bravery · cancer · family

stronger, braver, smarter

A.A. Milne’s Christopher Robin said it best when he told Winnie the Pooh,  “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”.

My little sister recently had a cancer scare. She was having abdominal pains, and asked her doctor to help her investigate. Ultrasounds and an MRI revealed several large growths on her ovaries. Immediately, she was sent to the Gynecological Oncologist for blood work, which revealed abnormally high numbers on her tumor indicator tests, and so she was scheduled for surgery a short few days later.  During surgery, growths and tumors were found covering her ovaries, uterus, and Fallopian tubes. She was given a radical hysterectomy on the spot.  Biopsies of her female organs were sent out for official diagnosis, and after several weeks, and more than one opinion (the doctors were stumped), they finally called it a borderline tumor.  Definitely pre-cancerous, and definitely invasive and dangerous.  BUT, she doesn’t have to go through chemotherapy, as they had originally scheduled her for.  We get to keep our sweet sister, daughter, and aunt for a very long time!

I can’t, and won’t, begin to analyze the feelings that she has had throughout this process.  (Never MIND the physical healing she has endured from her surgery.)  I mostly ache for her because it is very final that she will never be able to bear children.  This is my sister who has longed to find a companion… longed for children of her own. She is the aunt who all the little nieces and nephews flock to, and crawl on.  She has been given a handful of challenges in her life, and she has had to work through them, but she is forever faithful and forever strong.

My little sister now wears her hair very short, with a bold stripe of color up front.  I think she wears it as a sign of victory and persistence.  She carries with her an attitude of optimism and strength.  I am proud of her.  I am inspired by her.  I am grateful she is a part of my family – and how grateful I am that families are forever!


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