My sister was an incredible daughter, sister, niece and aunt and will be in our hearts forever.
She had many names Patricia Marie, Trisha, Pat, Patty. For us she went by Tish and if we were fighting I would rearrange the letters that usually landed me in trouble with mom. Our family comprised of 4 girls and 2 boys, Tish being the eldest I came a year a day later we were each other’s birthday presents. As the other siblings came along Tish became mom’s helper; the only job she despised was watching us. My sister could do just about any thing, she watched mom sew and began sewing when she was 10. First sewing doll clothes for her sister’s and then her own clothes in 8th grade. Her fashion style was unique and all her own eclectic and different, just as her music preferences. Always progressive, from classical music to Black Sabbath.
She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. After a few years in the fashion field she changed her career to archeology and worked on the Mississippi mounds. Tish found herself back in retail and reinvented herself a third time taking classes in all things computer. Tish always excelled in any career path she chose and won numerous awards for her work ethics. Tish was highly respected and loved by her coworkers past and present. Although a shy and quiet she never knew how much she was loved and respected by all who knew her. Tish bought her first home in Gaithersburg lovingly renovating each room herself. She built the most incredible stone wall and walk way out of stones she had found during her travels. She worked tirelessly on her garden and was finishing her porch on the second floor of her townhouse. She cherished her cat Oscar who was a surprise get well gift after her surgery. She also had her long time pet a parakeet named Aurora.
My sister was 56 when her fibroids were growing and her uterus was enlarged. In February she underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy and she was told the fibroids were benign. The cancer went undetected until July when she was rushed to the hospital and several masses were discovered. After the masses (13) were removed, the cancer was diagnosed as LMS. The surgeon felt confident that they removed all the cancer visible to the eye. (The previous tissue samples from February were retested, and they were not benign as previously reported.) Tish took the news with stride and began her research on LMS. Through many late night talks and tears she faced this head on. She was going to begin hormone suppressors when the samples were tested and found to be estrogen receptive. The treatment also called for a scan in three weeks. While waiting for the treatment to begin she began to have severe back pains and shortness of breath. This was early August, She was sent for x rays for her back. The pain was unbearable and she was sent for a MRI that she was unable to complete but it was enough to see the large masses in her abdomen. August 30th she was rushed to the hospital’s cancer center were they tried to manage her pain. On August 31 the scan revealed the tragic news she had a large mass 23cm in her abdomen two tumors on her lungs and many more tumors were noted. The doctors attempted to manage the pain before she could get treatment. My niece likened the cancer to the Borg from Star Trek and we chanted “fight the Borg” and “Fight Win Live” as we rubbed her distended belly. She had two chemo treatments the last one was for “comfort measures”. We were given the news of “just days, weeks” the news brought family together in Maryland for support. She was released into Hospice care for pain management. Still my sister never gave up hope and was determined to beat this. She went from bedridden to walking. All the while believing she was going to live. Tish wanted to go home to Buffalo. We had found a way to get her home through Aero Care operating out of Chicago. Renee the transport coordinator attempted to get Tish to Roswell in Buffalo not only because of her rare cancer but because all her family is in Buffalo, unfortunately she was denied by Roswell. Renee would not give up until we got Tish to Buffalo and home. We got the news that Renee did the impossible and Tish was on her way to Buffalo. Under Hospice care she appeared to get stronger laughing and seeing old friends and family. Tish had several set backs but took them in stride. And went to stay with my sister. Tish was noticeably not eating and she struggled with this desperately wanting to get stronger. This was not to be the cancer began to take its toll, the edema on her legs made it hard to walk yet she did, but eventually she was bedridden and the signs of her dying were apparent. Tish did get to Roswell and spoke with a specialist who was up front and honest about her prognosis. This was the saddest experience to see her face her fears, disappointments and death. Three days later my sister passed away in Hospice. She was still fighting struggling to stay alive. We held her while she was taking her last breaths my father, whispered “I was there when you took your first breath and I am her for your last” as tears streamed down her face. She did not die peacefully; she died with too many unanswered questions, unfinished business and sadness. She did not want to die; she did not have to die. She told me if her death could save countless women from uterine LMS then her death would be worthwhile. I am determined to do just that with fundraisers and memorial walks and your donations will help find the answers my sister desperately needed.
FIGHT! WIN! LIVE!
I love you Tish a piece of my heart will be missing forever.
If you would like to make a donation in memory of Patricia, please click here . (When donating through PayPal, you can use the Designation Box to specify a Fund.)