Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Sister Kris, 2009

Today would have been my sister's 46th birthday. I have felt the day coming. Yesterday, I thought it was the day before all day. She died February 20th, so there's another anniversary to deal with coming up, but I'll deal with that one when it comes.

It's a couple of things, though. It's sadness mixed with the continuing desire to honor her. And I don't think she'd mind serving as an example of why early detection is so important in cancer. Her family is doing admirably. Her husband has taken over a lot of the domestic duties and farmed out the ones he can't or doesn't want to do. He works a hellavalot and has tried very hard to keep things as they were for the kids.

I was thinking the other day about when she was sick and they had exhausted all the conventional options regarding chemo. The prospect of getting into clinical trials came up, and there weren't any local ones that she qualified for. I guess it's pretty specific, as in, they want people who have had these agents and not those, AND have to have Stage IV colon cancer metastasized to the liver, etc.

There was a trial in Huston to try something like an ovarian cancer drug in colon cancer patients. She hemmed and hawed and it really stymied me as to why she wasn't figuratively running out and joining up for this thing that offered some hope. But in her mind, it didn't offer hope.

She knew that if she continued as she was, that she would have a certain amount of time left with her family, in her home. If she enrolled in the trial, there was too big of a chance (in her mind) that her remaining time would be cut shorter. I had never considered this, and respected her decision.

I have a friend whose brother in law was diagnosed with the same thing as Kris, only more advanced. Just like that. Not feeling well, walks into the doctor and out with the bad news. He was put on palliative chemo almost immediately. I can see what the future holds for them, and it pains me. It's more suffering than a person (and their family) should have to bear.

I'm thankful for the researchers out there, and for the push for early detection. Happy Birthday, Sista!!

She liked red roses.

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