It’s a two-way tie between my sister Marijka and my best friend/sister in spirit - Nancy. Both have been there for me from the time of my diagnosis and have been there to take me to and from appointments, do my cleaning when I was too weak from chemo to providing me with meals and doing my groceries. I am an independent person and having to rely on others has been an extremely difficult and humbling experience for my ego. They’ve helped me out without complaint. I’m so grateful to them.
My best friend forever Shirley has been my staunch supporter since the first day I found the ‘lump’ which became breast cancer and is still my greatest cheerleader 2+ years since I danced with NED. She listened when I needed to vent, she held my hand when I was in pain, she let me cry when I was overwhelmed, she took me to the hospital when I had a serious side-effect, she encouraged me when I was depressed, she made me laugh when I could barely smile, she shaved my head when I lost my hair, she sat with me before I went for surgery, she visited me often & gave me space when I needed it, she walked beside me throughout all the steps & walks beside me still. She truly was for me 100% and she had enough love to give to my husband & daughter when they needed support. Shirley is an amazing human being & I am so grateful for her presence in my life. I am blessed with her friendship.
My baby sister Preety has been my angel; my champion and biggest supporter since my diagnosis. From the moment I learned I have stage 3 Ovarian Cancer and Endometrial cancer, my world was rocked to the core. My biggest concern was “how do I break this news to my family”? When I did, my sister wrapped me in a great big hug and said to me “we are going to get through this, together!” That wasn’t an empty promise. From attending my chemotherapy and Oncological appointments, to cooking and shopping for me; reading out loud and finding all the chick flicks ever made; crying with me when necessary and laughing with me; loading up my mp3 player with girl power songs to get me through the tough times and just being present and available, she’s done it all. She took time off of work and school to focus on my health and well-being. For being the youngest member in my family, she took on the role of Mom, older sis and best friend like a trooper. I wrote her a card (since I couldn’t convey in spoken words) to thank her for all that she had done for me and she simply said “that was super thoughtful of you but you don’t need to thank me silly girl! You took care of us when we were kids and Mom was working long hours (our Mom ran a nursing home, so she worked long shifts you see, and so I would make our school lunches, wake up my sisters and do their hair for school; help them with their homework, etc. Nothing really out of the ordinary, and I honestly loved taking care of the girls). Now, let me take care of you”. My sister keeps me focused and positive to the point where I live my life to the fullest of my ability and do not dwell on the negative impact cancer has had on my life. We try to do new things together like learn a new language, or attempt baking goodies or join a crafting club (hey it’s pretty darned fun!) She tells me I am strong, smart, brave and beautiful every day (even when I lost all my hair!), but really, she is the epitome of all that and so much more. I’m a teacher by profession and have been blessed enough to meet some truly amazing and kind people in my life, but never have I met someone so self-less and caring as my baby sis, Preety. I am so grateful to have her in my life. She knows how to keep me in check while allowing me to be my self with all my flaws. I’ve heard that a mother’s love is unconditional (we lost our Mom all too soon, sadly), but I didn’t know that so is a sister’s love. I am truly blessed to have someone who loves me so much to put me ahead of her own needs and I want her to know that I too love her to the moon and back. It is my hope that everyone is as fortunate as I am to have someone as incredible as my baby sister in their life.