“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Lynda was hospitalized on September 14th 2022, complaining about the seizures that she was getting on and off for the last three months. The Magnetic Resource Imaging (MRI) report specified on September 16th that Lynda has two Meningioma Tumors in her brain:
- Avidly enhancing Dural based mass in the right frontal region, suggestive of a meningioma (size 2.6×2.8×2.7 cm). Associated mass effect on the underlying brain parenchyma and surrounding vasogenic edema; and
- A second smaller and partially calcified meningioma (size 7x13x11 mm) is noted along the inferior aspect of the right tentorium.
Primarily because of the size (Partial Calcified Meningioma) of the second tumor, Dr. Eve Chang Tsai, Neurosurgeon, Division of Neurosurgery, the Ottawa General Hospital, considered it “No Threat” and decided to leave it alone for now. Subsequently, Lynda had surgery on September 21st and the other tumor from the Frontal Region was removed successfully.
Lynda came home after spending 8 days in the hospital after her surgery where nurses and PSWs (Personal Support Workers) helped me to look after her around the clock.
After a treatment of 15 radiations therapies for which she had to go to the Ottawa General Hospital and 22 chemo therapies, another MRI was done on December 15th and the report indicated that Lynda is responding to the treatment positively and the tumor is not spreading which indeed was great news.
Following that treatment, Lynda went through the first chemo therapy of a course of treatment which included 30 chemo therapies during a period of 6 months.
Here is a sad reality – At present there’s no magic bullet to prevent or cure the majority of cancer cases. After conducting cancer research for decades and spending billions of dollars what scientists came up with, so called a treatment, is a severely time consuming and extremely excruciating process with considerably low inevitability and with the entire focus to stop re-occurring the tumor. The cancer treatment from a patient’s point of view, it appears to be nothing but a shot in the dark. Nevertheless, from a sanguine point of view, it could be worth it.
Lynda like her father, Charlie King, is the gambler in the family and she decided to give it a shot by following through the treatment as diligently as possible, leaving everything else entirely up to her faith. She has no regrets whatsoever as she has been everywhere she ever wanted to be and she has done everything she ever wanted to do.
The demoralizing news is that Lynda passed away unexpectedly on January 6, 2023 at 4:59 AM.
Lynda had severe stomach pains and she started vomiting on Thursday morning which was a sign of “Intestinal Obstruction” she was suffering from. It had nothing to do with her brain surgery but it may have to do with the medications that she was taking, following the surgery. Intestinal obstruction is a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the intestine, resulting in vomiting.
Her oncologist suggested on Thursday morning to take her to the Emergency where the seriousness of the symptoms was recognized right away and she was operated on Thursday afternoon. We were told around 7:30PM by the surgeon who operated her that the operation was a success. However, I got a call around 2:00 in the morning, informing me that she was in a critical condition and we needed to be there ASAP. The time when I got to the Ottawa General Hospital with my son, Adam, she was already put on a life-support system. Realizing the fact that there was nothing else we could have done, we agreed to take her off the system at 4:59AM on Friday the 6th.
Following the religious guideline for burial which only allows 24 hours, Lynda was laid to rest this afternoon on January 7, 2023 and we said our farewell to a beloved, cherished, and precious human being. Come spring, we are planning to have a reception in her honour.
We could have celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary together on January 23rd but Lynda missed it only by 17 days. She was indeed looking forward to it as she had mentioned to me more than once that Adam is taking us to the Chateau Laurier for our anniversary brunch. There’s no doubt in my mind that we would have enjoyed the brunch together immensely.
The irony is that I was planning to give her a ring for our fiftieth wedding anniversary and I asked Lindsay and Adam to help me with the selection of a ring. Adam was looking into getting some pictures of the rings from a jeweler so that she could select one. Regrettably, quite unexpectedly she passed away on the January 6th. leaving all of us bamboozled.
Nevertheless, Adam went ahead and arranged an anniversary buffet at the Chateau Laurier on Saturday the 21st of January which I attended timorously. At the end of the buffet, Adam said to me in a little while ago Lindsay helped mom to select a fiftieth anniversary gift for you, dad. I didn’t know what to say. He presented me with a pen – A Waterman Fountainpen – which I always wanted to own one but never felt comfortable to spend that kind of money on one pen. The depiction on the pen said – Fifty Years Together. I couldn’t help but crying in front of my grandkids. The reality is that she was way ahead of me in any and every aspect. Indeed she was a wonderful wife and a delightful human being and I miss her so much it hurts.
We had the pleasure of sharing our dinner table with David Kiang at the Court at Barrhaven over a year. David is a retired professional engineer who has been writing poetry since his younger days. He published his lifetime collection of 240 poems in December 2022 and presented his book to Lynda with an endorsement: “To Lynda, my special IRON LADY”. Here is his poem:
Our Story – Chapter 1