Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It Happened Ten Years Ago


We had all packed for a long car trip. My Aunt (by marriage) Jeanine had just died after a protracted battle with Cancer.

My dad, my mom, and me, were getting ready to get in the car to go to her funeral. My mom was not feeling well, as a result of extensive chemotherapy sessions from her own struggles against her own Cancer. But she wanted to be at the funeral of her sister-in-law to support her family members. It was in her nature.

We got ready to go. My mom felt nauseous. She ran to the bathroom to vomit.

Dad and I knew at that point that we wouldn't make it out of the driveway. My mom was too sick.

We unpacked the car. We got my mom into the house, and tried to make her rest. But she got sicker.

We were forced to take her to the Hospital. She was weak, and could not keep any food down.

Upon our arrival, she was taken immediately to intensive care. As a result of her chemo-weakened immune system, she had developed pneumonia. And, after nearly 20 years she spent fighting a sure losing battle with a particularly insidious form of Cancer, she was unable to recover from it. She died less than 24 hours later.

That was ten years ago today.

It is often said that Cancer patients do not die of Cancer--they die with it. This was what happened. She did not die because she had this horrible disease. She died because all the treatments that she endured over the nearly 2 decades she spent in a relentless battle to defeat a disease that her doctors told her would kill her in 5 years finally did--18 years later.

There is no cure for Cancer. Seriously. Cancer can be treated. Cancer can be destroyed. Cancer can be sent into remission. Cancer can be removed, surgically or otherwise. Cancer cannot be cured. And I'm not entirely sure that some of the available Cancer treatments today don't do more harm than good.

All I know is that this disease took my mother away from me ten years ago today. Along with probably thousands of others. And it will continue to do so, until someone decides that it's more important to find a real cure instead of raising money to find one.

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