My Sister , My friend,
My sister, Sidney Naylor, called me one day to tell me she was having a biopsy to test for cancer cells. I told her not to be concerned that there was no history of cancer in our family. A couple weeks later she called me back and as soon as I said hello she said that I was wrong and that she did have cancer. I told her not to tease me, that it was not funny. She convinced me that she was not teasing, her surgery was scheduled in Cleveland, Ohio in just a few weeks. She told me what the doctor had said, how it was like hearing a foreign language. She was in shock and asked me to call him and see what he had meant. I said that I would and I began my research on the internet at the American Cancer Society web page so that I could better comprehend whatever he said. Sidney told me to be sure to get to my doctor and have my annual exam.
When I read the ACS important signs of cancer I worried because I was having a slight problem. I went to my doctor and she assured me that I had nothing to worry about, that all my tests had been normal and that I was just being overly cautious because of my sister. I spoke to Sidney’s doctor on her behalf and got all the information she needed. The thoughts kept nagging me that I also needed to have a biopsy. Finally one day I picked up the phone and called my doctor’s nurse, I explained to her my concern and the doctor’s suggestion that perhaps I was overacting. She told me to hang up the phone and call another doctor immediately and get another opinion. I did and there were no appointments for several weeks except with a new physician’s assistant. I grabbed it. This concerned woman listened to my story, ordered a test and it came back questionable, so she ordered a biopsy just like Sidney had in Cleveland. The test came back and it was malignant. I was scheduled for surgery about four weeks after my sister had hers. I was fortunate the cancer was in the earliest stage and was confined to my uterus.
My sister saved my life, not only by sharing with me the trial that she was facing but asking for my help in understanding her journey and then encouraging me to get my answers when they were not easy to ask. We are our sister’s keeper as well as our brother’s and when the path is shared the burden is not so hard to bear. I will always be grateful to her.
She was 16 years older than me, lived 400 miles away from me and was a very private person. Yet she whispered her fears to me and held my hand over the phone as I whispered mine back and we wept together. God works through each of us when we are willing to let down the walls and share our trials as well as our triumphs.