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The Hard Truth

I couldn’t sleep last night ... I was missing my sister. So I dropped the kids off at school, ditched my plans today, and drove down to see her. When I showed up, the palliative nurse had arrived at the same time, to check Shyras vitals and clean the umbilical tumor, and it was a bit awkward, as if I wasn’t welcome. Even though I’d been told by them both (Mahmoud & Shyra) that family could come over anytime without notice. But if you know me, awkward doesn’t stop me from nothing! I know who I am, what I have to offer, and that my sister needs comic relief, especially on days like today. SHE was glad I popped in, and that’s what matters.

The nurse was concerned, because Shyra’s heart rate was high, blood pressure low, and she was dehydrated AND still in bed at 10am. The nurse worked her magic and took excellent care of my sis, as I sat back and observed, and of course massaged Shyra’s feet the whole time. DUH. She’s the queen right now, and she gets the special treatment.

Shyra was not aware of her surroundings or even comprehending that her cancer had spread. It was heartbreaking. She’s been told twice what the results were from her pet scan, but she doesn’t remember. She asked me when I got there, “Am I going to make it?” I had to be honest. She asked me straight out, what was I supposed to do? This girl deserves the truth, no matter how hard it is to process. Shyra has a 10% chance, medically, but on a miraculous scale, the survival rate is 100%. When I realized that her memory was shot, I said, “sis, I’m going to record this convo so that you can listen to it when you feel you can‘t remember”. She said, “ok, I like the recordings better than all the pictures”.

We cried together, and held each other, my sister and me, while Mahmoud stepped outside to speak with the nurse, because he was clearly upset that I had showed up and brought truth; which is understandable, I often speak my mind and choose not to sugar coat things, after 33 years of being her sister, I have learned that honesty is of the utmost importance to Shyra. My sister thanked me for my honesty, because honesty breeds hope. Which happened today. Shyra was so distraught that what she’d tried for the past few months hasn’t been working. She wants to live. She wants to fight, but also needs a break from treatment. All she wants is to enjoy her birthday week next week, get strong, have fun, NO treatments, mani pedi’s, pool days, and shopping trips to the mall. As sisters, Havilah and I (and hopefully a guest appearance by Nicola) we will do our darndest to make this happen.

Starting the week of May 10th, Shyra will start immunotherapy and radiation. This is her choice and we are all standing by her, supporting her, no matter what the outcome or side effects. Shyra knows what she’s up against, but she wants to try. Her umbilical tumor outside of her body has doubled in size, and it needs a miracle. Let’s all come together and pray that this next phase of treatments, are effective and work miraculously to shrink ALL the cancer. It’s a tough road ahead, but she is a tough girl and she will see this through.

She didn’t eat much today though and is still throwing up. Please keep her in your prayers. She needs her strength to make it through radiation and immunotherapy. Tomorrow, Shyra wants to kick off her birthday week with pedicures with her sisters and mama. UM, YES PLEASE! Done and Done. What Shyra wants is what Shyra gets. It is my pleasure to bring her joy and see her requests come to fruition. Cant wait to see her relax and enjoy some fun for the first time in WEEKS.

Tuesday, May 4th, (Star Wars Day! Yay!) she will go in to the radiology clinic for mapping. I will be there that day to take her to and from her appointment.

Tune back in tomorrow for photos in the Gallery of our pedicure day together!


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