Friday, October 26, 2007


Those of you who read Harry Potter know that name Voldemort strikes fear in the hearts of Wizards and Witches everywhere. The word being spoken caused people to cringe and shudder. I have found a word that is the equivalent of Voldemort in my world: CANCER.

I have very little experience with cancer, thank God! I have known people to have cancer. I have an aunt that survived breast cancer, My maternal grandfather passed away on my eleventh birthday from lung cancer. My paternal grandfather died when I was in college after a long battle with prostate cancer. Outside of this, I haven't had to deal with cancer. I haven't been around for most of these. I didn't live in the areas of these people that I love as the dealt with cancer.

But I have recently had another brush with The-Sickness-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named. My niece is eighteen years old. I was seven when she was born. She spent most of her life not living in the same town as me. I remember being at the hospital the night she was born. My brother came out of the delivery room dressed in his blue scrubs smiling from ear to ear. I couldn't understand why they wouldn't let me see the baby that night. I was only seven; hospital policy didn't register in my mind.

I remember holding her when they brought her home. She was so tiny, and I loved babies. My brother & his family lived all over the country until 10 years ago. They moved back to my town and I spent a few years, before moving away to go to college, getting to be around my niece and nephew. I enjoyed it.

After my brother & his wife divorced, my sister-in-law moved to Michigan & took the kids. My nephew lived there for a year or so & then decided he wanted to come back. My niece, however, is in her element. She loves it in Michigan. She has lots of friends and has made a life for herself. She graduated from high school in June and has a job.

But last week she found out she has Hodgkin's Lymphoma. This cancer of the lymph nodes has attacked her and she will now have to have chemotherapy. She is going to loose her hair. That's the part she is most worried about. But this word: CANCER.... it strikes fear in my heart. Fear for her. She's so young. She has her whole life ahead of her.

I did some research on my own, and thankfully, this type of cancer has a really good survival rate.

But that fear is still there. Every time I say the word CANCER, I cringe. Like Ron Weasley does every time Harry Potter says "Voldemort".

So those of you who are here, in this diabetes community with me, know what it's like to live life with a chronic illness. We live it every day. We are uninsurable. We know this. But now my niece has, in an essence, join the ranks of living with a chronic disease. Please pray for us. I am many miles away from here. I can't be there for her. But my prayers can be. And any extra prayers you may have will be greatly appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Cara, I pray every day for good health for all of us, and I will be sure to include your niece starting today.

Donna said...

She will definitely be in my prayers.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Hey Cara - my thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family.

Unknown said... sorry to hear about that. Cancer striking someone so young is just wrong. My thoughts are with her, and your family. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cara,

I just wanted to tell you that your niece is in my prayers. My brother is dying right now of cancer so I can understand the fear, sadness and anxiety that this terrible disease brings.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear it. I have a friend battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma now. You're right about the survival rate being really, really good, but any cancer is still a life-changing event, and I'll be sending her all the good wishes I have. Best of luck to you both.