Blanca in San Diego: my baby sister with cancer passed

BajaBlanca - 11-6-2019 at 03:39 PM

Boy, life has hit us with a curveball.

My 54 year old baby sister has stage 4 uterine cancer, which started in the endometrius but has spread to ovaries, liver, lymph nodes.

She has asked me to be her caretaker since we are the closest. I spent 3 weeks with her, came to La Bocana to visit Les and return to san diego tomorrow.

If anyone has experience with chemo, she starts this Friday. This is so new to me.

I am devastated and waver between my other sister who believes in miracles, and
my gut which screams "take advantage of this time together. Her days are numbered."

Please keep Maureen in your prayers. She is in so much pain.

[Edited on 11-9-2019 by BajaBlanca]

David K - 11-6-2019 at 04:27 PM

So heartbreaking... all the love and prayers for your sister!

Paco Facullo - 11-6-2019 at 04:46 PM

My heartfelt hopes are with your baby Sis.

Miracles do happen but one can not count on them, so "take advantage of this time together"

Your sister needs all the LOVE and support she can get.

Russ - 11-6-2019 at 05:21 PM

What a slam! I hope and pray for the best for the both of you. Give Hospice a call they can help you know what's going on and help keep your sister more comfortable.

bajabuddha - 11-6-2019 at 05:30 PM

Miracles DO happen..... she has you for a big sis. You as the support system needs your own support system on the side as well; care for the caregiver.

I wish you both well.

advrider - 11-6-2019 at 07:42 PM

There are a lot of programs that can help out, take advantage and don't run yourself in the ground. There is always hope, but you have to also be realistic. Had to deal with this not that many years ago, no easy way. Make sure she takes in enough fluids, ask about pedia lite, it helped others that I know of.

[Edited on 11-7-2019 by advrider]

MMc - 11-6-2019 at 11:25 PM

That sucks! As you know I provided hospice for my wife. First if you haven't yet, look up the 5 year survivability rate for stage 4 uterine cancer. Plan on being part of the greater number.

Go with your gut. If she gets better you're not any worse than hoping for miracle and planning for her demise. You and your family have this moment to be with each other, to make sure there is nothing left to say or do. When she is gone, you do not want to say "I wish had or done ????" Do not wait.

I was with my wife 24/7 until she passed. Friends said I should take a break, I didn't, and do not regret a moment of it. Because I was there we had "little talks" that I cherish to this day.

Push her doctor's hard for answers. Nobody wants to to tell you all the bad news, make them tell you! "If this was your family what would do?" "Why?" "What are the other options?" Use the record option on your cell phone to record your conversations with her doctors. Make sure there is somebody else to hear what the doctors are saying.

You are going to go through some sh!t with her soon. Do all you can for her! Hold back nothing, if you have a second chance it's a blessing.

I know this is harsh. Looking at somebody you love at death's door is harsh.

[Edited on 11-7-2019 by MMc]

elgatoloco - 11-7-2019 at 11:05 AM

So sorry to hear the news. Modern medicine has come a long ways, thankfully. I hope for the best for your sister going forward.

My mother and sister were both in treatment at the same time for different types of cancer in the same hospital. The chemo was difficult and they struggled with appetite and nausea and keeping food down which didn't help with their strength. The oncologist one day pulled me aside and asked 'off the record' if I might by chance know someone, anyone who could get their hands on some marijuana. My 23 year old self replied that I would ask around and see. Later that afternoon my mother and sister were wheeled out of their room and down to the outdoor 'solarium' and we lit up and the result was that their nausea was reduced, their appetite increased and they could keep food down for the first time in awhile. This became a regular routine during the periods that chemo was used. The simple fact was that it helped and the doctors new it would but it was of course not endorsed by the authorities. This was at Kaiser Hospital in Hollywood in 1981. I recall the doctor talking about the hope that soon this 'substance' would be studied/used/accepted as a treatment to alleviate pain and suffering in patients in his care because he saw first hand that it often worked. I sometimes wonder about that doctor and his seemingly forward thinking.
Today there are lots of alternative remedies and methods and access to them is easier then in the past. You no longer have to roll up a big fatty and light up anymore, but you could. Obliviously each person needs to decide what they are comfortable with and to what lengths they would go. Currently two of my wife's good friends are both fighting cancer. They have found relief from side effects of cancer and its treatment using alternative 'medicine' that you can legally purchase and use in California. They both came to it somewhat reluctantly but now see first hand that it has helped them with the struggle.
Take care and be strong.

BajaBlanca - 11-9-2019 at 11:37 AM

She passed yesterday, in my arms. I did treasure every moment but I never in my wildest thoughts thought she would be taken so fast.

She was due to start chemo at 8 am, she died as we were leaving her apartment. One could not ask for a better scenario, she simply looked at me and said "I cannot do this", fainted and never really came to although her partner Rich, then me and ultimately paramedics could not get her pulse back.

