I’m delighted to introduce my sister Diane Salas as a guest blogger. She has been with me since the very beginning of this journey and I’m very thankful for her strength and compassion in keeping things together when things for me seem to fall apart.

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I can still recall the night I was told that my sister has cancer. I as many of you may have felt was… in shock, disbelief, and most of all scared. How can my younger sister who is so vibrant, young, and full of life get cancer? On the plane en route to Seattle that dreaded evening all I could think about was did she say something that should’ve triggered my nurse brain that something was wrong. I felt like I should’ve known… I should’ve advised her to get seen sooner! I felt like I maybe let her down by not knowing.

Seeing Cams for the first time after the initial surgery literally broke my heart. One of the hardest things I had to do was make the rounds of phone calls to our family. The phone calls never got easier with each one I had to make. Each and every family member I talked with advised me to “Stay strong” and “We’ll keep her in our prayers.” I truthfully didn’t know what it meant to “stay strong.” Does it mean don’t shed your tears in front of her… does that show weakness? I’ve cried so many tears in silence as well as in the boo-hoo… sniffle snot out of your nose… ugly cry. Ask my husband… he’ll tell you!

One of the changes that happened to me during this time happened internally. I found myself praying more, needing to read the bible, and saying the rosary. While we were at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center I visited the chapel once or twice a day to talk with God… to reflect… shed tears… and to ask for strength. The chapel also had a journal you can write in. I wrote in it each day I came. I always felt a sense of calm after leaving the chapel. We were visited by a woman from the local Catholic church. She sat with us, held our hands, and led us in prayer. This was so emotional and cheesy as it may sound I truly felt that the Holy Spirit was in the room. This experience has completely renewed my faith. In the beginning I of course questioned why… why… why? We will never know… yet I do know that God has plans for all of us. My kids have been taught to ask God during their nightly prayers to “bless Auntie Cams” without prompt. Being in the medical profession, I know that machines, doctors, and nurses have the ability to help cure you… but ultimately only God can save us.

Thank you to each and everyone who has offered or asked their mighty being to watch over, bless, or heal my sister. All your thoughts and prayers are being heard. She’s battled through the first surgery with tenacity. She’s kicked ass in the second surgery! What can I say… my sis is amazing! Without all the love and support from everyone that is caring for Camille we wouldn’t be where we are!



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