Last night I got the news that Kathleen's cancer had spread to her brain.
While she has lived miraculously much longer than the doctor's projected, having been boosted by several "one last try" shots of chemo, she has now decided to pursue no further treatment. That treatment would have meant brain surgery or radiation, which, as her husband said, would have caused "much more suffering than healing." Instead, she is now home on hospice, spending her last days with friends and family, and with her beautiful four year old son.
Like I've posted before, I just can't imagine what she must be thinking right now. I am so sad to lose a dear friend, but I am even more sad for her. Knowing that she won't see her so longed-for little boy grow up. Go to college. Get married. Have babies of his own. Knowing that she won't be growing old with her beloved husband. Knowing that an illness so cruel and invasive is taking her away from what she love the most, and there's not a think she can do to stop it. Knowing that she'll have to say a final "I love you" to them, even though they'll (and we'll) keep loving her passionately long after she's left this earth.
Kathleen has now reached a point where her body needs rest. Her spirit remains strong, writes her husband. She asks for visitors. I will see her while I'm home for Thanksgiving...to say goodbye to a woman I love so much. That crushes me to the core but I know my feelings of sadness and anger are trivial to what she herself must be going through. I just keep reminding myself that now is a time to call in whatever reserves of faith I have drudged up in me and hope that one day, somehow and somewhere, she and I will cross paths again.
My deepest appreciation is to those of you who offered up thoughts and prayers for Kathleen and her family when I wrote about them last. I hope that perhaps you can pause for a second or two and just ask for comfort and peace for them yet again. If only you knew her...you all would love her, and she would love you too. From the bottom of her heart, she loves everyone.
She wants you to know that she loves you, writes her husband. Yes, yes she does. She loves me, she loves my family, she loves each and every one of us. Now we will rally our strength behind her and love her even stronger until the very end, and beyond. Because, she's said before, the last word is love.
On another note, today is my little sister's birthday. I hope that through this sadness we are facing she is able to have a wonderful day, and an amazing year. Happy birthday, sis.