Too Young For This

It seems like only yesterday we buried my mother, but it’s been more than a year and a half. Where does the time go, I wonder.

I wrote a mothers day tribute to her last year, only two and a half months after she passed.

I still miss her.

But it’s easy to understand – and even accept – her death, considering things like her age, her lifestyle, the fact she raised four kids and got to know 13 grandchildren. There’s a sense that she lived a good and full life.

It’s so much different when it’s a child.

One of my mothers granddaughters – my niece – my sister’s daughter – has been battling colon cancer since March. At the “ripe old age” of 17, no less. The doctors tell us how rare it is that a person of this age gets colon cancer (they should only have the same luck in the lottery!).

We’ve all been asking ourslves during this time “Why?” – Why her? Why now? It’s a question no one can answer of course. This kind of thing happens and there’s no reconciliation. Which is frustrating, of course.

So, we move away from the why’s and start looking for ways to battle this ugly monster.

Doctors, hospitals, radiation, chemicals, and surgery.

We have watched a once vivacious, lively, sarcastic, bubbly baby/girl/young woman turn into a shadow of herself. Scared, drastically underweight, hollow eyed, girl.

You can still see her sass and sacrcasm. That’s because she’s also brave. Though there have been many tears shed, she has vowed to fight until the end or until she beats it. Determined.

And she has a lot of help. Between her family and her LONG line of friends, she has more support than she knows what to do with. People to talk to, shoulders to cry on, people to vent with…you name it.

So, now after several months of some very aggressive chemo therapy, it was time for the big surgery. One that would last between 10 and 12 hours. It would take that long to remove the tumor(s) from her colon, and now also from her intestines and stomach.

When I heard that two days before her surgery, she was looking at college brochures (she’s just a senior in high school, but she wants to be a nurse ), I couldn’t help but admire her determination to win. Her bravery. Her grit.

I drove her, my sister, and brother in law to Mt. Sinai hospital in Manhattan. We had to be there by 5:30 am. My other sister and brother in law came too for support.

My niece walked in to admissions – no wheelchair here, even though she was weak. Still being brave.

At 7:30 they wheel her in. We set up in the waiting area for a long wait. We estimated no earlier than 5 PM to see the doc again.

10 AM – the doc comes to see us. We knew it wasn’t good, him being out so early. We were right.

The mass around her intestine was so hard, he compared it to a small brick. There was no way to get it out without the real possibility of killing her on the table.

So they closed her up and came out to drop the news…time to start making her comfortable.

“How long?” my sister asked, eyes red and filled with tears.

Couple of weeks to a couple of months – can’t be sure.

We all joined my sister and brother in law in their tears.

Now we are faced with looking for miracles. And you can be sure – we will look under every rock. There will be a big fight against this ugly monster.

We are a very close family. My sisters, brother and I have always been there. We have spent every Christmas together since we all went out on our own, got married, and had kids.

My oldest son is 20 and he has NEVER known a Christmas without his cousins, aunts and uncles.

The thought of losing my niece has me profoundly sad. And mad, too.

I told my niece yesterday after her surgery that she was the bravest person I knew. After all of this, she’s not ready to quit. She is a fighter.

So why write all this and put it here, on a marketing blog?

Several reasons…

It’s a marketing blog, but it’s run by a human with a family.

Writing about it helps me deal with it.

This is the best way I know to start getting ideas and directions in our search for a miracle.

I know also that there are miracle stories out there – I personally know 2 – and my niece could use all the hope she can get. Reasons to fight.

You never know – miracles DO happen.


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