My 35-year-old daughter found out in early December 2017 that she had terminal cancer. She has a loving husband and two adorable stepchildren, now ages 10 and 12. She was given one year to live, WITH aggressive chemo. She started that on January 3, 2018. She beat the odds, living not just 12 but 15 months, passing away on March 8th, 2019.
She was told by her doctors to forget finishing school. She was 3/4 through dental hygiene school, with only one semester left. All of her friends went on without her. She worked hard at her schooling, maintaining a 4.0 GPA right up to last semester.
Miraculously, she still received a full diploma, graduating Summa Cum Laude and with other honors! I am so proud of her and grateful for the university’s acknowledgement of her outstanding efforts!
My daughter believed it was her time to go. She was afraid and felt that aggressive chemo and radiation offered her the most hope. She trusted Western medicine to be her best ally. She gave it full credit for extending her life that extra year.
I saw my daughter go through chemo treatments for her lung cancer, with radiation for bone cancer pain. She became sick and bed-ridden. The treatments extended her life one year. Then the cancer killed her. She was weak and sickly during a lot of that time.
It was hard to lose my daughter. It would have been hard no matter how she went. It was especially hard to see her suffer with pain from bone cancer, and diminished lung capacity which caused her night panics from not being able to take deep breaths, from the lung cancer. Her cancer was diagnosed as a very rare sarcoma, with perhaps nonexistent survival rates. The drugs were experimental in hopes of finding one to kill the cancers without killing her.
All this grieved my mother heart.
Yet Katie chose to rise above her cancer and pain. She loved those around her unconditionally. She was kind and patient with those around her, expressing interest in their lives. She exerted herself to be there for her husband and children, saving strength during the week to be there for them and interact with them as normally as possible on weekends.
She slept and limited outside contact during the week so that she could be there for her family. For her friends.
I am grateful for the time she allowed me to spend with her. It was a privilege driving her to her radiation appointments. Her sister and I took turns pushing her wheelchair around a large 2-story Aquarium on an outing more than once. Katie let me and other family and friends know her food cravings: salad, fresh fruits and vegetables, chips & salsa, plain popcorn, and goodies (she had me bring the kinds of healthy foods I eat). Katie had me come read to her weekly. I got to help her with housework, and others came too. Our family came to help Katie clean up her yard. Carolers came with us at Christmas to sing at her door and gave her cards with money.
The outpouring of love from Katie’s family and friends warmed her heart. She was cherished by many! Kind friends and family decorated her yard seasonally with Valentine hearts, butterflies, Easter, Halloween and Christmas decor. Many meals were given. Her brother mowed her lawn then later raked her leaves. Her sister took time off work weekly to bring Katie sushi and other foods and watch movies on Netflix. A friend provided a special date night for Katie and her husband in an improvised pavilion with lights and gourmet dishes. A multitude of friends texted. Many strangers as well as friends donated to help her with medical expenses. Her father-in-law took her and her husband on an extended camping trip last September, that doubled in length when Katie kept asking to please stay another day.
Now Katie is gone from this earth. She planned her own funeral, wrote her own obituary. She insisted on a “Get Well Soon!” balloon attached to her casket!
My sweet daughter is now free from pain, departed into her own, New Joyful Life. She joins the angels above, my own sweet Angel in Heaven. I love my daughter with all my heart. I am proud of her victorious life and her big heart that embraced those around her despite her pain and discomfort. I hope to become more as she is, while I am here on this earth. I forever cherish her as my dear daughter and Princess.
God bless my sweet KatieAnne. I love her forever!❤️
Thank you for sharing. Remember at her bridal shower she introduced each arrival to others by saying something she liked about the new arrival and also what she liked about each person already there. She brought a warm fuzzy feeling of friendship wherever she went.
After reading your story about getting married again after 2 failed marriages (me) and then losing your daughter to cancer I am feeling for you, but also know that you will see her again in our Father’s kingdom. May His Blessings uphold you when you feel sad or weak.
This is beautiful, Katherine. Thank you for sharing so freely very tender parts of your life. ❤️
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