Amy Taylor's story: Mom losing battle with cancer leaves legacy for her children

3:04 PM, Sep 28, 2009   |    comments
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(Story originally aired in July of 2008)

Amy and Warren Taylor are individually many things but together they are, simply, a love story.

"My children were truly preceded by a love story," Amy Taylor says of her marriage to Warren.

The two met as teenagers in Burnsville. Warren chased Amy and Amy tormented Warren.

"She wouldn't date me in high school because I was short," Warren claims with a grin.

"He was my best friend and I was afraid if I ever dated him and we broke up I would lose my best friend," Amy responded candidly.

After nine years of push and pull. Amy gave in and they have been happily married for nearly a decade.

"We were given a really powerful gift," Warren says.

Their marriage was picture perfect. A daughter came first and then, they were pregnant again when the perfect part of their picture began to fade.

"My biggest fear is not dying, it's just not living," Amy says.

In December of 2005, Amy learned she was 12 weeks pregnant and she was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. She immediately underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy and five months later Arbor Warren Taylor was born perfectly healthy.

Amy's cancer was kept at bay, with radiation and chemotherapy for the first six months of Arbor's life. But, by the end of 2006, Amy's cancer had metastasized to her spine. She was then given notice that her time was running out.

"I may live a short life. The doctors tell me it's inevitable. I don't have much time but the time I do have I've not going to waste being angry," Amy says.

Amy also decided, she would be deliberate in what she will leave behind.

"Hi Arbor, its mom. Arbor you are a father today," she declares in a message recorded to DVD for her son in later years.

On the day her son becomes a dad, Amy's husband will give him the DVD.

"No one is more proud of you than I am, I'm a grandma today," Amy says tearfully.

There are hours, and hours of footage to be left to Amy's son and daughter along with many other things that are unmistakably Amy.

"These are just little book marks, so every time they read a book, mommy is with them," Amy says showing off the bookmarks she made for each of them by hand.

Amy has written letters for every occasion from her daughter Isabella's first date to Arbor's sweet 16. She's left them thousands of photos with notes attached. There is nothing she hasn't thought of.

"You have faith in the possibility of a miracle but I don't bank on it because that's not fair. I have to write letters for my daughter's wedding day, I can't expect to be there for it," Amy says.

Over the years, Amy's cancer has spread to her bones. It is stage four on a four scale. It is terminal.

"There are still a number of treatment options for it but ultimately we would expect it to be fatal, to take her life," Amy's oncologist, Dr. Mark Menge says.

But fatality is not welcome on the front lines where Amy receives chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy for Warren and Amy isn't typical. It's just another chance for the couple to laugh, love and of course sing. It is a lesson in perseverance and, utter devotion.

Warren's intentions were always clear, when it came to Amy.

"I don't know what I'm going to do without her; she is the mirror that holds up everything in my life," Warren says.

Warren's fears are few, but, significant.

"Most of my fears have to do with expectations I have of myself, if she were to die. She always worries and tries to make me feel better about this but that's my fear," Warren says.

Fear is something that lives among them but is unwelcome. While Warren fears fatherhood alone, Amy fears the lives of those she loves will be forever scarred in her absence.

"There are going to be moments when Arbor is at a baseball game and he finishes that game and all the other moms will be there brushing off the dust on those pants and he's going to look around and I won't be there," Amy says.

It is those events, those life events in the lives of her children that force Amy to sit in a chair and record. She wants to be at those life moments in any way she can.

"Hi Isabella, tomorrow you are getting married," Amy says on a DVD for her daughter.

"You are a beautiful woman, did you know that? I'm so proud of you honey, so proud of you. I just want to let you know that when you walk down that aisle, I promise you will feel my love and I will feel your love too."

(Copyright 2008 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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