Monday, September 07, 2009
This morning I received a phone call that you dread.....it was not unexpected, but it was also not welcome....you see, my cousin Debbie had gone a few years without her yearly mammograms, but when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, she finally got up the courage to be tested. By that time there were 2 tumors in her breast, and it had also spread to her lungs. Before we knew it, she had metastases to the bones, receiving radiation treatments to multiple areas is her spine, and her brain. She had a great outlook and although we didn't speak as often as I would have liked (we moved to Florida 8 years ago and she still lived in NJ), when I did speak to her, she was pretty upbeat and positive.
I am now 2 years out from my diagnosis, but Debbie wasn't so lucky. She was admitted to the hospital late last week, and they did not think that she had much time left. Sure enough, this morning we received that dreaded phone call that she had passed away, only about 1 year from her original diagnosis. She was still very young, only about 49 by my faulty math......At this point she was in such bad shape, that it really was time for her to go, but my heart goes out to her husband of 27 years, her son who is in his first year of college, and her other son, who is only a sophomore in high school.
After I shed some tears, I dragged out the old photo albums and relived the great times we had together....ski trips in Vermont, beach vacations in North Carolina, hundreds of family get togethers.....she was always there, always smiling. Then there were pictures of her with her babies...and the cakes she made for their younger birthdays, beautiful, wonderful creations that rivaled most wedding cakes! Debbie's smile was infectious, and she loved to get together with family and catch up on what was going on in all of our lives. Before long, my tears had dried, and there was a smile on my face again. I will miss her terribly, and I know that her family will have a hard time going on without her, but the memories that we have, will be cherished forever!
Love you Debbie, my cousin in marriage, my sister in the breast cancer fight, you are one special lady and will be tremendously missed!!