Honor Your Loved Ones
My sister, Ann Davis
July 30, 1971 - February 18, 2014
Anyone that met Ann liked her. People that knew Ann loved her. She was the life of the party and the heart of our family. My sister Ann was the born the summer after I graduated from high school. When Annie was young she often felt more like a daughter than a sister. When my first child was born, Ann was ten years old. She visited in the summer and played at the beach with us. As she grew and married and had a child of her own we became sisters. Family was everything to Ann. Having family get-togethers was always very important to her, especially after the deaths of our parents. But family was just part of her life. Ann had a circle of women friends that were very close, like sisters. On New Year’s Day, after attending a party with her husband, my husband and I, Ann said that she felt bloated. She wondered if she ate too much at the party the night before. After returning home she visited her doctor. The doctor recommended a laxative, but told her to come back if she didn’t feel better within a couple weeks. When she returned the doctor sent her for a CAT scan. The tumor was detected. When we met with the oncologist there were four of us in the room. The doctor looked at all of us and asked who the patient was. Upon shaking hands with Ann, he said she would have been his last guess. He informed us that the tumor was very small and most likely easily removed. He thought we had caught the cancer early enough to be treated successfully. But he ordered a PET scan just for more information. We went to that next appointment full of hope, only to find that there were cancerous spots detected on Ann’s lungs and liver. We were all shocked to hear the Stage IV prognosis. Ann was a healthy forty-year old that had just run a half marathon a few months earlier. But Ann forged on like a warrior. Over the two years that followed, Ann was given every possible type of chemo. Some of the chemo treatments were immediately rejected as usable as Ann had the mutated KRAS gene. She gave up most gluten, alcohol, and sweets and tried hard to eat healthy foods. Meanwhile she talked her siblings and friends into doing warrior dashes, color runs and mud runs with her. We went to Detroit and Pittsburgh to walk in the Scope It Out races. She travelled to New York with my sister and I to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and the Broadway play Elf, her favorite movie. We sang on the streets of New York because “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” She went on weekends with friends and to Florida to visit family and go to Disney World with her husband and thirteen year old son. She never gave up and fought to the very end. Ann never read online about her disease because she didn’t want to know the odds. She was determined to beat them. Unfortunately, that did not happen. As she exhausted the chemo options her cancer became more aggressive. Tumors were painful and robbed her of sleep and appetite. Through it all, Ann never complained. She never wanted to inconvenience anyone, often not telling the truth about how badly she felt. Ann lost her battle on February 18, 2014, just two years after it started. Our lives will never be the same, but they are better for the time we had. Ann had a short 42 years, but she lived big. She touched so many and will be in all of our hearts forever.
Are you at Risk For Colorectal Cancer?
- 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women combined
- Colonoscopies not only discover cancer, but can also stop cancer
- 50% of Americans still do not get colonoscopy reimbursement
- Colon cancer research is still vastly under-funded