My friend, Laura, died Tuesday after a long, hard, courageous battle with kidney and pancreatic cancer.
Seven years ago the diagnosis was kidney cancer with metastasis to the breast.She bravely had the kidney and the breast removed and began the cancer recovery journey, rarely missing a day of work while she battled the side effects of the surgery, chemo and radiation. After five years we gleefully and thankfully celebrated passing the big 5 mark.
Two years ago she began having unusual pains in her side. With all test results coming back inconclusive the decision to do exploratory surgery was made. After surgery we were told that nothing could be done and she was told to prepare herself and her family. They expected her life to end in about six months.
She never gave up. Once a week her day was spent hooked to an IV filled with chemo drugs. Her outlook was that the rest of the world had a 7 day week, she had a 6 day week…the trade-off was worth it. By this time she was working two jobs so missing a day’s work was not an option. There were concerts to attend (A Dave Matthews Band concert was never to be missed), plays to see and family events to be a part of. Her days were always filled with life and our days were always filled with her love.
About 2 months ago she and I had a long conversation about just letting nature take its course. She was finally tired of the battle and wanted to lay down her burden. That conversation was one of the most painful and, yet, one of the most rewarding, conversations I’ve ever had with her.
Over the past few weeks her grace and dignity has done more to help us come to terms with her decision than I think we helped her. After a week or so of some very difficult days, God granted her wish to lay down her burden and early Tuesday morning He wrapped her in His arms and took her home. This special, special lady lived life to the fullest, loved and was loved, and touched us all with her warmth. I will miss her dearly.