On 18th December 2015, the news that she had been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer stunned me. It felt somewhat surreal that The Northern Lights decided to make a rare appearance over Scarborough Bay on the evening of the 20th and the memory of that beautiful sight was lost as my world began to fall apart when the word ‘terminal’ was used on 24th December.
Your diagnosis floored me.
In its aftermath I walked a mile
with the sun warming my face
and a trace of your smile
as sun slipped into shadow
beamed full on my face.
Beautiful Aurora Balouris.
Your breath-taking light
radiated through memories
as I walked over sand
skimmed stones on the sea.
Then, in a downpour of rain,
I laughed, and laughed, and laughed
until I fell to my knees and cried.
You were given two years. What followed was a year of keeping my unbearable sorrow hidden as you suffered the side effects of intense chemo and radiation in an attempt to shrink the tumour that would, at best, prolong your life.
So many people prayed for you. We prayed daily that the tumour would shrink and keep on shrinking. That it would shrink so much it would simply disappear.
Sometimes, we get what we pray for.
Your last three scans have shown no evidence of disease and we keep on praying for continuance of that. The wonder of experiencing immense joy after being in a waiting space of grief for over a year is quite something.
Taking part in the Race4Life to raise money for vital research into different cancers feels like a good way to express my gratitude to Cancer Research for helping to save my sister’s life.
My personal Race4Life on 12th July 2017 will be as a celebration of that life and every step I take until then will be a prayer for all who have been touched by cancer in any way.