Well, we have a new addition to our family. Most of you know that we bought Spike a snake about a year ago. The snake, Tiny, has really become a member of the family and she’s getting bigger! Recently, Spike used his own money to buy a baby snake to keep Tiny company. But he’s having a hard time coming up with a name for the baby. We need suggestions! I’ve included a picture of both Tiny and the baby for inspiration. If you suggest a name, and Spike picks it, you’ll get a little gift from me in the mail! Ready, set….go!
My big sister is a fighter. And I don’t say this because we fought quite a bit when we were children. I mean, we did, as any siblings do, but it was worse because she was seven years older than I was, and much better at it. She had clever put-downs, while I cried big heaving sobs and called her a baby. But I was six…what else was I going to say? She was my big sister, and I loved her, and I looked up to her, and I thought she and her friends were the coolest thing since ice was invented, and I couldn’t find anything else bad to say about her. So yes, we fought, but that’s not my point.
No, I say that she is a fighter because she just turned 41 and has already beaten breast cancer twice. In the last seven years she has been through more surgeries than I can count on both hands, all while being a great wife, homeschooling and raising her two sweet little girls, and volunteering heavily at her church for whatever they need her to do. She has been upbeat and confident and optimistic about beating the enemy we call cancer, even as the rest of us were devastated and afraid and worried about her. She has not been afraid to cry when she needed to cry, to laugh through the pain, or to give us a hug when we were upset about her diagnosis. She looks just as beautiful without hair as she does with hair, and she has taken each rough change that this cancer brings to her body in stride. She is nothing short of amazing.
Yesterday, my sister (I’ll call her Lulu), after being what we thought was cancer-free for about 2 years, was diagnosed with it again. Except this time it’s not breast cancer…it’s something even scarier and harder to deal with. The cancer has spread. And today, she starts chemo. Again. She says she’s ready for it. She says she’s up for the fight. While maybe not upbeat, she is optimistic and full of strength. But let me be clear….this sucks.
It’s amazing to me how life changes in a heartbeat. Three weeks ago, Lulu and I were walking along a path in the woods with our families, enjoying a camping trip we took together and laughing about the crazy things our kids do. We were pedal-boating on the lake and admiring the frogs our kids caught. Things were normal. Three weeks from now, she will be losing her hair and fighting for her life. Again.
And life around us goes on. I still need to go to work. Her young daughters, age 9 and 11, still need to be schooled. The house still needs to be cleaned. Dinner still needs to be cooked. People will ask me how she is and I will need to be able to answer them without losing it. Life goes on. And truthfully, I guess it should. After all, what would we do without the stuff of life? We would sit around all day and think about the worst possible scenarios. We would mourn before it’s time to mourn. We would panic before it’s time to panic. We would forget to live while we still have time to live. Life going on is what life is all about.
Lulu will make it through this. She told me this morning…she’s not going anywhere. And I believe her. She’s not going anywhere. And I hope she knows that I will be right there next to her with my fists up, fighting alongside her the whole time. After all, that’s what sisters are for.