I am supposedly a writer, yet I feel I have no words.
Sometimes you don't realise how lucky you are. Don't get me wrong, we all have our troubles and strives in life. And mostly, although they may feel hard at the time, they are dealt with. And time nicely heals, and helps us to forget the pain (emotionally or physically) we felt at that time. (I know, I've had an ectopic pregnancy that hurt like hell, emotionally and physically at the time, but I'm over it now). Some are a walk in the park when you look back.
On Saturday, it was confirmed that my sister did have Leukaemia and it has been a frantic and stressful weekend for both my Mum and step-dad. Tuesday (yesterday), she was admitted into the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton and will remain there for at least five weeks.
She is only 22.
I know that there are younger children that suffer with this, and actually, in some saving grace, at least Katie knows what is happening to her, knows why it hurts, understands what she faces, where a four-year old would not.
But she is still only 22. And although she is 95% curable, this will live with her for the rest of her life. And the next five weeks are going to be hell. I actually can't imagine how hell like it's going to be. She will be treated for Leukaemia for the next two years.
She has to endure this for TWO years. It will be tough.
I sit here feeling rather useless. For the past 5 days I have not really been with it. Even if I wasn't thinking about Leukaemia and my sister, it still fogged my subconscious. Before that my back had been playing me up, but now it feels insignificant in the whole grand scheme of things. And I don't seem to be able to lift this fog now.
My whole family is shell-shocked really. It came so out of the blue. Although when does Leukaemia not come out of the blue? But this is something that happens to somebody else - right?
I live too far away to be visiting regularly, and my Mum told me not to come this weekend, otherwise I would have been there at the drop of a hat. We go on holiday this Saturday, and my plan is to send Katie postcards, and letters, things from the boys (who love their favourite aunty very much), anything so that she knows that I am there, and hopefully it will decorate her 'space' by her bed (that will be her home for the next five weeks).
Hopefully she will know that I want to be there, holding her hand. Because that's all I can do.
I can't even be a bone-marrow donor, if she needs it, as I'm only her half-sister.
She will beat this. I have no doubt. It IS curable. But there will be days when she will feel defeated and sick, and that's when, as a family (and friends), we will need to be strong, to reassure her, hold her hand, tell her that this won't beat her... Because this will not be a walk in the park.
I've certainly learnt this weekend, never take anything for granted. Never think these things can't touch you.
I'm a realist and always have been. And maybe the thing I'm having difficulty with is how young Katie is. I've had two grandads die of cancer, they were in their 70s and 80s - good innings we'd say. You kind of expect it along the way. But to be so young and have to face something like this... just isn't fair.
I love you, Katie, and you are in my thoughts everyday. You'll be coming home soon.
(I wasn't really sure how to approach this. I've been telling friends as I've come across them, but how do you bring something like this up? And I wasn't so sure how to tackle it on Facebook. So I decided to dedicate a blog).