Gosh, how I miss her and how I worry for my 84 year old Mom. Thanks those of you who wrote above, it really is a comfort to hear others wisdom when one is flying blind.

thebajarunner - 11-9-2019 at 12:11 PM

So sad
I lost my sis at age 56
She was General Manager of Carnegie Hall, the highest (and most respected ) arts manager in the world
But cancer has no respect
She fought it for 8 long hard years but in the end it won.
Our parents were devastated
You are not supposed to bury your own kids

20 years, I miss her every day....
Prayers and concerns for you

MMc - 11-9-2019 at 12:27 PM

You never get "over it", people think that there is a end to the grief, nope. You become used to having it your world. I can't imagine the pain you and your mom are going through. I have no words that help. I wish you godspeed as you come to terms to life without her.

chuckie - 11-9-2019 at 01:03 PM

So sorry....May she go with God!

Diver - 11-9-2019 at 01:59 PM

With all the miracles you create for others, I thought maybe you would get one back.

Very sorry for your loss.


BajaParrothead - 11-9-2019 at 02:00 PM

Blanca I'm so sorry to hear of your sister's passing. If comfort can be had in knowing that you were there for her in her time of need, then seek that comfort. In the end, she knew you were there for her.

Nearly 20 years ago I watched my dad do the chemo thing with his stage 4 cancer and he only lasted four months and it was horrible to watch.

Feel blessed that her suffering is over. My prayers are with you and all of your family.


pauldavidmena - 11-9-2019 at 03:50 PM

So sorry, Blanca. While there's some comfort in knowing she didn't have to suffer through a protracted ordeal, 54 is way too young. I'm glad to see the BajaNomad community offer their words of encouragement, and I'd like to add mine.

[Edited on 11-9-2019 by pauldavidmena]

advrider - 11-9-2019 at 06:24 PM

To young for sure... I hope there is some comfort in the fact that it was not a long suffering ordeal. Anything you might need, please reach out.

Bajazly - 11-9-2019 at 07:39 PM

So sorry to hear this Blanca, there is a lot to be said for all of you to not have to go through the pain and suffering that was ahead but I know that doesn't make your life any better now. As advrider said, if there is anything you may need, please let us know.

Peace be with you and your family.

Paulina - 11-9-2019 at 09:48 PM

I'm very sorry, Blanca. Wishing you and your family peace.
F*cK cancer.


Ateo - 11-10-2019 at 08:21 AM

I'm so glad you were able to be there with her as she passed. Nothing I can say will stop the pain of loss but I'll try anyway......


Love is the greatest achievement a human can hold. You and your sis had that. Cherish her.


tiotomasbcs - 11-10-2019 at 09:38 AM

Amiga, stay strong and know Sis loved you. As I grow older there is more grief for family and friends who pass . Our Youth often protects us . Now I see...dealing with Death is part of Life. Stay strong.

AKgringo - 11-10-2019 at 10:30 AM

Check your U2U box!

Paco Facullo - 11-10-2019 at 12:21 PM


Like many who said your Sister is not suffering and as she said " I can't do this", she was mercifully saved from the ravages of cancer and chemo ...

Take comfort in knowing the she "lives" in your thoughts and is a part of who you are....

Much love,,,,

rhintransit - 11-11-2019 at 07:54 AM

I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. What a comfort you must have been to her.

BajaTed - 11-11-2019 at 06:15 PM

First your parents, then siblings.
life is mostly good but it's NEVER fair, take care.

BajaBlanca - 11-13-2019 at 05:39 AM

Thanks everyone, it has been so hard. I am so GRATEFUL that she did not do the chemo. Her oncologist called me yesterday, he was upset. Because she went to emergency, he was not told of her death until yesterday. Goof ups in the system.

I hated the way UCSD handled Maureen's ordeal and recommended they streamline the diagnosis and subsequent plan of action. It was awful, just awful. The right hand did not know what the left hand was doing. Made a difficult situation a million times harder.

Ahhhh the memories! She was the one who came to Baja at every possible minute she could! You know she was special, right? She planned on retiring in La Paz. She was so crazy and crazy fun.

Thanks again my online family! Go out and make it a great day!

BajaBlanca - 11-13-2019 at 06:07 AM

Here is one of my favorite photos of Maureen. San Ignacio lagoon. - 231kB

shari - 11-13-2019 at 12:20 PM

Oh Blanca...I am sooo sorry for your loss but glad you were there for her crossing. It is an experienced to cherish for both of you. Sending you love and strength sister.

Skipjack Joe - 11-15-2019 at 01:33 AM

That's rough. Here we were talking about charts that showed the survival rates and she didn't even make it to chemo.

It's great to see the Nomad community coming together in such a positive way rather than the endless bickering.

TMW - 11-15-2019 at 12:28 PM

Blanca I am so sorry for your loss, my condolences to you and the family.

Graham - 11-16-2019 at 11:26 PM

Blanca, I'm just catching up with this very, very sad news.

Thoughts are with you in your pain and loss.