Saturday, August 24, 2013

Seriously?!?!

Timing.  It is all about the timing, according to Quinn's (awesome) hospice nurse.  Nurse Anne intimated a number of times that even in a child as young as Quinn, they seem to know, to let go at the right time - even if the fact that it is right isn't quite apparent to everyone else, at least not right away.

I held on to that talk with Anne for weeks following while Quinn was here, and for the past two weeks while Quinn is not.  

The Friday before her death was a 'summer Friday' for Brett, meaning it was his turn to have the whole day off (he alternates with his business partner / cousin during the summer).  We decided to go to the beach that day, it being a beautiful day and the beach being Quinn's most favorite place.  We had a great, relaxing day and on a whim, Brett's mom decided to come with us.

On Saturday, we went to a fairly impromptu barbecue at Brett's friend's house, where we had a great, relaxing day with old friends we hadn't seen in some time.

On Sunday, two of my brothers and my mom popped in for bagels in the morning - also somewhat impromptu.  Sunday afternoon, we went to my best friend's house where another close friend and her family were for yet another great, relaxing day.  

On Monday, my mom came over and she, I, the boys and Quinn went to Colin and Reid's favorite sprinkler park / playground combo where we had (all together now) a great, relaxing day.

Once she became ill, all of our immediate family - and my (almost) 92 year old grandmother - made it in time to see her and say goodbye.  When she passed, just our brothers, sisters, mothers, father, and step-father were in our house and came to see her once more before the funeral home took her away.

She managed to squeeze in amidst vacation plans, freshman year of college beginnings for not one but two of my nieces, and my cousin's wedding. 

All excellent timing - very commendable, Quinn.

But, Quinn had bigger fish to fry.  I should obviously have known.

Back in July, two days after Quinn's 14 month birthday, I finally made it to my 6week postpartum check up.  My gynecologist (formerly my obstetrician) wrote up a few scripts, including one for my baseline mammography.  As it was a few months early (I don't turn 35 until November - the magic age dictated by insurance companies as to when your baseline should be taken), he wrote it for a bilateral diagnostic mammogram.  

I made the appointment for August 16th.  It seemed like a good day because Brett would be home for summer Friday that day and he could take care of Quinn - the only other person besides me she would allow to handle her for more than 47 seconds.

Well, by August 16th, who was watching Quinn was obviously no longer an issue.  Being three days out from the funeral you may think that I'd bag the appointment and reschedule for a later date.  But, August 16th - besides being Quinn's 15 month birthday, and one week since her death - was one year to the date of her diagnosis (something I probably should have considered when making this appointment...) and it seemed prudent to keep the appointment instead.

As I entered the Diagnostic Imaging Center, it all suddenly clicked.  Quinn's timing was not about vacations, college entries or even goodbyes.  It was about Us - me and her, and the Linzer Party of Five.  I knew at that moment they were going to find something on that test, and with even more certainty, I knew Quinn knew it too.  That was her timing.

Unfortunately I - and she - was right.  The mammography revealed three spots that needed biopsy, only two of which could be reached by needle.  On Thursday, August 22nd I had the first two biopsied.  And on Friday, August 23rd, I learned that both were malignant, indicative of invasive cancer.

I learned, in short, that I have Breast Cancer.  

And I am apparently one of the last to know.  That little pip knew full well that if I had ever learned of this during her life, that information would have gone in my back pocket to be brought out only after our time with Quinn was through.  She would not - could not - allow herself to be cared for by anyone else.  I understood this, and it is (was :( ) my life's mission to ensure that she never would be - come hell or high water... or breast cancer diagnosis.

There are a number of 'next steps', the most important being a pre-op MRI to determine where else it may have spread.  The results of that test will really guide the rest of the treatment plan.

So for those of you who have asked that I continue writing... seems we have a new chapter to fill.

