Mar 23, 2009 - 7:56 pm
I went in today to try and get my scheduled chemo (denied because of low platelets, but that's another story), and learned that one of my chemo buddies passed away over the past week. It's funny how close you feel to the people that get their chemo at the same time as you; kind people that help you pass the long hours of getting treatment by talking about anything and everything. My first encounter with this man was early in my chemo rounds, when I came in with a cold. I felt so bad when he quickly donned a mask when I started coughing near him. (Since then I know to bring my OWN masks for similar situations!) I apologized for not having planned ahead so that I had a mask; and the next week I brought him a little bag of my special clove-flavored chemo-candies I suck on when I get that awful metallic taste during chemo, as an apology. He had leukemea and sat by me when I had to have my first blood transfusion, (an almost daily event for him), and I was quickly welcomed into the 'vampires,' as the leukemia blood transfusion group call themselves.
It shows how important it is to keep your bowels well-functioning during treatment. In straining, he tore his rectum, and with no white blood cells and no immunity, he developed an infection and abcess. I spoke with him last week when he came in to try and get some relief. But with almost no platelets there was nothing they could really do but admit him for pain management and antibiotics. But he got gangrene in the wound and died.
Sorry. It's just so sad when someone nice dies an undignified and painful death. This is my first personal loss since I joined the 'cancer community.' I guess I just today realized that I could lose others I've come to know and like on my cancer journey, my chemo buddies and maybe even some of my friends here. I must be great at denial to just be facingthis now. :(