Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Meet My Sister

There have been a lot of comings and goings around here recently...and I fear that some important information has been lost in the shuffle.

Here it is...the important information:

I'm a triplet.

Did you know?

It's true...we're two girls and a boy...and if my computer and I were friends I would show you a picture...but we're not so I can't.

Wait...we might have just been friends...hang on while I check it out.

My brother may kill me for posting this picture. But it's the only picture I have where you can get a true sense of who he is.

My brother has been married for ages and has 4 kids to show for it...4 adorably cute little kids...you know, you've seen the pictures.

In fact, he's been married for so long that whenever Becca and I have to explain how we're related we say, "We're triplets. We have a brother, he goes right here...(and we point to somewhere between the two of us)...but he doesn't count because he's married."

We love him...and his wife...and their kids...even their dog.

But today's post isn't about Jared, it's about Becca...sorry Jared.

Because before there was my husband, there was Becca. We were roommates, and we were pretty much joined at the hip. A friend of ours said once, "You know, when one of you gets married, it's going to feel like you've gone through a divorce." He was right. In fact I wrote a post about it once, but frankly, I'm too lazy to go and find that post to link to it. Sorry.

Some of you think I'm nice (I know because you've told me) but Becca is the nicest...by a long shot...unless you do something to make her raise her eyebrows...and then watch out. Actually, even then, she's still the nicest.

She came over tonight and we spent an hour catching up. Sad isn't it that we have to catch up? We work at the same place, and eat dinner at the same house every Sunday, but we still have to catch up.

After she left I thought about how much I love her, and about how my world is a better place because she's in it, and about how there was a time when I thought I was going to lose her and it was the most awful thing I've ever experienced.

One day Becca was sick from what she thought was appendicitis. She was in pain and nothing she did would take the pain away. Mom drove her to the doctor and Becca asked, "Can you check me for appendicitis?"

During the exam the doctor asked her, "So, when are you due?"

"I'm not pregnant," was her reply.

"Are you sure?"

"Ummm yeah, I'm pretty sure." And in her head I'll bet she was thinking 'Don't you at least have to kiss a guy to get pregnant?'

And with that the doctor did more tests. Many more tests. Including an ultra sound.

The long story short: she had a tumor...a ridiculously large tumor...the size of a basketball tumor. And the doctor had this to say about that tumor, "You'll either be okay or this could kill you in a matter of weeks."

That was a Friday. Nothing could be done until Monday. Someone called my uncle, who is a doctor, and asked him to look at the test results. He did and his response was the same, "You'll either be okay or this could kill you in a matter of weeks."

From Friday until Monday we thought the worst...she's going to die...she's going to die. And you know what? She was okay with it. She really, truly was. "If it's my time to go, it's my time to go and that's okay with me."

It was NOT okay with me, and I cried and cried all weekend long. Boy howdy did I cry. Becca didn't...but then she's not a crier, unless she's watching a Hallmark commercial.

Surgery finally happened on a Wednesday...and it was performed by my dad's cousin's husband. The cancer had been mostly contained within the tumor but he couldn't be sure if she was in the clear. He sent test samples to the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City, and they couldn't say whether she was in the clear or not. The tests were sent to a lab in Boston...and finally...a week later...the results came back as borderline. She didn't have cancer but she didn't not have cancer either.

But one thing was perfectly clear: if she had waited, even another couple of weeks, that tumor would have killed her. It would have burst open, sending cancer throughout her entire body. It's safe to say we're grateful for the ovarian cyst that burst, causing the pain that sent her to the doctor in the first place.

Fast forward a few years...

Becca was at yet another follow up exam, and her blood levels were high. "We're just going to run some tests to be sure."

Those test results showed another tumor, on her other ovary. Becca's doctor wasted no time. Surgery was scheduled for the next morning, and a specialist was asked to come from Salt Lake City to assist in the surgery...just in case.

Becca's doctor prepared her for the worst case scenario: a hysterectomy. If things looked anything like the last time, he wouldn't even question it...he wasn't willing to continue this particular game with cancer.

Mom and Dad were in Brazil, and that left me to wait alone in the waiting room of the hospital.

It was possibly the longest wait of my life. My sister-in-law's mother, who I love with all of my heart, came to the hospital to check on me. It meant the world. The doctor finally came out of the operating room and sat down next to me. I didn't say anything, just looked at him.

"I spent 20 minutes debating on what to do. I even prayed for guidance. Here's what I decided: if she were my daughter I would want her to have the chance to be a mom. I left her one third of one of her ovaries...it's enough...and when the time comes, I will do everything I can to help her have a child." And as he left I cried. My sister wants NOTHING more than to be a mom, and this man had given her a fighting chance.

