We just returned after a weekend in California spent with dear online friends we were meeting in person for the first time. We stayed at Shankari and Rajesh‘s beautiful home. From there, the four of us went to Santa Rosa to meet our beloved Briana.
The months since the return of her breast cancer in April have been dark, daunting times for Bri and her loved ones. The cancer has metastasized to her lungs, her lymph nodes, spine and several areas in her bones.
Cancer debilitates the body and wounds the soul. It has destroyed her appetite, sapped her strength, beat her down and punched and kicked her some more. For the past few months, her world has been a haze of tests, scans, diagnoses and doctors’ appointments. Her husband Marc and her loving parents-in-law Cynthe and Bill have tried to stay on top of assorted crises – major and minor – that the severe illness of a loved one brings in its wake. Yet, they graciously invited Shankari, Rajesh and the two of us over for what turned out to be a wonderful, memorable afternoon.
Just when Bri thinks she has a minor respite from one health crisis, another surfaces. The protracted rounds of chemotherapy weakened her lungs and she has continuously grappled with pneumonia, bronchial infections, a racing heart and bouts of painful breathing. This was made worse by the poor air quality from the wildfires in northern California this summer. Now, she gets breathing support from an oxygen tank.
Her neck is in a cast because of the hairline compression fractures caused to her spine after the cancer metastasized to her bones.
This is a disease whose onslaught on one’s physical and psychological resources is enduring and relentless. No one deserves this. Grasping through the fog for those rare moments when she can take an easy breath or enjoy a meal with her family, Bri remains her serene, beautiful, gracious self. In her, one sees no trace of bitterness – just calm, dogged resolve.
I’ve got dreams in hidden places and extra smiles for when I’m blue. ~ Author Unknown
She expressed her gratitude to well-wishers – friends and strangers – from around the world who gave their time, energy and monetary contributions to make the fundraiser for her treatment a huge success. The outpourings of love and concern she has received over the past few months have encouraged her to fight cancer with all she’s got. She hopes to regain enough energy to be able to post on her site soon.
Please send positive, healing thoughts her way. Stay strong, stay gorgeous, Bri. We love you.
- the Jugalbandits