A strong woman with convictions, a fighter, a mom, a woman stricken by the ugly green cancer monster.
The world grieves, survivors of breast cancer and those of us lucky enough to be cancer free at this time in our lives all share in the sorrow that caused our world to take another deep long sigh again at the thought of another loss today.
In an article that ran in The Catholic Voice in 2007, Di talked about cancer and treatments and Elizabeth Edwards and "managing the cancer". I remember talking to Di about the article after it was published and we also talked about Elizabeth Edwards. Di told me that she felt a connection to Elizabeth because of all of the struggles that she had been through in her life she admired her strength. I told Di that she was as strong as ever too and she just gave me a giggle and said, "I guess I am but my family is really the strength that keeps me going." I know that she knew she was a strong woman because she knew in her heart that she was fighting the biggest fight of her life with cancer.
An excerpt from the article is below:
After her diagnosis, Diane's first course of treatment was surgery, including a lumpectomy and a mastectomy.
They found cancer in two lymph nodes, so 19 lymph nodes were removed from Diane's right side. After surgery she had nine treatments of chemotherapy and 36 rounds of radiation.
"You go back every three to four months for check-ups and you hope you stay clear - and for four years, I did," Diane said. "But then I had what I thought was something wrong with my lung."
The chest pains turned out to be a problem with her lung that worked itself out, but after a final CAT scan, the doctor noticed something else.
"He came into the room and his eyes were red and a little puffy. I will never forget that," Diane said. "He said, 'I don't know what else to say, you need to call your oncologist.' The lungs were clear, the heart was clear, but he saw spots on my spine."
The spots ended up being cancer, which had metastasized to the bone, and another chemotherapy regiment began.
....."Elizabeth Edwards (wife of presidential candidate John Edwards) and I are managing our cancer," Diane said with a laugh. "My thing is that they get beyond this being chronic and we can only manage it. I want to live long enough not to have to manage it.
"I just want to live. I want to be at all my kids' things. I want to be at their weddings. I want to be a grandmother. I want to travel; those are the things I want, God willing," she added. "God has a plan for me, but I am not ready to look at that plan quite yet."