Fast forward a few years...

I was walking in a park and happened upon this same doctor and his wife. I stopped them and introduced myself. "I'm your cousin's daughter," I said, "and I just want to thank you for saving my sister...twice." The doctor got emotional and said, "Your sister is my biggest miracle. She shouldn't be alive. I love that girl."

That's the general consensus...we all love that girl...but I really really love that girl.


Tiffany said...

Oh my. Now I'm crying at work. That she is alive is a miracle. That she could be nicer than you is also a miracle. How lovely to have such a sweet relationship with your sister. I'm blessed to have a darling, wonderful, talented, sweet sister... but I think there's something very special about the multiple's aspect. And even though I've only met Becca briefly, I agree that she is that nice.

p.s. I've been out of town for a week... catching up on your comings and goings and rememberings has been a treat!

Anonymous said...

Thank God for that doctor and his faith and his wonderful patient care. I have two sisters and a baby brother if anything ever happened to one of them I would be devastated.

Jamie said...

wow...I am seriously CRYING!!! Big Tears...not just the small drops...but the BIG ones that well up and fall. I never knew...I think I remember reading something and then when we have talked...but Oh Man! That Becca, she is something special, and I am glad you get to have her! Everyone deserves a "Becca"! Hope to meet her one day...

Amy said...

As well you should. Because really, what's not to love about Becca? Nothing.

Dazee Dreamer said...

First of all, triplets. Wow. Too cool.

And that was the sweetest story ever. I got goosebumps reading it. She is very lucky to have you.

-stephanie- said...

and that made me cry. Love the love that went on in this post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making me cry at work :> I love your blog and how it makes me feel, your great!!-Cassie

Bend said...

Thanks for the post! It helps keep God where He should be, front and center in every aspect of our lives.

Jessica said...

So glad I'm at home as I'm bawling over the computer. What an amazing family you have. And what a miracle!

cathyjoy said...

what a great story, even though it made me cry a little. i love that you love your sister like that!

Platt Lucky 7 said...

We really REALLY love Becca!!!

gmontalvo13 said...

what a great story!
i was getting teary eyed through the story hoping this would be a happy ending! so glad it is!

Camaree Staheli said...

I absolutely adore Becca! You are right - she is the sweetest person and so fun to hang around. Thanks for the post on her. It made me think of all the good times I have had with her. It never fails, I always think of her when I see a moth. ;) She makes me smile.

Anonymous said...

Awww. You have me crying. Again. What is it with you girls??

Sisters are SO amazing! I can't find words. I'm really speechless today.

I am saying a prayer for your sweet, beautiful family. God bless each of you. Amen.

Anonymous said...

p.s. that snap couldn't get cuter!

Baby Sister said...

My joy can be never be expressed completely for that man and what he did, and what Heavenly Father did through him. It just goes to show you that God does exist.
I don't know where we would be if we had lost that dear sister of ours. I'm sure we would all miss her eyebrows, among other things. :)
And, oh yes, I balled as well.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Aw Noelle!
This gave me chills! What a blessing this story, and your sister's life, and that doctor's mercy and wisdom, are to many! I hope to someday read here of another miracle and a precious baby! :)

rplatt said...

When I asked you last night why you wanted a recap of the history you didn't tell me it was for your blog. It made me cry and I'm not the one who was going to have to live without me. Shame on you! :)

jayayceeblog said...

Wow ... that took my breath away. I can't even imagine it. You are so fortunate to all still be together after those close calls with cancer. Thanks for sharing that story. It's definitely one that makes me stop and appreciate everyone around me!

Joann Mannix said...

I had to stop before I commented and ponder the weight of this story. And through my tears, I will say that is just a miraculous and beautiful story.

I have 3 sisters, although none of them are my twin or triplet, but I cannot imagine anything happening to them.

I am so glad she's alright and will have the chance to be a mom some day.

And what is with doctors and giving scary maybe's on a Friday. I think it's in the doctor rule book.

Marci said...

becca is a gem.
there aren't any other women i know like her.
she's strong and sweet and kind.
i totally was tearing up reading this and then i read her comment and it made me smile. that's the kind of girl she is!

Nikki said...

Oh my goodness WOW. I have goosebumps.

Venassa said...

I had no idea you were a triplet.
What a great story. Since I haven't been a follower for too long I don't remember hearing much about Becca, so I had no idea if your story had a happy or sad ending (cause aparently I read too fast over the part where you guys caught up 'tonight'). Either way, it had me crying. I love the ending. You have story-telling talent.

Bossy Betty said...

I read this the day you published it and have been trying to get back here to tell you how much I enjoyed reading it. This is so full of love and admiration for your sister. I so enjoyed it!