Today would have been my sister's 40th birthday.
I've found today really hard. When Helen was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 31, and we read that the survival statistics were that only 20% survived beyond 5 years, she was determined that she was going to be one of that 20%. When, after pre-op chemotherapy, full hysterectomy and oophorectomy and partial removal of the omentum, and post-op chemotherapy, the cancer came back after only a year, she realised that they weren't going to be able to cure this cancer and she was definitely going to die younger than she should. It was at that point that she told me that her goal was to make it to 40. She knew that the cancer was going to keep coming back and needing more treatment and that eventually the chemo etc would cease to be effective, but she never lost hope that if she could just keep going, in time a cure, or a more effective treatment, might be found.
It's been nearly 4 years since she died and I still miss her so much. I wanted to commemorate her birthday, the birthday that she so wanted to reach, so I took my daughters (who she never got to meet) for tea and cake to celebrate Helen's birthday. And I made a page in my art journal.
I've cried a lot of tears today, especially when writing the journalling on this page.
Happy Birthday, Helen. I miss you.