My Sister, the Great

This past weekend, Lovie and I went down to Atlanta to be part of the M3Summit — the first ever conference dedicated solely to blogging men. Throughout the weekend, I gained incredible insight from many experts in the ways of social media and or fatherhood. But the most important meeting I would attend happened far, far away from the downtown Sheraton. In fact, it went down in a different city altogether. The most important meeting I would attend this past weekend was held in Stone Mountain, GA.

There were no powerpoint presentations, but there was a powerful presence. No conference room with with rows and rows of tables in front of countless chairs, but instead a small kitchen equipped with a wooden table which sat just four. No keynote speaker carrying on in a booming voice. Just a brave woman speaking in a soft but clear one that didn’t need the help of a microphone to reach my ears.

Much less my heart.

As many of you might recall, my sister Holliday has been battling cancer. And her fight took a dire turn for the worse just before the fourth of July weekend when, after her second round of a hellishly aggressive chemo, she fell into an unresponsive state for nine days. Toward the end of those nine days, virtually all hope was lost.

I penned five excrutiatingly painful posts which were laced with unspeakable sorrow to convey the experience from my perspective during that time. I just read them moments before I began writing this post, and oddly, though sad, I also found them beautiful.

Just like I find her.

Much has happened since she came back to us, yet I stopped chronicling Holliday’s story with Tidy Little Boxes. Today, I come to you with an update.

Since last I wrote, Holliday has checked out of MD Anderson much to the dismay of her oncologist. I can’t speak for how everyone else sees the situation, but as for me? I believe that this (pathologically egotistical) doctor mistook his limits for my sister’s. And while she did, indeed, have some limits with regard to fighting her disease, he had none.

After all, this particular cancer is of such an aggressive variety that he was in a no-lose situation. Kill the cancer, and he’d land on the cover of a medical journal, thank you very much. Lose the patient? Hardly his fault. The odds were stacked against him all along.

So onward he pushed, in spite of the fact that Holliday had voiced concern about the toll the medicine was taking on her. The end result was that horrifying nine-day stretch which saw my brave sister seemingly hovering between worlds before her remarkable resolve led her back to this one, albeit with a body that had been compromised along the way.

You see, what Holliday’s doctor had forgotten was that the cancer he and his ego were hell bent on slaying was growing inside of a real, live human being.

The very one who opened the door for Lovie and me this past Saturday. The very one who led us (slowly and with the help of her walker) down the hallway and into her kitchen. The very one who held court at the head of our four-top table for as long as her energy would permit — the twenty best and most meaningful minutes of my weekend.

The very one who, as of yesterday, has officially resumed her fight. This time at Emory Hospital. This time with a less aggressive form of chemo. This time with two things in mind — fighting for her life, yet optimizing it as well.

I’m happy to say that Holliday made it through the first infusion yesterday much better than she had the ones prior. She’s back in the ring and has successfully finished round number one.

Still, my sister is far from well. She’s far from strong. But my sister is also far from giving up.

And if you knew her, that would come as no surprise. Because she’s great. And the great ones never give up. Ever.

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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • http://www.blogonkevin.blogspot.com always home and uncool

    I can only wish her the best on another round, John. Hang tough, friend.

  • http://www.blogonkevin.blogspot.com always home and uncool

    I can only wish her the best on another round, John. Hang tough, friend.

  • Patrick (yeah, that one)

    Absolutely wishing the best for her and you all. No matter which direction this goes, I am heartened to know that you all are with her in every possible way, and that she is giving her best fight to stay with those she cares about. And again, excellent writing.

  • Patrick (yeah, that one)

    Absolutely wishing the best for her and you all. No matter which direction this goes, I am heartened to know that you all are with her in every possible way, and that she is giving her best fight to stay with those she cares about. And again, excellent writing.

  • Nicki

    Will keep her in my prayers as always.

  • Nicki

    Will keep her in my prayers as always.

  • http://www.cozi.com Carol Schiller

    Thank you for sharing this post John. The love for your sister shines through your writing.

    Sending Holliday best wishes, thoughts and prayers that this new, gentler approach will provide a path to full strength and recovery.

  • http://www.cozi.com Carol Schiller

    Thank you for sharing this post John. The love for your sister shines through your writing.

    Sending Holliday best wishes, thoughts and prayers that this new, gentler approach will provide a path to full strength and recovery.

