October 27, 2010

That Blog Post That No One Should Have To Write But End Up Writing Anyway.

When I was a ripe fifteen years old, I was in the middle of my sophomore year of high school just chuggin' along thinking that things were just grand. Little did I know, they weren't.

December 20, 2007 a dear, genuine, selfless, bright, happy, God-loving friend was diagnosed with Choriocarcinoma--a very rare type of cancer occurring most commonly in teenage girls. It started in her left ovary, spread to the right, up to her liver, and even touched on the lungs. December 21, 2007, Korrine found herself in the OR as a cantaloupe sized tumor was removed from her left ovary. Did I mention that Korrine was thirteen years old at this time?

From there, she started ten rounds of very intense chemotherapy done at Kaiser of Oakland. In April of 2008, her liver started bleeding and from there she was transferred to UCSF medical center (in San Francisco) and spent a month in the ICU there. Her abdomen filled with five liters of blood before the medical staff was able to cease the liver from bleeding. Not only that, but both her lungs collapsed during a CT scan to check for progress and almost took her life. With all of this bleeding, draining, repeating, Korrine received numerous blood and platelet transfusions. What I also didn't mention was that Korrine had A- blood and could only receive this extremely rare type of blood. Nothing's easy when it comes to cancer, is it?

While she was in the ICU, I got the most precious voice message from her mother--who is nothing short of a Saint. I still have the message saved on my phone and in it, all she talks about is how great our other two friends and I are and how it is so incredibly gracious for us to come spend some time with Korrine in her hospital room. Us? Great? Korrine was a legend, fighting for her life! People were practically fighting to go see her! When Dana called me that afternoon and asked if I would be willing to spend some time with Korrine in her ICU room, I almost collapsed. I was so stoked on life and to see one of my closest friends, I could not wait.

I will never forget that day. Seeing Korrine's beautiful bald head was absolutely astonishing and just sitting with her for a while one Friday afternoon was fantastic. It was June 6, 2008 to be exact. I forget a lot of things, but I do not forget things that are important to me. Just being able to talk to her about things not related to cancer like water polo, school, friends, and life in general were so comforting. Her parents updated her Team KC blog often so all I ever heard about was cancer and what Korrine's "next step" was. In every single post they EVER wrote, everything was positive and they thanked God for everything. There were no negatives and that is what I absolutely love about Korrine and her family. Amazing, amazing people*.

*Speaking of amazing, they are living Korrine's dream and helping out many, many patients and families of Kaiser Oakland's pediatric oncology department and looking to open a Team KC house in Oakland for them to stay at very soon! Keep checking back!

Once Korrine finished her days at UCSF, she moved back to Kaiser Oakland and finished up last rounds of chemo before heading back home for the first time in a long, long time. In late June she was home and things were really looking up for her, until she suffer septic shock in July and was in the hospital for another two weeks.

She found herself back at home in late July, until she went in for an emergency round of chemotherapy in September when her tumor scans did not come back great. Unfortunately, that last round of chemo did not do any magic, and the doctors were out of options.

The day she died and the weeks following are also memories that will be sketched in my memory forever. It was a Monday, and I was hanging around school just like every other day of the week. The previous weeks and month we (meaning all my friends and I) had all been waiting to hear when she was going to pass away or if another miracle was going to be taking place. In physics Monday mid-morning, something sparked my attention and I looked at the clock to notice it was 11:45 am on the dot. Why did that matter to me? It didn't, at the time. Class wasn't over, I needed to get back to my work.

That afternoon, a friend of mine, JR, got called out of our last class and she looked at me puzzled. She had no idea what was going on. I sent JR a text asking what was up, and she didn't reply, which was very unusual. I lolly-gagged home just like the average fifteen year old, and found a message from JR's mom on our home answering machine, which I found very odd because parents didn't usually call on the home phones anymore. I let my mom call her back and when I heard a *gasp,* it hit me. Everything came crashing down and I felt like a ton of bricks smashed my heart into a million pieces. I instantly knew exactly what had happened and clicked over to the Team KC blog immediately only to find this:

I sat in tears on the couch for the next couple hours not wanting to do anything. Guess what else I found?

Korrine "went to be with the Lord at 11:45 A.M. today October 27, 2008"

11:45 am!?!?!??!? I looked at the clock during physics because God was nudging me and letting me know that a dear friend just went to be with Him and that I needed to remember this special moment. Thank you, Lord.

And thank you, dear readers, for following along and reading. This was a very sensitive moment in my life, one that I hope to never, ever forget. On this day, please remember to Thank God for everything you have and even for what you do not have. Also, would you mind praying for the Croghan family? As strong and faithful as they are, everyone struggles with loss. And at last, for me? I'm not around my normal support group this year who struggled with this same loss that I did and it will be a little lonely. Thank you! Love and peace to you all.

Dear Korrine,

I miss you like crazy but you probably already know that. Thanks for being such an inspiration and indirectly changing the person I am. I cannot believe it's already been two years!

Love you always and forever,

ps: You may notice this post is posted at 11:45 am, and it is on purpose, but for a good purpose. Take a moment to notice what is going on at certain times in life.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. You, my dear, are not only an incredible friend, but an incredibly inspirational blessed, beautiful and beloved daughter of Christ. What a true joy it is to know you. And, prayers are ALWAYS on for this family and all those who are effected by the loss of such a beautiful angel. God bless you for your selfless endeavor to inspire others in the name of God.

    Joyously in Jesus,


I'd love to hear from you! Let's try keeping it positive if possible. :)

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