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Do You Know My Sister?

by Terry McAlpine

Inspiration image

She’s rather small in stature, but she seems so big in my eyes.


She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was real, real bad.


She was bummed, but she didn’t stay bummed. And she was sad, but she didn’t stay sad. And I guess what I remember most from the beginning was her attitude: How are we going to get this out of my body, and keep it out? She’s ornery at times and mouthy at times. (She’s always been like that – before the cancer, too.)


She’s busy and down-to-earth and loving at times and solitary at times. (She’s always been like that – before the cancer, too.) I whine about my job or co-workers or my children. She’s thankful to have a job (part-time), to have co-workers, and to be able to see her children. And she doesn’t reprimand me.


She gets sick, and she gets tired. And she gets sick and tired of being sick and tired. And she has good days and bad days. And she keeps fighting the steady fight – to get this out of her body and keep it out.


I am so thankful for the example she sets. For my part, I silently keep lifting her up. I’m thankful for her. Yet I wonder, do you know my sister? Is she your sister, wife, daughter, mother, friend, neighbor?


Do you know my sister?


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Terry McAlpine’s sister, Pat Hodina, recently celebrated her fifth anniversary of fighting ovarian cancer and continues to fight in Des Moines, IA. Her motto is “believe and succeed,” and it’s working so far. Terry wrote this piece in honor of Pat.

This article was published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, September/October 2008.


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