Thursday, September 5, 2013

Saying No to Breast Cancer - A Tribute to Dawn Alvies

A writer writes!

Tomorrow I pay respects to Dawn Alvies, a woman of courage and faith.  Ten years ago Dawn and I sat in a fast food restaurant at my request to talk about a decision she had made.  Dawn had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She had decided not to seek surgery as a cure, but instead put her future in the hands of God.  I expressed to Dawn my concern about being sure that God wanted her not to pursue the possibility of a cure through surgeons who were given their abilities by God?  Dawn calmly responded, that she would put her trust and faith in God, and not run to surgeons to cut on her body.

Time passed and Dawn and I changed jobs.  One day I saw Dawn struggling to walk in the hallway.  Then I heard reports that she was suffering due to the onslaught of the cancer.  Finally, I heard that Dawn was no longer able to walk and had been hospitalized for treatment.  Dawn applied for disability from her job which was approved.  I then awaited other developments fearing the worse.

Then one day I heard that Dawn was going to attend a health fair being held in our building.  I stopped by and yes there was Dawn walking around.  I could tell she was in pain, but she was able to walk.  After that we stayed in touch via email.  I invited her to my wedding, not expecting her to show up.  But, while standing in the reception line I was surprised to see Dawn in line.  She looked different and I could tell she was wearing a brace. But, she was walking and flashing the radiant smile she was known for.

We stayed in touch via email the next two years.  Each time she wrote she continued to sound positive.  I received the last email from her about two months ago.  I responded by asking her if we could do lunch one day.  She replied that she would see if she could put together a lunch with our former team members. I waited but didn't hear back from Dawn.  But, there would be periods in the past when I would not hear from her for months.  So, I figured I would eventually hear from her.  About a week ago I received an email that Dawn was in the hospital and the doctors had given her a few weeks to live.  The cancer reportedly had spread to her brain.  Either that same day or the next day I went to the hospital to visit Dawn.  She was weak and bedridden, but she was able to speak to me and give me the classic Dawn smile.  I departed reminding her that we still needed to do lunch.

Despite the doctors prognosis, I  expected Dawn to somehow prove the doctors wrong again and somehow continue to live.  But, last Thursday I received an email that she had passed away at home.  God has called her home and I can imagine her now smiling even more broadly at the amazing "life" she now has after being on this planet in human form.  I'm glad she no longer has to endure whatever suffering her body went through the past 10 years.  10 years of displaying her faith.  10 years  of courage.

She lived her faith and belief in God.  I hope one day to still have that lunch with you Dawn.  I will miss you.

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