Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Evil Beast

Cancer is an evil, evil beast! I started my 2011 honoree list just over five weeks ago, and already, two of my special 2011 honorees have died. The first was my good friend Judy, who passed away a month and a day ago just weeks after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Then, I learned earlier this week that another person on my list, Lanie, passed away January 26 at only age forty from glioblastoma multiforma, an incurable brain cancer. She leaves behind a grieving family: her husband and two young children. It is just not right!

Then yesterday, I visited my friend – and an amazing inspiration – Ed, who just got back from a couple of weeks down at Duke. He was there getting 16 lymph nodes in his leg removed, and receiving a simply wonderful procedure known as isolated limb perfusion. Essentially, the leg is tied off at the groin with a tourniquet, and heated chemo is pumped into the leg and circulated through a machine to keep oxygen going into that leg’s blood. He is still bed bound, and can get up and walk very slowly and painfully with a walker. This is his fourth bout with melanoma, and the third time in just over a year that he has had to have a major and painful procedure for his melanoma, including losing about one-fourth of his left foot just over a year ago. And that doesn’t count his two previous battles with cancer, the first of which was leukemia at age 19 that nearly killed him. It all makes my recent foot surgery seem as troubling and significant as a mosquito bite. His left leg is all red and still looks nearly twice the size of his right leg – and that is after the swelling had decreased a lot.

Ed and I talked about our Team in Training teammate, Paul, who is getting very rigorous and nasty chemotherapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia right now, three out of every four weeks. And realistically, the best that awful treatment will do is beat it back for a while. That is why we have to keep looking for more cures, and raising the money needed to do so!

Finally, I talked to my sister earlier today as she was headed out the door to see her doctor about fluid in her chest cavity, a potentially very serious side-effect from either her stage 4 breast cancer, or from having been immobile and bed-bound from her illness for so long recently.

Yeah, no Christmas card for cancer - that evil, evil beast - from me this year!


Elayne said...

Sometimes it is just so hard to understand, isn't it? Continuing to pray for you and your sis :)

TNTcoach Ken said...

Wow, that's why we continue the good fight!

Racn4acure said...

Hi Elayne - yep hard to understand, definitely. Thanks for the prayers and support.

Yep, Ken, one mile and one dollar at a time. No one said it would be easy, did they?