God, I miss my baby :(


63 comments:

  1. Oh Eileen, as usual lately, I have no words. We are here for you for anything. I am so sorry. so much love, Chelsea

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  2. I can say 100% that I was NOT expecting to read that. I have no words. I'm in shock at the unfairness of it all. The only good news I can think of right now is that you have a pretty awesome guardian angel...and a community of readers who will be praying and sending STRONG healing thoughts into the universe for you. And that includes me. I am so sorry, Eileen. For everything.

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    1. Kate nailed it. I don't "know" you, but it appears that you are the strongest person I know. Yeah, you may cry and fall apart sometimes, but that actually doesn't mean you are not strong...please keep us posted as best you can. I'm a speech pathologist in New Hyde Park, let me know if you need the family fed one night; I make a mean lasagna.

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  3. There are no words. I am so sorry.
    Stacy

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  4. You don't know me, but I have been reading through Chelsea's links...I am so sorry. This literally took my breath away then sent me into tears. My aunt is going through this right now. I will be praying for you.

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  5. Oh my! Eileen know that we are all here for you. Our angels are our angels for a reason, both good and bad. Quinn will guide you through this.

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  6. I was going shopping yesterday and when I was getting off the highway to make a right there was a beautiful garden of lavendar flowers blowing in the wind and all I could think of was amazing Quinn. I have followed your blog since it's conception and your guardian angel is following your every step, and she will protect you and guide thru your next chapter.

    Quinn's story nor yours is complete and that amazing child was given to you for a very very special reason, and her story is just starting to unfold.

    Your family is continously in my prayers and I know she will give you all the strength you will need to get over this next hurdle.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family now.

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  7. Continuing to pray for you and your family! So sorry to hear about your diagnosis.

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  8. Oh, Eileen. The only words I have are those of love for you and your whole family. Sending all of the good thoughts and healing light I can possibly muster. xoxoxo

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  9. I am at a loss for words right now and I wish I could reach through the computer and give you a hug. I am PRAYING for you and sure that Quinn will be holding your hand, keeping you strong through all of this. Thoughts, hugs and prayers, always.

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  10. I dont even know what to say (what words could a stranger even say that would help?). We are sending more love. I hope Quinn is watching out for you all, helping, feeling your love...whatever is needed for all five of you, each in your own places. I dont want to say the wrong thing...just want to wish, wish, wish good things...and wish I knew what to say or do. XO

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  11. I am so sorry. It IS amazing though how much our little ones know and how God's timing is perfect, even if it isn't what we want. I will be praying for you. Hugs, Deanna

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  12. You don't know me, but I have been following you for several weeks now through Deanna. Will definitely continue to pray for you, especially with this new turn of your story.

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  13. I just wanted you to know there is another person who will be praying for you and sending love your way.

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  14. Oh Eileen!! This is so hard to fathom. But, I feel you are correct that your own personal angel will guide you in this experience. You are an amazingly strong woman, and while this may seem too much to bear, you'll have an awesome community offering special prayers for a speedy resolution. Sending hugs from Virginia! Nanci Glassman

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  15. I wish I could say this can't be true but I know all too well that it can and is. After my dad (or as you knew him as Gary)passed away from his sudden cancer last year I was diagnosed with my very own breast cancer. I did not have time to grieve before I had to start making decisions on my own course of treatment. For me it was a double mastectomy. I was also 35 and like you it was my first mammogram. Till this day I try to believe that my dad was, is, my Angel watching over me as I'm sure Quinn is yours. I know that this is a very personal thing to be going through but please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions need phone numbers or just want to talk about what's ahead. I feel fortunate to have caught it early enough to have options. I wish my dad had the same options. I will be thinking of you and the Linzer party of 5. Sending love and hugs.

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  16. There are no words Eileen, just tears. We are here for you, please know that. Please. We are sending our love and prayers. Xoxo

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  17. Sending much love and support. I have been thinking of Quinn a whole lot over the past two weeks...her wise eyes, her mischievous smile. She has a very special soul, and a remarkable way of impacting even those who've never met her...I see her through the screen and feel like I know her. You're absolutely right about the timing. She needed to be the one helping you, and now she will be. You have an army of supporters and many prayers coming your way.

