Lydia “Cherished Daughter”

Let me tell you about Lydia, she was an artist, a poet, a musician, a photographer, she loved school and excelled at it, she was a much beloved sister, she was a fiercely loyal friend, and she was my cherished daughter.

On December 21st, 2009, Lydia’s world forever changed. On this night I had to tell my 15-year old daughter that she has cancer, I had never had to do anything as difficult as this. Lydia and I spent the previous week in Children’s Hospital where she was poked, prodded, and we were questioned endlessly by numerous doctors.  Lydia was diagnosed with Large B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  She went through 6 grueling chemotherapy treatments with such strength, courage, her sense of humor, and always faith. After these 6 treatments she was pronounced cancer free.  We celebrated her new life, we went on her wish trip to Hawaii, she attended Camp Good Days, we celebrated her sweet 16th birthday with family and all of her friends, she went camping, and generally enjoyed her summer.  It was a glorious 3-month reprieve. In August we went back for her 3-month appointment and found out that the cancer was back more aggressive than ever, so the treatment had to be more aggressive than ever as well.  Her 1st treatment kept her in the hospital for the better part of a month, and the heartbreaking part was that through this horrific treatment the tumor only got bigger.  Lyd’s tumor was in the mediastinum, which means that it pretty much sat on her heart. 3 other chemos were tried but they also failed to get her tumor under control. During a CAT scan it was discovered that her heart was completely surrounded by fluid, much like her lung was prior to our visit to Childrens.  After the fluid was drained, radiation was next, she was going daily for these treatments. They seemed to be shrinking the main tumor, but at the same time another CAT scan showed that seed cancer cells were spreading throughout her body.  There was nothing more that they could do for my daughter.  As Lydia drew her last breath on January 31st, 2011, I told my Lydia to go be with Jesus.

I have been blessed with Lydia’s art, photography, and poetry.  Here is a poem of her’s that I would like to share:

What is life?
Only a stage
A level
It only happens once
One perfect time
Only one try to make it right
If only we could fly away
To erase the pain
Be free
Free as a bird
Go up
Further higher and higher
Up to the heavens
Where the clouds will break
Of the earth
The clouds part
Surrounding us
Pouring down
Silver honey
Taking you away
A new life
A Continuation
Be calm
You will find peace
Anew time to try again
Lydia Matuch

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