In 1989 when I moved in with my boyfriend :) he was the single dad of 3 children. Shelly was 9, Patrick was 7 and Annie was 6. I became instant mom to those three considering their mom was out of the picture, kinda. She never had regular visits with them and to make a long story short, I raised those kids. A few years later I had my first son and 4 years after that I had my baby, who is now 16 years old. It wasn't always easy having 5 children, 3 of those being manipulative, spoiled rotten stepchildren. I tried. Our household was far from normal, whatever that is, but none the less, we were a family.
I don't know why I said all that when what I want to say is that Friday, October 15, 2010 would have been the 29th birthday of my youngest stepdaughter Annie. She was taken from us TRAGICALLY, at the hands of her doctor, someone she had grown to trust. Annie suffered from Neurofibromatosis, type 3, the rarest form. Neurofibromatosis is a disease where non cancerous tumors grown on the nerve sheets in the body. Late 2006 Annie was diagnosed and in 2007 she had a couple of surgeries to remove tumors from her spinal column. She had a tumor on her vocal chords which the doctor felt might be life threatening and decided to remove it in April of 2008. The doctors felt the tumor, more so than the others, which were all over her body, in different places, would affect her quality of life. Annie's surgery to remove that tumor was successful. She came out of the surgery with flying colors. We were all so very happy. Because the tumor was resting on her vocal chords, removing it affected her speech a little bit. Annies doctor chose to do a procedure on Annie, to inject collagen against one vocal chord to push them together so her speech was more normal. On May 3, 2008, two days before she was scheduled for the procedure I went to go see her. We walked around the yard, looked at the rabbits, just talked a little, it was a nice visit. I had my camera and we took pictures. On May 5, 2008 my other stepdaughter, Shelly, who is an RN, took Annie to San Francisco to have this procedure. It was done at the doctors office, not in the hospital where her treatment usually took place. Annie was hesitant about the procedure, told her dr. and her sister she wanted to change her mind. Her sister convinced her that this would be the last procedure for awhile, so with her sister there holding her hand the dr. started administering the collagen. Annie complained it hurt, said she was feeling funny. The dr. told her to grow up, or something to that effect. Well, the dr. injected the collagen into Annie's carotid artery instead of against the vocal chord. Annie suffered a massive stroke on the table. The office had no oxygen available, Shelly was beside herself being an RN, there wasn't much she could do. The office they were at was 15 minutes from the hospital. I will never forget the phone call I received, Shelly hysterical, I could hear the sound of the siren of the ambulance on the phone, it was arriving to take Annie to the hospital. Needless to say, Annie never gained conciousness. She was on life support three days, mainly so everyone had time to go say goodbye. Annie left two darling little boys, my grandsons who were 4 and 8 at the time. She passed away on May 8, 2008 and all her organs were donated, even her eyes. Its horrible losing a child, a sibling, a parent, a stepchild. My family's life was forever changed that day, it brought us together and also tore us apart. It's that time of the month, the anniversary of Annie's birthday. I miss that girl so much.
I am just venting, it's been two and a half years that Annie's been gone and it seems like yesterday. The trouble I have had with my son this week, I know it's because he's missing his sister, he's been outside stenciling and painting her name on his bicycle. I wonder when this is going to get easier, I wonder if it will get easier. We all hear and we all know that everyone must die and every man's day is set. But it's just not fair. It wasn't fair for Annie, its not fair for her little boys, it's just not fair.
Rest in Peace Dreamboat Annie. I love you and miss you!
This two little boys mean the world to me.. they carry on their Momma's beautiful spirit!!