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  18. Eileen: What is it about the curve balls that keep coming our way. I do not say this lightly, because my course with my son has been complicated, It is all always complicated. My husband died 7 years ago--suddenly and unexpectedly as you know--and the test with the who crazy mess is to continue to LIVE as you do and will, through this next chapter, and the next, and the next.

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  19. Eileen,

    I'm telling the story of lovely angel Quinn to all my friends and family. Yesterday I told my mother that I could not hear from linzer, party of 5 since 10 days and I was hoping that you continue writing. Actually this was not the kind of news I was expecting.

    But you know what? You're the great mother of a great angel. Cancer is not something that you can not beat. Your little one will be with you during your treatment and your two handsome boys will be your biggest help during this time..

    And we, a big circle of friends, to whom you do not even know will be praying, wishing the best for you and your family.



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  20. I was just directed to your blog for the first time today. There are no words to express my sympathy. Sending prayers to you and your family. And, as everyone else has said, yes, do keep writing.

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  21. I am speechless...I really am. I was happy to see an update on your blog (I have checked every day since beautiful Quinn passed) and I had to read your entry over twice to make sure I read it correctly.
    Please know that you and your family are in so many people's prayers and thoughts...sending so much love your way.

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  22. The words that I have for you would never be enough. It's true, I don't know you, but in reading your blog for the past few months, I feel like I do. I am truly moved by you and your family's strength. Quinn was a very special little girl, and she wanted to take her turn to take care of you.

    I, too, was hoping you'd continue writing, but I never thought your next chapter would move this way. With that said, YOU CAN BEAT THIS. You are a strong woman with the best support in your family. Quinn will be watching over you through all of this, cheering you on.

    Praying for you, Eileen. Always.

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  23. I am speechless. Please know you and your family are in my prayers.

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  24. I literally shook my head when I read this...out of despair for you to face yet another battle. I then remembered reading your inspirational fight for Quinn. And I know that you will fight this just as hard, because you need to be healthy for those boys! I have no doubt after joining you on your journey with Quinn that your children drive you, so keep them in your thoughts as you start this process and know that we all are taking this journey with you as well!

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  25. So so many thoughts coming your way as you move into this next chapter. A great friend of mine with breast cancer said, "Life is unfair, but it is still wonderful." You have a wonderful family and a truly wonderful angel with you amidst what I'm sure seems so unfair. Sending lots of wishes, hopes, and prayers from Virginia.

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  26. What can I say. I just want to hug you. Your daughter is an amazing person. Now, an outstanding angel. She will guide you in that very sad chapter. Thinking of you from Montreal Qc Johane

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  27. I'm so sorry, Eileen. Stay strong. I know you will because you have Quinn in your corner. Lots of love.

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  28. I will never understand why some people have more trials in life than others. I am just so sorry that you have to face this news!
    Prayers for you and your family.

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  29. Saying "I'm sorry " is never enough, but I am. Your little angel was watching out for you even before she got her wings.
    I know you miss her and I know how frightened you must be.
    Angel Quinn will be with you through this and you'll do just fine. I know it.

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  30. Sending so many prayers your way Eileen, God Bless.

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  31. My mom was 36 when she was diagnosed. I was 11. Time seemed to stand still. Well, that was 53 years ago; my mom is still kicking strong, and our family is making plans for her 90th birthday party!!! You are stronger yet, and WILL get through this. "What will I do with my arms?" you wrote in an earlier blog - - - you will get hugs from everyone around you, from us all, many, many hugs...

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  32. Oof.
    Crazy how these babies know so much more than we do but can only show it in unconditional love and smiles.
    All the love in the world to you, your broken heart and your boobs.

