after the death of their father. We were always a close family, but I feel we have become even closer after my husbands death. Reality hit home, we are not on this earth forever. Cherish everyday and don't take anything for granted. It can be taken away in an instant.
You have survived a lot of loss and yet, I feel from your post, you are a very strong young lady and I am sure your parents are looking down and smiling at you. A job weel done!

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