Before I started chemo but after my diagnosis and surgery to remove my tumor, my cousin, who is just a year old than I am, was hospitalized. After a week in the hospital, she was released with a diagnosis of cancer. But they weren't sure what her primary cancer was.
The details aren't mine to share but the grief is.
She died on Saturday after months of treatments, hospitalizations, suffering and fighting. Her doctor says she probably had this cancer, whatever type it was, for more than two years.
By the time she died, the tumor on her neck was pushing into her windpipe, she couldn't breathe, she couldn't eat, she couldn't sleep and yet, she couldn't wake up.
I know my family isn't all the different from other families in that my mom and her siblings raised their kids more like siblings than cousins. We spent summers together, the six of us. My mom and three of her sisters all lived within two blocks of each other and we kids were sent outside at 9am and expected back in for dinner around 6. We were always together. Sometimes it was all six of us, sometimes, we'd separate into two groups of three, separated by gender.
I don't know where I'm going with this.
Maybe I just need to mark the day, write a reminder of all that she meant to all of us. Amy has two kids, Truman and Hannah. They're both grown now, but you never don't need your mom. My heart is broken for them.
This all brings the fact that cancer kills to the forefront of my brain. I know we caught mine early and I don't want to make Amy's diagnosis and death about me. But isn't that what we do? We make everything about us. It's all about our perspective, how we handle things as they happen. She's the closest person I've ever lost. I know how lucky that makes me. But acknowledging that luck doesn't make losing her any less sucky. I guess I'll take Julie's advice and wallow in the yuckiness of it all for a while. That's often how grief works.
She will be missed. She is loved. Her memory lives on and will continue to do so.
I will continue to fight my own battle because how can I not?
I pray she's at peace, she's resting, she's no longer fighting and suffering. I pray for her mom, her children, her boyfriend, who loved her so. I pray for all of us every single day.