By Becky Hassell, Robyn’s Mom
We had no idea she was even ill until she called one day while at work saying that her shoulder had turned blue and her arm was numb. At the time Robyn lived in Austin, about an hour away from our home in New Braunfels, so we told her we would meet her in the emergency room. She had planned on going out to dinner with her sister that evening.
Upon her arrival to the hospital she was given a sonogram which showed she had a blood clot in her left shoulder. We were shocked because up until now Robyn had been healthy (so we thought). This happened on Sept. 19th, 2008. While in the hospital, her health deteriorated rapidly. In addition to the blood clot, Robyn also had a swollen lymph node in her neck. They performed a biopsy, it came back positive for cancer. Once again we were in shock, how could this be? At that particular time her doctor felt she might have Lymphoma. They sent her biopsy results to the Mayo Clinic to have the culture analyzed more closely. The report came back revealing the cancer had not originated in her lymph nodes, it had come from another source. At that point we had already decided to move her to MD Anderson in Houston for further treatment. It was there that they finally performed a colonoscopy and discovered she had an inoperable tumor in her colon. Stage 4 colon cancer. Upon her arrival to MDA she was placed in ICU. We watched as she endured three rounds of chemotherapy and two surgeries hoping to shrink the tumors on her lungs.
Lying there at night, listening to the ventilator was heart wrenching. Only a few weeks before Robyn was enjoying her life, always living it to the fullest! My heart literally broke having to see all that she had to go through. Robyn could not speak, but was totally aware and conscious most of the time. To communicate she wrote notes to all of us and the staff. She was so brave; she even introduced her brother to his future bride, a precious nurse that cared for Robyn in ICU!
It was after her second lung surgery, Robyn had a stroke. We lost her a short time after.
She arrived at MDA on Oct. 21, 2008, she passed away Dec. 20. Robyn lived eight weeks from the time she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Robyn was 25 years old.
Our hearts are broken and we miss her terribly. There is not a day that I don’t wish I had paid more attention…maybe if I had noticed more. Robyn just looked so healthy. Even now four years later, it seems so surreal that she is gone. She went from walking into the Emergency Room with her high heels on to never being able to walk again on her own.
Robyn was a very special young lady. She loved life; she had a smile that literally lit up a room. She had many, many wonderful friends! She was a joy to know, a devoted friend herself. Words cannot even begin to express how much we loved her and how much we miss her. Her strength and courage was evident throughout her stay in the hospital.
Robyn also loved the Lord with all her heart, she depended on her faith a great deal those 12 weeks she was so sick.
When we found out about the Get Your Rear in Gear Run/Walk we immediately wanted to become a part of this wonderful organization. 2013 will be our fourth year to participate; our team name is “Walkin 4 Robyn”. Through this walk we feel as though we are doing something for Robyn by keeping her name alive and bringing to the public’s attention that colon cancer can take a life in an instant. We know firsthand how devastating this disease can be.
It is our prayer that Robyn’s story might touch another one’s life and make them more aware of what colon cancer can do.
We love you Robyn…