For over two years I was my daughter's caretaker. My daughter Libra passed away on November 27, 2007, from cervical cancer. Libra was diagnosed in July of 2005, and received chemo and radiation treatment, followed by major surgery in the fall of that year. After recuperating from surgery, she started back to school in Jan., 2006, studying Early Childhood Development, and working part-time at a pre-school for college credit. She did excellent that semester, and signed up for Summer school. After a month attending Summer school, she became very ill, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital with kidney failure. She was treated and diagnosed terminal, as a result of her cancer recurring. The next year and a half was very difficult, and after spending eight weeks in the hospital, she was placed under hospice care in Sept., 2007. Her last three months were a period of gradual decline, although her pain was well managed by Hospice of the Valley.
Libra was a single parent, with a daughter, Jessina. I was blessed with assisting Libra in raising Jessina from the age of four. Jessina is now 19. Libra was a loving mother, and a beautiful woman, in body and spirit. She loved children, and had a child-like quality. She owned almost the entire library of Disney animated films, and her and Jessina were extremely close. I loved hearing them laugh as they played board games together. They spent many hours laying together and talking. Jessina was with Libra when she passed. The amazing thing about Libra was that she never complained about having cancer. She occasionally complained about being in pain, but she fought her battle with cancer with strength and dignity. She never said "why me", or "it's not fair". She never expressed self pity.
I love my daughter dearly, and will miss her every day.
The best way I know to honor my daughter is to encourage you and your loved ones to get annual check-ups. Pap smears, breast exams, prostate exams, and other diagnostic examinations are incredibly important. The tragedy is that my daughter may have survived if her cancer was detected earlier, but it was too late for her. Please take care of yourself and your loved ones.