February 5, 2008

Memories and Reflections from 2007

I know it is kind of late to be reflecting back on the past year. But there were a couple of events from 2007 that can never be forgotten. 2007 was filled with ups and downs, the biggest up was my wedding!! However, our year ended with a down that impacted my family so deeply.

Getting married in 2007 definitely made it a memorable year. However, 2007 was the year that I not only planned a wedding, but also a funeral. It was the year that my sister-in-law passed away. A beautiful, vibrant, young 39-year old redhead is no longer in our life because of breast cancer. With her birthday in a few days, I think it is a good time to remember her.

December 2007 was a month that I will never forget. One day I got a call from Mr. Bear that his step-sister was in the hospital because she had a brain seizure and 2 weeks later she was gone. On December 17, 2007, Tricia Borba Vasquez passed away from breast cancer of the brain. After beating breast cancer, it was found that it spread to her brain. Within weeks, she quickly deteriorated and passed away.

She had Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis (LC), I can barely even say or spell it. LC is found more often in women, as breast cancer is one of the more common tumors to spread in this fashion. She had breast cancer which she had beaten but then it spread to her brain and got into the meninges (meninges is the system of membranes which envelope the central nervous system and along with the cerebrospinal fluid protect the central nervous system/brain). Once it gets there, there is very little you can do.

I do not share this to sadden anyone but to bring awareness of the importance of early detection of breast cancer. As women, we need to be educated and proactive regarding our health. Monthly breast self-exams are one way we can be proactive and make sure to get yourself checked. It is important that we do this for ourselves and the ones we love.

I am sorry if I brought a downer to your day; that was not my intention. I just believe it is important to share our experiences so that we can make others more aware. Cancer does not discriminate by age, race, or gender. She was too young and I want to make sure she is not forgotten and that we can learn from what she went through. It might be a little too late for New Years’ resolutions, but your health is something that should be a priority all year long.


  1. It's not depressing at all! Thank you for sharing and encouraging people to be proactive about their health.

  2. Thank you for the reminder,
    I am so sorry for the loss of an amazing woman.

  3. I love how you turned the memory of your sister in law into positive thoughts to other & reminding us to get checked.

    Thank you for sharing. :) She is beautiful.