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Art,
Your story about your Dad made me cry. Both of my parents have passed away and my older sister and I were the only ones left. In December, 1997 the doctors discovered that my sister had brain tumor. Unfortunately, after the surgery and biopsy, they found that it was worse type of brain cancer around. Luckily she lived near one* of the best treatment centers for brain cancer and received the best treatment. The doctors were very hopeful because although they couldn't eradicate it, it didn't spread either. But she was doing well and we had great hope. Although it was our tradition to spend Christmas together, she decided that she wanted everyone together for Thanksgiving (we live about 1000 miles apart). Then, about three weeks before Thanksgiving she had a seizure and when they did the c-scan they discovered that the cancer had spread throughout her brain and told us she had only a month or two to live. Immediately, she lost her ability to speak. This was difficult because our only way of communicating was by phone, and even though she couldn't talk back I would call her everyday and talk to her, always finishing the conversation saying that I loved her. She can home from the hospital the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and as usual I called her and ended by conversation with "I love you", but this time she surprised me and said to me, "I love you too". When we arrived two days later, she was in a coma. Her bed was in the family room and we stayed with her constantly, holding her hand and talking to her. We included her in Thanksgiving, eating our dinner around her bed and including her in the conversation. She died late the next night. She was 48 years old.
Afterwards, my brother-in-law told me that on that Saturday, the only words she spoke (and they were the first words she had spoken in two weeks) were on the phone to my nephew (who was still away at school) and then me. She told us both that she loved us.
I will always cherish those words.

mimi

*One of the other treatment centers the doctor recommended was one "near NYC," a place called Staten Island Hospital. He was rather surprised when she told him she had been born there.



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