Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cancer Sucks.

I dont typically like using the word sucks. 
But, I thought it the best way to describe how I feel about cancer. 
At least the most mild way I feel. 
Cancer has taken many people from my life but most recently my Aunt Gail.

This a picture of my Aunt Gail and cousin Megan.
It was taken back in 2006. My Aunt and cousin had come down to Elisa and Ava's 5th and 2nd birthday party, kind of as a way to celebrate my aunt being cancer free.She had just finished her final round of chemo and had been pronounced breast cancer free!

Fast forward 2 years.

My aunts breast cancer had returned and metastasized and spread to different parts of her body and her bones. Our last visit with her was Thanksgiving 2008. We all, my mom and step dad, brother Shawn, his wife Judith and their children Ethan and Jayla and my other brother Corey all went to Ohio to spend the holiday with my aunt, uncle and cousins. There was the lingering thought that year of whether it would be our last with her or not. We all hoped not. We all prayed not. But, we had to rest in the fact that God is sovereign and all things work together for good.

All things?

We have to believe so.

My aunt Gail, my moms sister and my closest aunt, lost her battle with breast cancer in June of 2009. She was 55 and I was 34 weeks pregnant with Owen. I was too pregnant to fly and too miserable to drive. Derek, I and my Dr decided that it was best that I not make the 18 hour drive to Columbus, Ohio to her funeral. This was a very difficult decision for me but ended up being for the best. I ended up getting extremely sick the night before we were supposed to leave and that would have made for an even more miserable trip. Elisa and Ava drove up there with my mom and brother so they could be with the rest of our family during the awful time of loss everyone was experiencing.

About a month ago my mom and ! decided to go up to Columbus to participate in the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure race in Columbus in my aunts honor. While we do not support Race for Cure {because of them funding planned parenthood} we wanted to support the team that was formed in my aunts honor. So, me, my mom and Owen flew up there for the weekend.

I felt this would be a weekend of closure for me since I didn't get the chance to experience that at her funeral.

 Uncle Jim, me, Megan and my mom

As we sat at the race....watching all the people that were touched in way or another by breast cancer I couldn't believe how far reaching this disease is. It was estimated that 50,000 people participated in the race that weekend.

It was the 3rd largest race in the country. Most of the people were there racing in honor of someone. You could tell who they walked in celebration or in memory of by little pink papers pinned on their backs.

These 2 signs were the hardest for me to look at.
My uncle Jim.

My cousin Megan.

There were ladies walking around in pink shirts. This showed they were survivors. They beat their breast cancer. I sat on the side walk just watching people walk by. As I saw the survivors I couldn't help but think
'its not fair. It's not fair they survived but Aunt Gail didn't. Its not fair their husbands get them for more of their lives and Uncle Jim doesnt get his wife. Its not fair that they'll get to see their daughters or sons get married and Aunt Gail didn't get to see Megan and Mandy walk down the isle. It's not fair Aunt Gail never got to meet her future grandbabies. Its not fair she died at such a young age. Its just not fair' 

But, lifes not fair and God is still sovereign.
I held it all together until my mom asked if I was crying. For the record, I wasn't crying...yet. I was trying my hardest to hold it in. But what is it about someone asking you if you're crying that makes the flood gates open?
So, I sat and cried. 
And then we walked. 
And I felt refreshed.

Later that day we went and visited my aunts grave.

Then we visited her favorite park, Innis Woods Park. Theres a place called the Secret Garden that my uncle said was her favorite place in the park. On Saturday mornings they would go pick up Starbucks and take their coffee and go away and just sit in the Secret Garden together enjoying nature.
I want to devote an entire post to the Secret Garden and Innis Woods Park. It was beautiful there. But, here is a glimpse..... 

I'm so glad I was able to make the trip up there that weekend and to just remember my aunt. I'm so glad that some day we'll see each other again. And I'm so glad that through the loss of someone close dieing to cancer I have a God who I can still say 'You are good.'


  1. I am in tears. This so reminded me of Phoebe. Though we did not lose her to cancer, we lost her just the same and the part of it not being fair is something I have struggled with for some time. It's not fair that I see other children who are the same age that she would have been...it's all just not fair. But I know that God is sovereign and in control and on his throne and nothing catches him off guard. Life can be so unfair at times and full of heartache we do not think we can bear. I am thankful for a loving, comforting savior. My heart hurts for you and your family as well as for my own.

  2. The title of the post resonated with me. I don't like that word either but there really is no other way to describe cancer. I lost my dad in '02 to liver cancer. First thing out of everyone's mouths is, "was he a heavy drinker?" Not at all, he never drank, not even a single sip. Life just isn't fair. He didn't get to walk me down the aisle, see his beautiful grandchildren, and spend many more years doing what he loved best which was loving his family and his God. But, God is in control and has a plan bigger then ours. What a way to honor the memory of your Aunt. And, the Secret Garden looks so enchanting and beautiful. :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails