What a difference a year makes. Just a little over a year ago we had no idea my brother was sick and would be leaving us so soon. We did know is daughter, Brenda, was battling breast cancer but she’d been battling it for so long we just “assumed” she’d continue to fight and win her battle. This morning (Sunday) Brenda lost her hard fought battle. She was a warrior and she battled it valiantly for as long as she could but it finally got the better of her.
Brenda leaves behind 3 beautiful children. Her son Zander (from her husband’s first marriage) and her two beautiful girls Kamyl and Faith are all under 10 years old. Her daughter Faith is so named because her mom was pregnant with her (only a few months) when they found the breast cancer. Brenda always said that Faith saved her life. If she hadn’t been pregnant they wouldn’t have found it. The doctors actually wanted her to abort the pregnancy and immediately seek treatment through chemo and radiation. She refused. She allowed them to perform the unilateral mastectomy and after Faith was born she started her long hard treatment of chemo and radiation.
She did have a short period of time where they said she was cancer free but it came back and came back aggressively. Several times the doctors called the family in saying she would only last a few weeks or days and she kept fighting and battling back and defying all odds.
When my brother found out he had cancer she was the one to take him under her wing and show him “the ropes” with his radiation and chemo treatments. She even tried to schedule their treatments together so they could go together and be company for each other while they received their treatment. That didn’t last very long as they soon decided that my brother was past the point of the chemo and radiation helping. She was heartbroken but tried to stay strong and positive and upbeat for him. When he passed away she was devastated because she was in the hospital and unable to “say goodbye” to him. She told me many times that even though Monte wasn’t her biological father that he was closer to her and more of a father to her than her own biological father. Monte had been her father figure since her early teens and he always called them his daughters and he couldn’t have loved them anymore if they had been bound by blood instead of just marriage. They were bound by heart.
Brenda in turn raised her step son with the same love and discipline that Monte showed her. She had raised him since he was an infant so he couldn’t have been any more hers if she had given birth to him. She didn’t treat him any differently because he wasn’t her biological child. If anything, he was probably cut him more slack because she wanted to make sure there was no bias in how he was treated. She was a wonderful mother to all three of her children.
Brenda was a loving mother, daughter, sister, aunt and niece and she will be missed so much by so many. Please keep her family in your prayers; her husband Stephen and their beautiful kids, her sister and her family and especially her mother Ana. In the last In the last ten months Ana lost her husband (my brother) AND her daughter and NO parent should ever have to lose their child no matter how old or how young.
Brenda was only 28 years old. She was much too young to die for any reason. CANCER SUCKS! I pray for a cure. I know it won’t bring Brenda back and it won’t bring my brother back but maybe some one can find a cure before we have to lose more mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles or friends. Please, please, keep those sweet little kids in your prayers that their whole family can remain strong and get through this loss together.