Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sister Kris Part 1

My sister was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer about a year ago. She was 44 at the time.

Of course, the first thing myself and my brothers (2 of them) did when we hear that Kris had cancer was to schedule our colonoscopies. And I get my yearly Pap, and mammogram, and try to eat my vegetables and not be sedentary, etc. This year I signed up for life insurance, so I had blood tests for other diseases/disorders as well. Us sibs have checked out OK. Our mom died early of cancer (she was 56) so it's been rather spooky.

Two years, they said at the time. Two years is the average life expectancy when the cancer's been discovered at this point in its progression. 'But I'm tough, I'm strong, and it's not going to take me that soon' she said. And for the first 9 months you could hardly tell she had cancer, besides the freaky side effects of the chemo drugs. Sensitivity (extreme) to cold, pimples that covered her head and upper chest, diarrhea and/or constipation. Weird stuff.

But now, it's clear that she's really sick. She's in a fair amount of pain, which has been pretty well controlled with some big drugs that you can't just send a friend to the pharmacy to pick up. It's the fatigue that has really laid her low these last few months. So exhausted that she can't do housework and spends most of her time on the couch.

I want to document how it happened for her (not to her - no one has that answer) and, more importantly, what she is/was like, what she's done, etc. She has two great kids, one of which wouldn't be here today if it were not for her persistence at getting him proper medical care. No, I don't think that's an exaggeration. She is virtually done with her BS in Nursing. And, it goes without saying, she's being taken before her time.

It's a lesson for us all, that's true, but I still am struggling with the senselessness of it. So, I'll explore that some with these posts, and also tell the world the kind of person is.

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Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.