Not only was that ugly cancer in her hip, it was also in the back of her right eye, brain, liver, and lungs. For the next seven years, Sandy fought hard. She had radiation treatments on her brain and continued her chemo treatments religiously every three weeks. Her cancer count went down and then back up again to the point that Dr. Macintosh was at a loss on what to try next. “Dr. Mac what do we do next?” Sandy asked him while at one of her last appointments just before her medical retirement was approved. Dr. Mac looked at her and said, “I am at a loss, we have tried everything and your cancer is in your spine as well as your brain. I am sorry Sandy; there is nothing else I can do.” Sandy responded, “Come on Doc, I can still beat this and I am going to.” Sandy gathered her things together and walked out of Dr. Mac’s office and began to cry. “I cannot stop fighting now after 12 long years of this crap.” She was angry, scared, and sad; she was not ready to give up. She went home to tell her daughters what had happened at the doctors that day. She told them that she was retiring and that she would spend the last of her days at home with them.
On March 4, 2010, Sandy was having difficulty breathing: her body was tired and was beginning to shut down. She was frail and her body was riddled with cancer. She was bedridden and could barely stay awake or speak coherently. She was hallucinating, a sign that the hospice nurse said that the end was near. She was in a lot of pain, her family administered morphine every 30 minutes. That Thursday evening, her best friends, family, and her beloved daughters spent the evening with her in her room talking of all the good times they shared, telling her how much they all loved her, and how horribly they would miss her when she went to heaven. They prayed with her and told her it was okay to go home now and that they would all take over from here.
At 2:00 p.m., Friday, March 5, 2010, Sandy was finally at peace. She took her last breath while surrounded by her loved ones. They each said a prayer and their goodbyes. Sandy’s Memorial was held at the VA Medical Center, on March 7, 2010, the room was filled of all her family, friends, co-workers and patients, of whom she touched and made a lasting impression on. Many people did not know that Sandy had been fighting cancer for such a long time. She did not focus on the fact that she had cancer. She never let it win and kept a smile on her face. She always said, “Laughter, a good bottle of wine, family, and best friends are the best medicine that money can’t buy.” She was a person that others could set their standards by. She will truly be missed in the lives of everyone that she touched. She remained full of life, a fighter, a mother, and a best friend to many until the end. You are missed by so many people you have touched over the years. There is a huge void where your laughter used to fill for so many. God Bless you Sandy, see you on the other side with all the angles.