Sunday, August 05, 2007
I'm not really sure where to begin with this one. It's my sister. She has thyroid cancer. I've been waiting to write this blog because I do have some family on myspace who read my blog and I didn't want them to find out this way. But if this is how you find this out, please call me or my Mom or my sister and talk to one of us about this before spreading it all around. It's not the right way to go about announcing something like this, but that is not why I'm here typing up this blog. This blog is about my sister.
My sister is my best friend in the world. She was there when I was born, before I was born probably talking to me through Mom's belly. She'd kiss me in my high chair and once I fell and got a bruise on my face. She doted on me from the very beginning, even if she admitted feeling a little jealous when I first came home. She obviously got over that pretty quickly. I never felt my sister didn't absolutely adore me and everything about me. Even when we bickered during our pre-teen and teen years. I still idolized her and listened to every word she said, soaking up every bit of it like a sponge. I carry her words with me today even. I have always worked hard to be more like her in life, to be more loving, giving, accepting of others, to be so good the way she has always been. To do the right thing in life, to be as angelic. She told me Wednesday that the doctors found abnormal cells when they tested the blood from the hemorrhagic cyst they drained. That cyst continues to fill up and continues to need draining repeatedly. She said the cells came back from the endocrinologist as cancer cells. She said the doctor's assured her that this is the most treatable, curable type of cancer and usually only requires surgery to remove the thyroid or part of it. She only cried to me that first day. And I said to her "It's going to be okay!" And she said, with a tremendous amount of relief in her voice "Okay!" I said "We're going to be old together!" She said "I need to be!"
Dammit we are going to be old together. She's going to raise the boys and then when they marry and have babies, we can spoil her grandchildren together! I told her we're going to go on cruises with eachother and our husbands when we get to our sixties, like our Mom and aunt are doing. She said "You and me babe!" I said "We are so there!" I then said "Maybe by then I'll have overcome my phobia of ships." She said "Yeah and maybe then I'll have overcome my phobia of flying!"
God I love her. I love her so much! I know she must be terrified but we have had several conversations this past week and she sounds so amazingly strong. But that is who she is! She always took care of me, took care of Mom, before taking care of herself. She was always reassuring to us rather than letting us nurture her. She's my big sister, I've leaned on her more times than she's leaned on me. Now it's time for her to lean on me and I'm ready! I'm stepping up and lending my shoulder and everything I can muster up. I've got everyone I know praying, even put her name on the prayer list at church today. She has just got to get through this okay and it will be, it will be okay! It has to be. I just can't do this (life) without her! I can't imagine going forward without her. She means so much to me. I am going to keep saying I know she will be fine, and I know the more we all say it and believe it, then it WILL be fine! It will be.
So that kind of consumed my week. I usually know things when someone I love is going through something. I usually feel anxiety and depression, and it doesn't seem to come from me. Meaning I don't really deal with my own depression and anxiety, my life is awesome. I don't have a thing to worry about or feel depressed about. But I'd say 98% of the time when I'm feeling anxiety or depression, someone I love is going through something. Then I sit and pay close attention, trying to figure out who it is and what it's about. If I can't, then I just work out harder to chase away the butterflies in my stomach and it usually helps. Then I do some meditating and visualizing myself pushing away those feelings. They don't do me any good, and if I can't pinpoint the reason then I don't want to feel them.
Sister was fine last I heard. The cyst was drained, tested, and they said all is fine. Sister is happy and in love with Troy, raising two beautiful boys, loving her two step daughters like they were her own, she is blissfully happy. I thought.
I had a rough couple of days on Monday and Tuesday, just grumbly grumpy and nothing seemed to go right. So on Wednesday I got the email from my sister saying that the test results from her cyst came back abnormal and it might be cancer. I now know that this is typical of my sister, downplaying her news to me rather than just spelling it out. God bless her. Her email had the subject - "Need a shoulder." And since Mom was out of town, and Troy was sleeping since he works at night, she needed me. The next email asked "When does Mom get back?" I just picked up the phone and called her number. She answered and I just said "talk to me." She started to cry. She said I have these two little boys! That is when I said "It's going to be okay."
