The doctor was right. All the side effects that he said would happen, happened. She was four weeks into the chemo treatments and she said, “Holy crap Bren, my hair is falling out.” She planned to see Gena today to shave her head and start wearing the little shorty wig she got at the Cancer Support Group the other day. She had been fitted for a wig and prosthesis at the Cancer Support Group prior to her treatments starting to prepare for the inevitable. She donned her new hair and put a big smile on her face and thanked God that she was still here to take care of her children and watch them grow up. “How do I look?” she asked. “Pretty sassy huh?” She laughed her big hearty laugh and strutted around the house fluffing her new hair. Kayla and Kori and I were laughing so hard tears were rolling down our cheeks and our stomachs hurt. Sandy’s sense of humor never stopped through all her trials and her fight with cancer. She never let it get the best of her. Was she scared? Absolutely, but she faced it with the strength of a lioness.
Sandy continued to work and take care of her two young daughters through her final chemo treatments. “Let’s all go celebrate with some margaritas at Los Compadres, I had my final treatment two days ago and I feel great” she said. She had her favorite meal of chicken enchiladas and a picture of blended lime margaritas with salt. She was a survivor: “I beat that damn cancer” she would say. She became an avid participant in the Susan G. Komen race for the cure. “Hey the race is coming up and we need to get a group together.” She was the initiator of gathering the group together and organizing the event for the Safeway team that participated every year. She remained clean up until the fifth year after her mastectomy.
Sandy began to have pain in her right hip in the fall of 2003. “I need to get an appointment with the doctor. I can’t seem to shake this pain in my hip,” Sandy told Lynda. Lynda was the appointment scheduler at the VA hospital. Lynda said, “I want to get you in to see Dr. Romberg. He is the best and he will get to the bottom of your pain.” As Lynda said, he was true to form. He had gotten down to the bottom and had found that her cancer was back in her hip and various other places. “I have to really kick it this time, give me the strongest and the best drugs on the market. My girls are still not old enough and I want to be a grandma someday. Let’s get started already,” Sandy said. Sandy endured more chemo as well as radiation this time. Her cancer was also found at the base of her brain this time. “Looks like I will have to have the low dose chemo for the rest of my life. I will do whatever it takes as long as I am can be here for my girls and am able to watch them grow up, I’m good,” she said.