I Lost My Sister To Ovarian Cancer
Let me start by telling you about my relationship with my sister. We did not grow up together like most sisters. We share the same dad and he was not a big part of either of our lives growing up. However, we did get to spend some time together as children.
I remember my sister always wanting to take me everywhere with her and I LOVED it. I was so excited to hang out with the big kids (we had a 7 year age difference) and get to be “cool”. My mom would tell me all the time how Cindy loved to take care of me when I was a baby and just loved her baby sister.
As we both got older, we lost contact. My mom and dad were no longer together and my sister moved out of the state. We did not talk or see each other for many years. When I was about 24, I started wondering where she had been all the years and what she had been doing. After a little searching, my mom found her phone number.
I remember being so nervous but so excited to talk to my big sister. She was so happy that I found her and pretty soon after we met up in Las Vegas to spend some time together. She got to meet her two nieces and we got to catch up on the time that we lost.
She was living in Casper, WY and I was in California. We kept in contact through phone, mail and then social media. About 6 years later, I received a message from my sister telling me that she needed to talk to me right away. She called to tell me that she was diagnosed with Stage IV Ovarian Cancer and it had metastasized. My sister was only 38 at the time.
I was in complete shock and had so many different emotions running through me. My sister, being Cindy, was more worried about what this meant for me. She told me I needed to go get testing done right away. I did exactly that and testing showed that I do not carry the genetic gene. However, please keep in mind that this does not mean that I or anyone else that does not carry the gene are not at risk for Ovarian Cancer.
After my sisters diagnosis, she had to undergo several surgeries, drug treatments and lots of chemotherapy. In September of 2016, I got the call that I had been dreading. The doctor was putting her on hospice care and wasn’t giving her much time.
I booked a flight right away and was able to spend a week with her. That was the most difficult week of my life but I can say that I am so beyond grateful that I got that time with my sister. We hadn’t seen each other in years but the love and bond we shared was amazing.
It was very hard to leave her knowing that was going to be the last time I got to see her or hug her. I completely broke down when I got on the plane. I had this amazing sister and we did not get to have enough time with each other. My sister passed away exactly one week later. She was 3 ½ weeks shy of her 42nd birthday.
During her battle, her goal was to bring awareness of Ovarian Cancer to others. She created her own brochure listing the signs and symptoms along with risk factors and her personal journey. She had a billboard put up for everyone to see. She was on the news talking about this silent killer and much more. She did so much for awareness in such a short amount of time. I was and still am so proud of her.
I have had a hard time dealing with the death of my sister. I have a lot of regrets and wish I would have told her more often how much I loved her. Now her goal, is my goal! I am going to do all that I can to bring awareness and help fight the battle against ovarian cancer.
My sister had a huge heart and unbelievable courage and she was always concerned more with the well being of others. She was full of love and in love with life! She inspired everyone she touched. She was all a human being should be. An angel sent from God. I hope that I can now make her proud. Please help me by joining the fight and ride for a cure!
~ Candice Lopez
Orange County Mom
Register for the Ovarian Cycle Fundraising event online and on Instagram.
More from The OC Mom Blog....