Tuesday would have been my eldest sister’s 58th birthday. She died in her mid-20s from the ravages of childhood diabetes gone unchecked. She died very young.
Her death came as no surprise at the time, we all knew we were going to lose her. And she was done, really. Diabetes is a cruel disease, much like cancer, it chips away at your health and steals your soul. As the end nears, you long for death in that sleep forever, no more pain sort of way.
My sister never knew my daughter, her name sake, she never got to know Brittany or follow where life took us along the various paths. She died so young. She didn’t marry or have children, her illness stole that from her too.
I don’t think getting a serious illness such as diabetes or cancer later in life makes you more prepared for everything you are about to lose. Someone in the medical profession that I know and who is about to start chemo told me that chemo is poison and once you put it in your body, your body is never the same. Wise words from somebody who cannot have a clue as to what chemo actually does to you.
Fact, chemo kills everything. And thus chemo nearly kills the cancer patient in order for them to survive. It’s a deadly dance really, how close to the edge of the cliff can chemo take you medically while making sure that post chemo, your body can still pull back from the brink?
My sister’s journey was a one-way trip. Medically, she never had my options or my odds and I remind myself of that when I get too wrapped up in the fact that my health and body are not what they used to be. No, they are not but the alternative was not something I was willing to risk. I took my chances and danced with Death. Death only dipped me a couple of times, right over the abyss, but then he put me up right and I staggered away, the Chemo Waltz is not a pretty dance but cancer patients can and do master it.
More and more of us are living proof.