  • mooney=mc2

    Your sister sounds like an amazing human being. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  • mooney=mc2

    Your sister sounds like an amazing human being. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  • http://www.thedaddyyoblog.com John T

    My thoughts, prayers, and all good vibes to her and to your family during this time. A family that stays strong, lives strong, and it sounds like she is in good hands in that perspective. Here for ya if you need it! And of course, beautiful, um, typemanship? haha. well written

  • http://www.thedaddyyoblog.com John T

    My thoughts, prayers, and all good vibes to her and to your family during this time. A family that stays strong, lives strong, and it sounds like she is in good hands in that perspective. Here for ya if you need it! And of course, beautiful, um, typemanship? haha. well written

  • http://dadofdivas.blogspot.com Dad of Divas

    She is in my and my families prayers. She sounds like such a great and strong person!

  • http://dadofdivas.blogspot.com Dad of Divas

    She is in my and my families prayers. She sounds like such a great and strong person!

  • http://ifmomsaysok.wordpress.com Tara R.

    Good for her in finding a doc who will treat her, and not just her illness and his ego. I wish only the best for your sister and your whole family.

  • http://ifmomsaysok.wordpress.com Tara R.

    Good for her in finding a doc who will treat her, and not just her illness and his ego. I wish only the best for your sister and your whole family.

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    So proud of her… it takes a lot of guts to go against what a doctor wants.

    Thinking about and praying for Holliday. She is clearly an amazing woman.

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    So proud of her… it takes a lot of guts to go against what a doctor wants.

    Thinking about and praying for Holliday. She is clearly an amazing woman.

  • http://www.realmendriveminivans.com PJ Mullen

    I guess the hypocratic oath has been replaced with the latest glossy medical journal. I’m terribly sorry that someone’s giant ego only exacerbated things. All of my family’s thoughts and prayers are with your sister , you and your family as she continues her fight.

  • http://www.realmendriveminivans.com PJ Mullen

    I guess the hypocratic oath has been replaced with the latest glossy medical journal. I’m terribly sorry that someone’s giant ego only exacerbated things. All of my family’s thoughts and prayers are with your sister , you and your family as she continues her fight.

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad

    So glad to hear that she is still fighting it. Time is precious and it is good to hear she, and you all, have more of it.

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad

    So glad to hear that she is still fighting it. Time is precious and it is good to hear she, and you all, have more of it.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Give Holliday my best. I am thinking of her.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Give Holliday my best. I am thinking of her.

  • Beth Ann

    My thoughts are with you and your entire family as Holliday fights this battle. She is truly a brave woman, and is blessed to have a great support system. Attitude is everything!

  • Beth Ann

    My thoughts are with you and your entire family as Holliday fights this battle. She is truly a brave woman, and is blessed to have a great support system. Attitude is everything!

  • http://daddyscratches.com Daddy Scratches

    Having a good thought for your sister & your family in general. I hope like hell she wins her fight. She clearly has some good people in her corner.

  • http://daddyscratches.com Daddy Scratches

    Having a good thought for your sister & your family in general. I hope like hell she wins her fight. She clearly has some good people in her corner.

  • http://www.wonderfriend.com Missy

    I’m so glad to see a Holliday update. Sending prayers for all of you!

  • http://www.wonderfriend.com Missy

    I’m so glad to see a Holliday update. Sending prayers for all of you!

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    She’s a fighter, no doubt. I do so hope that this round of treatment is successful.

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    She’s a fighter, no doubt. I do so hope that this round of treatment is successful.

  • http://lifeofanewdad.blogspot.com Otter321

    So glad you got to see her. She is definitely a fighter, and I know that will serve her well. Prayers for all of you.

  • http://lifeofanewdad.blogspot.com Otter321

    So glad you got to see her. She is definitely a fighter, and I know that will serve her well. Prayers for all of you.

  • http://www.fathermuskrat.com Father Muskrat

    I don’t think I realized what was going on in Stone Mountain when you mentioned going there…you were probably trying to keep things light so that we could enjoy Stats and the games.

    In any event, I admire your ability to bounce back from a day like that and be cheerful and enjoyable that night. I also admire her resolve and her strength and certainly hope all goes well in the future for her.

  • http://www.fathermuskrat.com Father Muskrat

    I don’t think I realized what was going on in Stone Mountain when you mentioned going there…you were probably trying to keep things light so that we could enjoy Stats and the games.

    In any event, I admire your ability to bounce back from a day like that and be cheerful and enjoyable that night. I also admire her resolve and her strength and certainly hope all goes well in the future for her.