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  33. Eileen this is just nuts! Like your family has not already endured enough. Going through my own multitude of challenges, I would ask why do we have to endure so much? And I finally realized how true it is that the strong moms survive. Thinking of you and praying for a quick recovery. Looks like you've got a strong family circle to help you get through this, plus all of us here that you don't even know...and of course, miss Quinn to watch over you!!

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  34. Eileen, I don't know you, but I do know your brother John as we grew up together. You are an amazing person as is your whole family. You truly are one of the strongest women I know. You will get through this and you have an amazing family to help get you get through this. Please you have that angel baby of yours Quinn who will guide you and watch over you. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I truly admire your strength!!

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  35. You are an amazing, strong woman. Your writing is so touching and you truly have a gift of expressing yourself. I have chills reading this post. But, I can totally understand how everything is connected. As scary as this diagnosis is for you (I can only imagine), everything happens the way it is supposed to. You will fight this and come thru with even more courage - if that's even possible. Please keep us posted. You are in my thoughts often.

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  36. Eileen sorry to hear this news, but I am sure you will overcome!!!

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  37. Eileen so very shocked and sad for you. Quinn knew you were going to have a "full plate" and she will be looking over you and your care from another place...now it is her turn. May God bless you in this journey and I know your courage will beat this cancer. Praying for you,

    Alice (Ont. Canada)

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  38. I seriously got goosebumps reading that. OMG, Eileen, I will be praying for you and your family. Much love and healing to you.

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  39. I fell in love with your beautiful baby girl after finding you after landing on Trek's site. She will give you strength and that is just how it is. Sending love from new people, here on Cape Cod. Love to your family and to that beautiful little angel. xxoo Michele

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  40. Eileen, I'm a friend of Chelsea's and have been praying for you and your family. I'm sorry I am just seeing this, as we've been out of town, but I want you to know you guys will remain in my prayers. I've been walking this road with my mom for the last 2 yrs, so praying about this is fresh on my heart every day. Sending love and prayers your way. I'm so sorry you miss your girl...I know the missing won't ever leave. I'm just sorry! xoxox

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  41. I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. For lack of better words I think it sucks. It's completely unfair. No family should have to deal with this - especially yours, especially now. I've followed your blog for some time now and although we have never met I know you can beat this. My mom is a breast cancer survivor. Her cancer was caught early but she opted for a double mastectomy. She finished chemo a year ago and is cancer free today (knock on wood, fingers crossed, etc). When she was diagnosed she told me she would win and she never looked back. She is my hero. If she can beat this you sure can. You are an incredibly strong, brave woman and you have an amazing little guardian angel watching over you. I'm sure sweet Quinn will be there every step of the way to guide you and love you through the process. With help from her and so many others you will beat this. I have no doubt. Just wanted to let you know that I will be praying for you and your family and sending healing thoughts your way in the coming months.

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  42. Eileen, I have been thinking about you and your family a lot these past few weeks. I was hoping you would continue to write. I am so sorry to hear more sad news. No family should have to go through this! Please know that I will continue to pray for you and send you love and support. I know you're beautiful angel Quinn will be looking out for her mommy, too. Much love and healing for you and your family. XO

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  43. Eileen,
    This is definitely NOT what I had expected to see. I have just gotten home from my mother in-laws funeral (completely unexpected) and I was looking for some strength and knew I only needed to look here. I was right. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  44. Eileen,

    My mouth literally hit the floor when I checked your blog tonight.

    I normally check it EVERYDAY but for the past few days have been under the weather so neglected to do so...I was absolutely stunned....

    I am one of those people who really do encourage you to please continue to blog..only if you feel well enough of course..and this is for selfish reasons...I love your words they are so eloquent..

    My words fail me all to often. The sadness I feel for you and your family I can't even express.

    Thank you for sharing Quinn with us...Thank You for sharing your experiences with us but most of all Thank You for sharing your words with us...

    TAKE Care Eileen, sending many many prayers your way

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  45. Echoing another poster in that this is awful. I can't believe everything you have (and are) going through and how you've handled everything with poise and grace. You are the strongest woman, and I know that Quinn will be watching over you through this next chapter of your life. I'm continuing to pray for your family and your well being.

