Crystal was handed her wings on a silver platter at 12:15 am, On February 21, 2009. She was blessed with the presence of her Brother – Rick, Mom, Aunt Mary and Uncle Sam as she passed. She was not alone for one solitary second; she was showered with love, affection, happiness, comfort, laughter and sweet dreams. Around 5: 15 that evening, she was not in her typical state of mind; she was talking and having a conversation with someone but no one that was in the room with her. She was not making much sense for a time and then clear as day, she said that she saw angels flying around her and she wanted to sing Hallelujah”.
(Editor’s Note: A week or so after this was written, mom recounted how Crystal spent almost 3 hours talking to her angels…..where she had previously not been making sense, she spoke clear as day….where her eyes were closed most of the time from chemo and weakness and blindness, she had her eyes wide open for the first time in days and days, and spent three hours holding a one sided conversation with unseen spirits. It was beautiful to listen to mom tell such an experience. )
“She was having a conversation with the angels getting ready to pick her up from her hospital bed. From there, she began to decline significantly as the evening progressed, it was evident that she was ready and had made her peace with God
~the final entry on Crystal’s CarePage written by Shelley Raine Shinley
And I, Bleeding Ink, had the honor of writing the words below, so that everyone can learn more about Crystal ❤ )
Her final chapter began last March 2008. She first discovered a small lump in her left breast and five days later it had grown into 5 egg sized lumps. Only then was she genetically tested, and shown to have the BRCA 2 gene, one of the two so called “breast cancer genes”. She went through 22 weeks of chemo, responded amazingly well (as is the case with most aggressive cancers). After that, the plan was to do a bilateral mastectomy and radiation on her remaining 1 tumor. She had the mastectomy In August/early September and in the six weeks of recovery, had no other treatment. When it was time to go back and start radiation on the one remaining tumor, the PET scan revealed that the cancer had come back with a vengeance, in her liver, lymph nodes, neck and brain. Doctors changed course of action and began targeted radiation on those tumors and the Gamma Knife procedure for the tumor in her brain. The targeted radiation did it’s job well, but unfortunately the cancer spread to other parts of her body that were not being targeted. Again they changed course of action and decided to do all out chemo. She was on two different types of chemo, pills to help strengthen her bones which also had cancer and on other medication for side effects and other things.
Early this January she lost consciousness and was rushed to the hospital where she spent her remaining weeks. She had also lost sight in one eye and strength on one side of her body. After a few days of testing, it was determined that the chemo was helping her body but due to the “blood-brain barrier” was not reaching her spine and brain. It was then determined that the cancer spread to those areas.
Doctors tried chemotherapy directly into the spine for a while, directly on the brain for a few treatments, and into her body for a bit. All of which ultimately failed. The cancer was just too much. No technology exists in 2009 that could’ve contained it.
Through it all, she never lost faith. My own experience with her was the same as many others. She was not going to let the cancer win!! She had so much faith in her doctors and in medicine. When they told her there was nothing else they could do for her, she definitely had, as she called it on the rare occasion she lost faith, her “sumbitch” moment. She called for four of her closest friends in the world and they all cried and laughed and got angry and reminisced and laughed some more together.
Even when she (reluctantly) made the decision to move to hospice, she talked about plans after she got out! She was going to get her strength back, she was going to do PT, and she was going to get out.
It was not to be. God called her Home less than 48 hours after moving to hospice.
But cancer still did not win!! It took her Earthly vessel from us, her physical being, but it did not take her essence. We will always have our memories, the things she taught us by her quiet strength and courage. The dignity with which she fought this battle is a lesson we can all learn from.
In loving memory of a warrior, and a kind and gentle soul who never gave up….
Crystal Rosella Young
August 23, 1976 – February 21, 2009