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Rest in Peace, Sweet Maria

Oh Dear Readers, you have no idea how much I hate writing posts like this. Yet, I find myself doing it way too often. My heart is heavy today and it probably will be for a long time. And I hope that, if you’ll allow me the indulgence of getting it off my chest, I might be able to make some sense of it.

You see, I lost a dear friend on Saturday. Another bright and vibrant young life devoured by cancer. Many of you may remember last May, when I year told you about our legal assistant and good friend, Maria’s cancer diagnosis [1]. Doctors found that she had a precariously positioned tumor in her neck, wrapped around her jugular vein. Conventional surgery wasn’t an option.

The next ten months were a harrowing and painful journey for her. There was chemo and radiation, and more chemo and more radiation. There were two CyberKnife [2] procedures, a highly sophisticated robotic radiosurgery system used to attempt to reduce or eliminate certain lesions and tumors in the body that are otherwise considered inoperable. The tumor had crushed Maria’s vocal cords, so there was reconstructive surgery and speech therapy as well.

The second CyberKnife procedure was considered to be very successful. Finally, there was a small sliver of light at the end of a dark and miserable tunnel. Things were starting to look up for Maria. Then, the unthinkable happened.

Two weeks ago, Maria began having a lot more pain than usual. She was also having trouble with her vision. After undergoing some tests, her doctors told her that there was now a large tumor on her brain. They also said that they thought they could get it all. She was immediately scheduled for more surgery. But, by the time they got in there, that f*%#ing devil cancer had already taken over. There was nothing more they could do, except send her home to wait.

Maria died early Saturday morning. She was only forty-one years old. She was gentle and kind and warm and smart and funny. She was incredibly beautiful, inside and out. She was an angel among us.

Rest in peace, sweet Maria. Thank God, your suffering is finally over. We love you and will miss you more than you’ll ever know.