Sister, Friend, Fighter

By: Karin Woodside Last Updated: May 13, 2010

I usually like to blog about things that are odd or funny, or things about photography, art, basically anything that comes to my mind.heather-and-kids This week, my sister is on my mind. We have a great relationship, a friendship, which wasn’t always the case when we were little but age and maturity has brought us close. Heather is a great sister and most of all, one of the greatest fighters I have ever known. Now, bear with me as this blog has the potential to turn into a sappy “my sister is my hero” essay, but it’s how I feel.

When I try to think of a word that describes my sister’s attitude towards life, I can’t find a strong enough name. Patient seems to light in its meaning. Brave is closer but to me still suggests a tone of fear. Dauntless is even closer. I guess courageous is the best word to me that describes her attitude, although courageous also makes me think of lions. And tigers. And bears. Oh my.

You see, my sister has fought cancer for the past 10 years. And yet, despite its multiple reoccurrences, despite the harsh treatments she’s gone through and the eight surgeries she’s endured, she has maintained the most positive attitude I have ever seen. Many people, myself included, would’ve given up by now but she has persevered and beaten the odds.

Heather also has not let this disease get in the way of achieving her life goals. I remember even as kids, her dream was to become a mother someday. It wasn’t her only dream for sure, but I remember that was one of her greatest desires. Being the baby sister, I like to think I was the test subject on which she practiced her mothering skills. She had to put up with my never-ending desire to play with her and her friends, as well as assert authority over me when her possessions mysteriously ended up in my room. Of course, that last one was a two way street…

After undergoing chemotherapy, Heather was told she would most likely never have children, that the drugs used for fighting her disease would kill her dream of being a mom. 7 years later, my beautiful niece was born. And almost 3 years to the day after her, my cute-as-a-button nephew came into the world. Take that science.

She has accomplished her goal. My sister has become the wonderful mother I always knew she would be. And she will continue being a wonderful mother for the next 10 kids (hehe). And even though the cancer has yet again reared its ugly face, she will continue to fight with positivity, which I believe has been instrumental in bringing her this far. I love you Heather!