Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Sister's story

Today is the four year anniversary of my sister's death. I miss my sissy so so much but I know she is in a better place and is healthy. As surprising as this may sound, It actually feels good to share Robin's what a better place to "blog friends"!

My sister Robin was diagnosed with brain cancer in her early twenties. That is so crazy to think she was my age when she was diagnosed. She had surgery to remove the tumor. The doctors were not exactly sure what kind of tumor she had but they felt that it was not benign. My sister had this surgery and went on living her life as a mother and wife. My sister gave us three beautiful little boys. Landon, Chase, and Wesley....I love these boys so much. A few years after her first surgery, my sister started having complications again which put back in the hospital. Her worst nightmare had occurred.....the mass was back! Now my sister was a stay at home mom...and a great one she was. Robin was born to be a mother. Her husband owned his own construction you can only imagine the insurance issues they were about to face being that he was self employed. After the doctors looked closely at Robins brain mass, they had come to the conclusion that her cancer was inoperable and there was nothing that they could do. So they sat my sister and brother in-law down to only tell them that Robin would be sent home with hospice care and the she had six months to live. My sister had an amazing relationship with God. She would not give up. Now...Robin lived in Nashville...three hours away from my hometown. My mother's best friends husband was head of Methodist Hospital at the time. I will never forget the day he called to tell us that there was a doctor who was ranked one of the top five brain surgeons in American and he happened to live in my hometown and was waiting on my sister!!!! GOD IS GOOD!!! Robin made her trip to Semmes Murphey hospital where Dr. Sills told her....he would not allow a 27 year old mother of three to be sent home to die. We knew at this moment that we had met an angel. Dr. Sills took care of my sister and performed surgery (basically free of cost) that gave my sister several more beautiful years of life. Dr. Sills treated my sister like any other patient but he was not getting paid for any of the work or time he spent with her case. Dr. Sills discussed Robin's rare brain cancer with the board of surgeons to even get other opinions. He truly cared about my sisters life. I remember my sister being so Strong and a conversation I had with her one night. I remember telling her that its okay to cry and be scared (these were two things I never saw) Robin responded that she was ready to die BUT she would live for her boys. It was so important that my nephews knew the lord. My sister truly lived for him...everything she did was for him. She drove a van and the back window always had a bible verse written in shoe polish for all to see. Her bathroom wall had laminated bible verses placed all over the wall. You could sit on the toilet and have plenty of reading material! :)
After my sister passed away, I was reading her journal and one part that I stumbled through gave me chills. My two oldest nephews had been baptised but not my youngest. In this journal entry my sister wrote how Wesley, my youngest nephew had come to her explaining that he wanted to be baptised. He told my sister that he wanted the Lord in his heart. My sister told him he would have to go talk with brother Brady. In this entry she wrote that she watched Wesley take his best friends hand and walk into brother Brady's office to discuss accepting our Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. Robin wrote "then and there I give it all to you God....I'm yours take work here is done". All her babies knew the Lord and she was prepared to move ahead with whatever he had in store for her.

So here is what happened. My sister NEVER complained about her health. She never complained about the headaches, swelling, steroids, medicines, diabetes (the steroids caused) nausea, chemo and everything else she encountered along the way. My sister was talking with a dear friend from church a few days before March 8, 2006. Her friend told her that she did not sound well and she asked her how she was. Robin made a comment that she believed she was ready to GO HOME. Her dear friend told her she was thinking about her and she needed to rest and stop wearing herself out. March 7th was my middle nephews birthday party. After the party Robin and her family came home and went to bed. Robin woke up around 1am not feeling well and got sick in the bathroom. My brother in-law checked on her and she said she was going to take a shower. Now this did not shock him bc Robin had trouble sleeping so it was not unlike her to iron or clean house at 1 am. Her husband went back to bed. Robin took a shower, put on her make up and fixed her hair. Landon, my oldest nephew woke to see what she was doing.....that is how we knew she got ready after her shower. Landon said she held him and hugged him. She told him how much she loved him and he is a wonderful son. Landon got back in bed and went to sleep. Robin then managed to get back in bed but she was sitting at the end of the bed. Her husband woke to see her sitting at the end where she was thinking or praying. He fixed her pillows and told her to get some rest. My sister then layed down to go to sleep and I believe during this time she KNEW she would not wake up. Robin had a seizure between 3-7am. When her husband woke she was unconscious. 911 was called and so was our family. After 2 days of life support Robin was pronounced dead. She was brain dead. I will never forget how beautiful she looked and how peaceful. My sister KNEW that she was going HOME! She was ready...she told her friend and it would be just like my sister to get all ready to go. We knew at this moment everything would be okay. Robin no longer hurt nor was she sick. I miss her so much but I have beautiful memories of her and I know I will see her again one day.

Thanks for letting me share this story. Sorry this is no readers digest version. Like I said earlier....sometimes it feels so good to share her story and remeber the amazing woman she was.

Hug your loved ones and always tell them how much you love never know it could be the last.

Say your prayers and sleep tight!!


rCl said...

Beautiful post! She is in a better place now, you are right!
How old are the boys now?

Jennifer said...

What a wonderful person she was...and still is! She has so many qualities that I want to have, especially as a parent. Thinking of ya'll today.

Niki said...

Thanks for sharing! What an amazing person your sister was! I can only hope to be that great of a woman and mother. I am thinking of ya'll today.

The Wilburns said...

Thinking of you Leigh! What a true testimony that your sister has! Her boys are so lucky to know what a true woman of God that their mother is. Love you!

Crystal said...

Thanks for sharing that Leigh. Beautiful story. I remember being shocked to hear of her passing, but I never knew the details.

pocket full of pink said...

Wow, I'm so glad I found your blog. This post brought tears to my eyes. It is such a beautiful story of endless Faith. It is encouraging to hear how God answers prayers, specifically through Dr. Sills, how amazing! I know how excited you are to see your sister again in eternity. How comforting! Thank you so much for sharing your heart!

Courtney @ One Fine Wire said...

Your sisters story is courageous and beautiful. It will be three years on the 28th of January since my dad died.

You are also courageous for telling her story and dealing witht he loss. It's tough being the one that's still left.

Thanks for sharing!