I couldn't let the day go by without writing this post. I know we all remember exactly what we were doing when we got the news of something so impactful in our lives. I remember exactly what I was doing when the Twin Towers were attacked, and I know most people do too.
It was 5 years ago today that I got the news that my twin sister had a seizure through the night, and they had seen a brain tumor on the cat scan. I know exactly when the phone call came in and what time it was. I was getting ready to go to back to work after maternity leave. My Jayden was only 2 months old.
Now I know why I waited all day to write this post. The flood of emotions come back to that exact moment when life stood still. Even B, had that look on his face when he saw mine. Complete shock and almost emotionless. I thought back to what I did the night before. I was supposed to call my sister back. I was taking Jayden a bath, an easy task now, but for a brand new mom, I'm sure it was a harder task. I never called my sister back that night. To this day, I am reminded of that. It was almost a relief to see her that Monday morning. Almost like a second chance. She had a mal seizure in he middle of the night. Which is one of the worst ones to have. Her husband took her to a local hospital, but as soon as they saw the tumor, they sent her straight to the medical center in Houston.
Her son, my nephew Mateo, was only 16 months old. My sister and I were only 29 years old. Things like that don't happen to people like my sister. When I tell you she was the "good" twin, she really was. She was born with the innate nature to be good! Growing up, she was always reminding me to watch my manners, to be polite, but she was always by my side when I needed something.
That period was probably one of my hardest of my life. She went through craniotomy just 2 days later. I was there early that morning to see her before she went in. We waited for 5 hours in the waiting area through her surgery. I remember every single person who was in that waiting room. Our dear friend Heather was gracious enough to cook a home cooked meal for all of us that day. About a week later, we learned that it was grade III brain cancer, Anaplastic Astrocytoma. That was a tough and heart wrenching day. I still remember that I was at work and how the news took my wind away. (I can even tell you what office I was at). I remember the conversation we had once I got to my parents. She didn't want to die. I told her I would not let her, because I would go with her. A conversation only close twin sisters could possibly have.
She started radiation that summer. 6 weeks for about 30 minutes a day. Friends stepped up and we all took turns going with her. We did fundraisers, because so many wanted to help. This was a great way to get so many involved and turn such an emotional experience into a positive one.
As difficult as this time was in my life, this was also when I finally "met" The Lord. I've always known God was there, but never had a relationship with Him. During my pregnancy with Jayden and after his birth, my heart yearned to know The Lord more. Little did I know, that just 2 months after my son's birth, something would affect my life forever. My sister's cancer threw me straight into His arms. My pain was beyond anything I had ever experienced. No one or anything could console me and give me peace like The Lord could. And He did. He led me to passages in the Bible to give the peace I so desperately needed. It was also during this time that my sister also "met" The Lord. After all, He is the One who has carried her through this journey. So now, 5 years later, she is a cancer survivor, giving God all the credit for her healing. He carried her through cancer recurrence, chemotherapy, chemo infusions, MRIs, multiple seizures, and the list goes on. He is the one who has led her to the doctors who have helped in her healing.
I wish I could say life has been easy for her. It hasn't been. Hasn't been easy for me either. 86 days in the hospital on complete bed rest was pretty hard. But through it all, my faith, and I can say her faith as well, is the one thing that has gotten stronger. After all, we have not been promised an easy life, but hope is something that could never be taken away from us.
"Don't be afraid, just believe!" Mark 5:36
Her last day of radiation in Summer 2009. Eli, me, B and our friend Heather. (This was one of the first pictures I just run into while looking through pictures of that year. Heather was also a great friend, among so many : ), who came to visit me multiple times while I was in the hospital. And she always had the best food to feed me : ))
The bell. A symbol of hope for so many cancer patients who undergo radiation.
The girls, who have been amazing friends!
My mom and Mateo, Eli and Jayden, and me.
Here is her journey from the beginning. We need to do a better job of updating!
Linking up with Mommy Moments.