Watching my Aunt battle cancer

This weekend my mom and I drove to Fort Wayne to visit my aunt, who was recently in the hospital.

She was diagnosed in February with breast cancer, during her baseline mammogram. Since it is an agressive ductal cancer they have had to perform a bi-lateral mastectomy. During the surgery they discovered that the cancer has also spread to her sentinal nodes. We are still waiting for the results that reveal if it has spread beyond her lymphnodes.

It’s hard to wrap your brain around what is happening to her. She’s young, early 40s. She has three kids – 19, 16 and 11. She herself is a nurse. Now she is fighting for her life.

She’s used to fighting for other people. Her oldest child was diagnosed with diabetes at 3 so she became a nurse and diabetic educator. Now she helps other families cope with this life-changing dianosis.

Now she is completely out of control and powerless over what is happening in her own body. Seeing her scars today was hard. It is reality that this disease is taking over her life and the life of her family. Her kids are scared. Her husband is stressed and devastated.

But she soldiers on. Her attitude is fantastic. She is positive, upbeat and ready to fight. She is bound and determined to kick cancer’s ass. It’s amazing to see. She refuses to lay down and take it.

She knows a large part of this battle is in her mind. She kept telling me today that she feels peaceful and is picturing God holding her in the palm of his hand. What a beautiful picture! She knows the source of her comfort, strength and healing.

As her niece, I feel helpless. What can I do? You feel like you need to do something. Once she knows when she’s going to do chemo I might come and stay with her a few days a week. I’ve promised to help her find beautiful scarves. I will laugh with her, cry with her, comfort her and care for her. That is what family is all about.

The great thing is we’re all fighting for the chance to do that for her. We just want her to be well. My heart is just heavy. Watching her kids rally around her today just broke my heart. They just wanted to be near her. You could also see them will her to be fine. I can’t imagine the fear they carry.

But the battle is on! I want to find a good daily devotional for her, to keep her thinking good thoughts.

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About Marti

After a year-long sabbatical in Southern California I am returning to Ohio to try and resume my life. Who knew you went home again to start living.

Posted on July 11, 2009, in Mi Familia and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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