Friday morning, just after 10am the family got a message from Mom that our sister-in-law Linda was being rushed to hospital in an ambulance and things were not good. My brother David was on his way as Mom was texting. They had a rough night and things were getting worse in the morning. It was the second time in the last few weeks that Linda was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.
Three years ago, Linda was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of cancer and the prognosis was never the greatest. But what happened after that diagnosis was nothing short of awe-inspiring as Linda took treatment head-on, always maintaining a positive outlook and keeping her smile. It’s understandable when it gets grim – where the outcome can be to give up and not fight, but that was anything but the approach that Linda took to these last three years. David and Linda dutifully took on every treatment regime and even challenged for more and different as the success proved challenging. And through it all, she kept that smile and sense of humour. We loved her for it.
When she got to the hospital, it turned out that Linda had sepsis and the outlook was not good at all. One of our close friends who worked for years in Oncology here in London, who was helping us understand, explained what this meant for someone with a very compromised immune system. She was weakened, and beaten down by how hard she had been going at this, and that vulnerability made even her warrior spirit seriously compromised. As the day went on the news didn’t get any better. We went to what little sleep we could get worried for the worse and when we awoke we heard the worst possible news:
As I said, the diagnosis/prognosis was never great, but she fought as hard as the cancer was aggressive. We were blown away and inspired by her optimism and approach. Three years in a hard, and often uphill battle we were nothing short of inspired by her determination. And we felt it was the most important lesson for her kids & David that she could offer. She didn’t give up—she doubled the fuck down and went at this. Hard. With a smile.
I am proud beyond words.
Our family hurts… We are missing a mom/wife/aunt/daughter-in-law/sister-in-law/friend. There’s a big part of us missing, but we’re all immensely better for what she brought to all of our lives. That stays with us forever. No matter how gutted we are by this.
Tonight, tomorrow and however many days you have, hug every and any one you can. Because, fuck cancer.