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Missing my cousin.....

Monday, September 07, 2009

This morning I received a phone call that you dread.....it was not unexpected, but it was also not welcome....you see, my cousin Debbie had gone a few years without her yearly mammograms, but when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, she finally got up the courage to be tested. By that time there were 2 tumors in her breast, and it had also spread to her lungs. Before we knew it, she had metastases to the bones, receiving radiation treatments to multiple areas is her spine, and her brain. She had a great outlook and although we didn't speak as often as I would have liked (we moved to Florida 8 years ago and she still lived in NJ), when I did speak to her, she was pretty upbeat and positive.

I am now 2 years out from my diagnosis, but Debbie wasn't so lucky. She was admitted to the hospital late last week, and they did not think that she had much time left. Sure enough, this morning we received that dreaded phone call that she had passed away, only about 1 year from her original diagnosis. She was still very young, only about 49 by my faulty math......At this point she was in such bad shape, that it really was time for her to go, but my heart goes out to her husband of 27 years, her son who is in his first year of college, and her other son, who is only a sophomore in high school.

After I shed some tears, I dragged out the old photo albums and relived the great times we had together....ski trips in Vermont, beach vacations in North Carolina, hundreds of family get togethers.....she was always there, always smiling. Then there were pictures of her with her babies...and the cakes she made for their younger birthdays, beautiful, wonderful creations that rivaled most wedding cakes! Debbie's smile was infectious, and she loved to get together with family and catch up on what was going on in all of our lives. Before long, my tears had dried, and there was a smile on my face again. I will miss her terribly, and I know that her family will have a hard time going on without her, but the memories that we have, will be cherished forever!

Love you Debbie, my cousin in marriage, my sister in the breast cancer fight, you are one special lady and will be tremendously missed!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am so sorry to hear about your cousin. We lost our 19 year old daughter to cancer . It is good to talk about her and the wonderful times we had watching her grow up. Happy memories always ease the pain and they stay with you forever. Always keep her close to your heart. She will be there for you.
    3550 days ago
    Suzanne, I am so sorry about your cousin's illness and passing. I know it hurts to lose someone so young that you're close to, with their whole life ahead of them, especially to cancer. She sounds like such a sweet and special person and I know you still miss her very much. I lost a dear cousin to brain cancer last June. He was only 53-- we were five months apart in age, literally grew up together, in the same classes at school, and he had just moved back home to our hometown here in North Carolina from Texas, where he had worked in the nuclear energy field for many years, when he became ill suddenly. He had a very aggressive cancer and survived only a year after his diagnosis. He was so tough, and even came to my after-treatment party to celebrate with me. I have asked "why" so many times did I make it ok and he didn't, as I am sure you wondered when you lost your Debbie. We just have to hold onto wonderful memories, keep those photos nearby, and cry and smile when we need to.
    Take care, my dear Spark Friend!
    Mary Jo
    4153 days ago
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    4187 days ago
    I know it's been so hard on you, just letting you know everytime I see your profile pic, I see the love you shared with her. emoticon
    4305 days ago
    So sorry for your loss.
    4328 days ago
    What a tragic loss. I am so sorry.
    4331 days ago
  • SWAZY33
    I'm so sorry to hear about your cousin.
    Way to young =(
    Prayers to you and the family!
    4336 days ago
    What a beautiful tribute to your cousin!! I'll be keeping you all in my prayers! What a difficult road ahead for her sons...I cannot begin to imagine!
    4336 days ago
  • CHRYS13
    I'm sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and praying for you and Debbie's family.
    May you have many more happy memories of her...
    4336 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your cousin. We all know she is in a better place and she isn't suffering anymore.
    I am so glad you got to look back on those memories and it brought a smile to your face... she will always be a part of you.
    HUGS, Kathy
    4336 days ago
  • CHALLENGE130!!
    Very sorry to hear of your loss! Early detection is definitely worth educating everyone about! Our family has had their fair share of breast cancer survivors...and are currently dealing with a few fighters that are fighting more severe cancer. It is so true about having the memories and pics!! It helps so much to remember all of the great times that you shared! That is what life is about! Thinking of you during this difficult time. emoticon emoticon
    4336 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. As BC survivors each loss to this horrible disease hits home hard. I will remember you all in my prayers. Hugs across the miles~~ Ro
    4337 days ago
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