Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Aunt Dot, the Warrior

My sweet Aunt Dot turned 80 years old yesterday. The entire family congregated for her birthday. See, this will probably be Aunt Dot's last birthday. She was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. It's also in her spine, ribs and even a spot on her liver.

Aunt Dot knew she had cancer; she claims to know what cancer feels like. If anybody would know what cancer feels like, it would be Aunt Dot. In her 80 years, she has successfully battled the dreadful disease 3 other times. This is her 4th time in the ring with this monster.

Every time cancer came knocking, it wore a new disguise. First it came in the form of breast cancer.  A radical double mastectomy is hard on a 20-something gal but she's a fighter and came out on top. Cancer free for over 10 years, the insidious beast came slinking back in the form of throat cancer. Evil but curable,  Aunt Dot won. Many years later, uterine cancer came for a visit. It didn't stay around long. Aunt Dot, the 95 pound warrior, fought back hard.

Cancer free for over 15 years, her life took on a slow and satisfied pace. Things were good. And now, here it is again. It makes me sad that cancer is going to be what gets Aunt Dot. It seems cruelly unfair.

This is what sweet, brave Aunt Dot says about it:
I'm not afraid to die. I've had a long and happy life. How long do you expect me to live, Langley? If it's not cancer, it'll be something else. Something else soon. Everybody is going to die and I'm not afraid. I just don't want to hurt. Now let's have some fun.
So really, cancer is not winning. Aunt Dot is the ultimate winner. Her final days will be filled with love, family and friends.

Her positive outlook and plucky attitude make an indelible impression on everyone she knows. She is an inspiration. Yes, Aunt Dot will live on in our hearts and our memories for as long as we breathe.



  1. My Daddy, 69yo, has Stage 4 lung cancer. It's tough. Your aunt's spunk made me smile. Thank you for sharing her story. What a lady!

  2. Your aunt is a true hero, and will long be remembered. Thanks for sharing her story.

  3. Your Aunt Dot has a wonderful outlook--on life and on death. By the way, my favorite aunt was my Aunt Dot. :O)

  4. Oh Langley...the same words were spoken by my Dad last August when we found that cancer had consumed his body. The week before he went into his final coma was a glorious one. He was surrounded by his kids, grandkids, great grands and many many friends. He had a list. A list of who he was going to see in heaven and the order he wanted to see them in. First it was Jesus, then my sister who died so many years ago, and then his "Sweet Mama"...he always referred to her that way. Someone asked him that week if he was going to see his father and he replied, "I don't like to speak badly about anyone so I just won't say anything" I had to snort to keep from laughing. It was clear that he thought his (very strict) father probably wasn't where he knew he was going.
    Embrace these last days and carry them with you. I know that when my time comes I have a roadmap to take me through it. My Daddy gave it to me.


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