It felt weird reversing roles in what we are to eachother. It felt amazing for me to be the strong one and reassuring her for a change. It felt awesome. I helped my sister feel better! I did for her what she's been doing for me my whole life. I am a good sister after all.
Well Thursday was waiting day, sister and I were both sure Mom and Shirley were coming back that day or that they'd returned the night before but they never did call. I started to worry. I had spent that morning chatting it up with sister, she was much stronger Thursday morning, then Thursday evening we chatted it up some more. I found the email Mom had sent saying they'd be back Friday, I said DERRRR I had the dates wrong. But we were relieved that nothing had happened to them. Then we chatted it up for an hour and a half, we laughed and giggled and talked eachothers ears off about everything under the sun. Even talked about childhood when I used to be the exhibitionist as a child, not unlike her oldest Gavan. I was laughing with tears at the stories of how Brandon and I used to jump on the bed and run all around with nothing on, while sister the proper one stood by and watched, giggling but not stooping to our level of being exhibitionists! We talked about cousin Brandon and how much we adore him. She said we always got along so well with Brandon, she said I don't remember not getting along with him, we never argued! I really don't remember arguing either, we always just had the best time with him. But it was just nice to have so much fun talking with my sister.
Friday Mom and Shirley did return and I went to take Sunny home at 2pm. They had just gotten in and sister obviously hadn't talked to Mom yet. I am terrible at hiding my feelings and terrible at pretending, terrible at lying. Heather wanted to be the one to tell Mom herself, so I had to keep quiet about it for now. But Mom knew something was up and I tried to play it off like I had a lousy week (that wasn't a lie!) and that I was feeling really depressed. But when they pushed the issue I said "I can't!" Shirley said don't do that to us, what's going on? And I said I can't say, please don't ask me! LOL Mom asked if I was pregnant, and I replied ever so quickly NOOOO! LOL but I just played it off like I was just feeling depressed and had a really bad week. Then I high tailed it out of there so they could both get some rest and overcome jet lag and wind down, etc. I called Heather when I got home and she said "you did good! I'll let them rest and call Mom tomorrow." So that was that. I still couldn't get the butterflies to go away, worrying how Mom would take it.
So Saturday we went to best friend's aunts house to swim for the day, and to forget for a little while. We had an amazing time with her and the kids, we splashed and played and laughed and just had a terrific time. We ordered pizza, I had a beer, and just let loose and enjoyed myself. It was just the best. The kids were having fun with Jim and he was sure paying for that later with stiff muscles. We got home at 9:40 that night and I'd missed two calls from Mom. She said she talked to Heather and was wanting to talk to me a little bit too. I called her back and she sounded okay with everything. I was kind of pleasantly surprised at how well she did sound. But she said she didn't think it's really hit her yet. She also said she feels good about things and that Heather is definitely going to be around for a very long time, just as I've felt. We are all optimistic for her and positive that all will be just fine! Mom does want to get together soon but Shirley caught a cold and we didn't want Jim to catch it. So we postponed our visit for another time.
So that's about it for my week. On Friday night I re-read the story Mom wrote about Heather, called "The Angel of Zilker Park." I don't have it on the computer though, I'd have to type it up myself. I thought maybe Mom had it on disc but I hate to bug her for it. It's really good and I'm going to type it up to share. But I warn you all, anyone who reads it, be prepared to cry. If you have any feeling in you at all, you will at least tear up if not feel like really crying. Mom is just amazing at writing and taking you with her through this whole experience. Or maybe it's because I just love my sister so much.
So there it is. I can't really say what I feel right now. Just that I want to grow old with my sister and be by eachothers side as we go through life. I can't imagine life without her, and I won't.