I am the Brother
I am the Brother
I don’t remember a time without her being there….. always. Just. there. We are a year apart, and so much of our life we have experienced together. I taught her to play all the cool video games when we were growing up; Super Mario Brothers, Twisted Metal Black, Tony Hawk, and more. I took her to her first Avenged Sevenfold concert…. Super up close even!!! She FREAKED OUT! …. And so much more.
Some might think having your sister for your best friend is crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Growing up in Galveston, Indiana, we spent lots of time with our family. We love to spend time with our younger sisters. Jess was their cheerleading coach, and I even coached a year of softball. It is so much fun watching them grow up and experience life!
College classes, projects, friends, she was there for all of it. We graduated from IU Kokomo, at the same time, with the same psychology degree. I had no idea what the future held for us. When Jess was accepted at USI, 4 hours from home, to be part of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program after graduation, I could see that she was scared to leave home, our family, and her friends. So without missing a beat, I moved to Evansville to be with her. We bought and rebuilt a house with the help of our family, and we ended up even closer as a result. It was CrAzY, but so much fun.
In March, Jess was shaving her underarms and felt a lump. Luckily, the doctor at USI realized what was happening and scheduled Jess for an ultrasound. The next day, April 1, 2016, following her biopsy, my little sister found out she has breast cancer. Jess understands the benefit to early detection, and completed her genetic testing, weighed her treatment options, and ultimately opted for a bilateral mastectomy at 24.
Every day for Jess is a fight. She fights to put on a smile, she fights to get out of bed, she fights for her LIFE! It has been so incredibly hard to see her, so young, so ambitious, so full of life, have to go through this horrible struggle. She tries to keep a positive attitude, but I can see the pain and struggle behind her mask. I am confident we will win this fight, but I hate seeing this monster rob my 24-year-old sister of her days. I wish I could just make the pain, the suffering and the cancer go away.
Our fight is in full swing. Treatments, advocating, rest, fluids, appointments, doctors, pain, and prayers. She has a life ahead of her that I cannot wait to be a part of. Jess has so much potential. I look forward to see how she chooses to advocate and educate the community, the state and the country of the benefits of Early Detection, and Cancer Prevention.