Saturday, July 05, 2008

My Cousin's Wife

It sucks to die when you are only 50 years old and have a real love of life. It sucks to deprive your three sons, the youngest only eleven, of their mother. It sucks to for a husband to lose the wife he has been in love with since his teen years.

Donna is lying in an ICU right now, stricken down with an ovarian cancer that has spread through her body. The cancer was detected five years ago, at stage three. There were rough days and miserable treatments, but she was beating this disease, until recently. Last week she went into the hospital for a routine chemo treatment and the hope of becoming part of a new, experimental program. Things did not go as planned. She developed a pulmonary problem. Her stomach became distended and the doctor's discovered the cancer spread to her colon. Her colon was removed. Unfortunately the cancer spread to other parts of her body. Now she is on a ventilator, sedated and her survival chances are very slim. Her 18 year old does not leave her side. Her 16 year old can't bare being in the room with her. Her 11 year old is confused about what is going. Her husband is numb. Her sister-in-law flew cross country to help for a week and is now staying indefinitely because her brother needs her.

I was with Donna at the Montreal wedding just three weeks ago. She danced and partied and laughed and talked about beating the disease. I just found out that she was in pain, even then. She hid it. She didn't want people to worry. I will always remember her twirling around the dance floor with her three sons.

Donna is a Bronx girl that never forgot her roots, no matter how much money her family has made. My cousin, to whom she is married is a top lawyer in a major firm but you would never know this by looking at her and talking to her. She is as humble and loving in wealth as she was in the projects of the Bronx.

Life is not fair. Donna is in the hands of great doctors. I pray that Donna's family will have the support they need to carrying on without her.


Anonymous said...

This is just too sad.
I hate 2008 because everyone I know has suffered a loss or has a medical problem.

I am having surgery soon, but I was told I am very lucky.

I am glad you got to see her dancing. I think she wanted people and her children to have that memory of her.


smaileh said...

My mother died of ovarian cancer some years ago, and though it may seem strange to say, her death was mercifully quick--she was diagnosed only 5 weeks before she died. My prayers are with your cousin's wife and with her family.

Ms. Tsouris said...

I'm so sorry about your cousin, but glad you shared a joyful celebration before the return of the cancer. Another wonderful person is felled by this awful disease. I hope her slim chance becomes a good chance for survival, and that her family can remain strong in the face of tragic circumstances.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your cousin. I hope some how, some way she gets better. She is a wealthy person by the company she keeps: her family. Most people don't have that type of wealth in life. In that way, she's very lucky. I hope she gets better.

Pissed Off said...

Donna died today, July 8th. The doctor's were hopeful that she might rally and come home for a while, but that was not the case. AMy heart is breaking for her and her family.