Robbie the Brave


This story is not about me but rather my sister, Roberta or Robbie, as she’s known to most. It all started in February when she noticed a mass in right submandibular area. She went to the dr and was treated for a salivary gland infection. When it didn’t resolve, she called me and asked what I knew about salivary gland infections. I work for an ENT and know all too much about these sort of infections. My dr was out of town so we had to wait a whole week before seeing her in office. This was the longest week of my life!! We did the first biopsy of her lymph node in office and waited another incredibly long 3 days. The first pathology report came back as an inflammatory process and we treated once more with antibiotics. I checked in on her daily. She was hopeful that the antibiotics were doing their job. And they would have had it been an infection. Her lymph node was unchanged so we ordered a second biopsy. After another week and a half, we had our diagnoses of Burkitt’s’. My sister was very confused because she has always been a very healthy person and didn’t feel sick prior to her being diagnosed. She went and met her oncologist and the people she would get to know very well over the next several months. She has maintained her courage, strength and spirit like a champion. Like an athlete training for a marathon. She has just recently finished her fourth and hopefully her last cycle of chemotherapy last week. She sports a wig or a wrap on some days. She also likes to feel the wind on her bald scalp. She looks forward to having a haircut and getting highlights. So do her two daughters who have been her biggest cheerleaders. They have been just as strong as their Mom through this experience. My sister deals with most, if not ALL the side effects they warn you about at the beginning of treatment. She doesn’t like to complain….much! Ha! She puts on her makeup almost everyday and goes to work most days. She has a spirit about her and looks forward to the day when she can look back and this be a distant memory for her. She has an excellent prognosis! No other activity on her last PET/CT. We’ll take that kind of news any day. I have learned many life lessons from watching her battle this disease. She didn’t want pity, she didn’t want tears, she didn’t want people to look at her like she had cancer. She wanted everything to be normal. But I think she did all of that, for all of us! She has had her catheter removed and has only a few scars on her upper chest. These are her battle scars. My sister is one of the lucky ones. Isn’t that an ironic statement….most people would consider cancer unlucky but we know God never gives us more than we can handle and He definitely carried her on this journey. God is great. My sister is pretty awesome too. Congratulations to my sister! This is her victory.

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