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  46. I have been reading your blog and following your lives and saying sorry really doesn't begin to do any of what you are going through justice. I am not sure I've ever come across a stronger person or family. To say you are being tested, well, that doesn't even cut it. I have cried with your family so many times, like so many others, and I'm amazed how much your lives have affected my own and touched my heart. When I found out Quinn passed, I shed tears and I lit a candle for her and prayed for her and your family at my church. I hope and pray that you take some comfort, what little is possible, in knowing that your family and your beautiful Quinn has touched so many and there are so many of us rooting for you and with you in your journey.

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  47. I'm literally sick to my stomach for you right now. I know God has a plan for each and every one of us but this moment is one of those that have to be filed away in the "cannot understand" file and then begin the fight. I will be praying for you, please keep writing!

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  48. I am in shock which means your shock must be astronomical. I am sorry for the diagnosis but so thankful that you are sharing your thoughts and strengths and observations. God is a God of mercy and he only gives us what we can handle...his timing is perfect. He knew that this was going to happen but he allowed all of your attention to be focused on Quinn and sending her home to him the way you needed to. I will be lifting you up in prayer...I came over from Chelsea Ingram's site. Hugs and love coming your way. Proverbs 3:5-6...true all the time.

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  49. I found out about your story from The Sonny life blog. I wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you and your family. You have so much courage and strength as you are facing such hard obstacles. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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  50. Dear Eileen,
    I, too, am one of Chelsea's followers and last visited your site when your precious Quinn passed. I just read the news of your diagnosis and want to send you my prayers and my support. Just know you are not alone. I can't speak much but know that you and your beloved family are strong, courageous folks. And that you are not alone.
    With my thoughts and prayers,
    Chelsea's friend Connie from Ohio

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  51. Thinking of all five of you, Eileen...sending hugs.

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  52. I am so sorry that you have to go through this. I cant even imagine being in your shoes right now. You are a strong woman and you will beat this. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers.

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  53. Sending so many warm thoughts and prayers your way.

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  54. This seems so unfair. Sending you lots of good wishes and positive vibes.. xxx

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  55. Are you fricken kidding me?! Dear God, you're being a little ridiculous. Let's give this family a break, shall we?

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  56. Dear Eileen,
    This is truly unbelievable, I came across your blog through a mutual fb friend on day Quinn passed away. I've been reading your story and Trek's story, thank you for sharing you family and Quinn with the world. You are a stong mama and I know you can beat this. I will think of you and your family and continue to check in I'm sending you all the best.

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  57. Stay strong Eileen. No doubt in my mind that you will overcome this. Praying for you.

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  58. You have such a gift of heart felt writing. As I am reading this & your last 2 posts the tears are puddles, and my heart aches for you. Quinn was a gift to the world ( and still is), and I truly believe in what you said about her timing (intuitive always rules in my book), and that your strength gift is enormous! Just the fact that you had the strength to keep up with this blog says alot about you as a person! I will continue to pray for you, and send all the healing thoughts in the world!

    Bless You & sweet Quinn

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  59. All I can do is sit here and shake my head in disbelief. When will the blows stop coming? I will continue to pray for you and your family.

    God Bless,
    Tonya

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  60. Eileen
    I didn't think my heart could break any more than it already had upon learning of Quinn's passing - I was wrong. I'm in tears thinking of your family and the road you've travelled and still have to forge.
    But I absolutely agree with you on Quinn's timing; without a doubt, she knew what you would need to take care of YOU.
    I know you are strong enough to conquer this new chapter in your life, and I know that you WILL. And you have the best Guardian Angel ever to guide you :)
    Sending you so much love and prayers.
    Amanda

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  61. Eileen,

    I'm shocked. I'm angry for you. I'm heartbroken for you, but I'm rallying for you and your family once more...you can get through this, and you will. May God and your Quinn guide you one day at a time.

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