Yesterday afternoon my late hubby's sister and her husband arrived here from Colorado. They came to town for a class reunion. When the plane touched down my sister-in-law turned on her cell phone to see a voice mail alert. The new message had been sent many hours ago. It was from her son-in-law. Their daughter Betsy, had died in her sleep.
Betsy was only 35 years old. She had been fighting breast cancer since she was 24 when a Doctor mis-diagnosed a lump in her breast. Told her it was only a cyst. She believed him until a year later there were more lumps and it was too late.
Betsy refused to accept this prognosis and decided to live her life. She continued on with school and became a Physician's assistant. Although her fiancee at the time of the diagnosis called off the engagement (he couldn't deal with the cancer and his dad was part of the oncology group that misdiagnosed her in the first place...but we won't even go there....) she went on to meet a wonderful guy named Jeff. Four years ago they flew to Hawaii with his family and hers and were married on the beach on New Years Eve.
Betsy continued to swim (she was an avid swimmer) and starred in a Nike commercial doing just that! She was featured on a television show a while ago about cancer survivors and Haley Berry read her story. She was so positive and so smiley and we all believed she would beat this. She never asked "Why me?" She just lived her life and wouldn't even consider the alternative. But last night the alternative came. And her poor parents had to learn the news as the de-boarded a plane in Rochester New York. Thousands of miles away.
Besty's wish was to donate her body to cancer research. She hated the disease. I hate it too. It took both of my grandmothers. It took my mom. It took two of my uncles and it took my late husband. The next time you have the opportunity to donate to the American Cancer Society...please do so. For Betsy. And all the other wonderful people that have been taken from us too soon.