Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bad news

Do you ever get an email you know you just don't want to open? Like when the phone rings at 3 AM and you don't know anyone who is expecting, so you anticipate bad news. Got that email today. A young friend with a younger family who had a transplant a few months before mine for his aggressive CLL lost his fight yesterday. His last supercharged DLI cleaned out all the CLL from his marrow and nodes. Ironically, he was cured of his cancer, but at what cost? Recurrent infections after endless months of severe GVHD and end stage renal failure beat him down to the point he just couldn't rise again.

He had what would seem to be a winning hand. A religious man. A spotless lifestyle. A marathon runner. Great insurance. Smart and willing to travel to get the best experts. Huge support network and a big safety net of loving family and friends. And a truly nice guy.

It made no damn difference. So sad. So very sad.

I will miss him.

And I'll admit it's scary too. The only two people I have met face to face who have had transplants for CLL are both dead, and I thinking of tempting fate again.

Ron and PC, this is a hard knock world. Thank you and your wives for sharing your struggles so others might learn from your courage and wisdom.



Blogger pkenn said...

Brian - I am so sorry. It's wonderful to read about all the advances in medicine and read about and know people who are beating the odds. I think it makes it even harder when we hear of someone who doesn't. Getting this news while dealing with your father's illness must be doubly hard.

March 24, 2010 at 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Marilyn Yocum said...

I appreciate you posting this news, despite its sadness. You've actually helped me make a choice today.

March 25, 2010 at 5:32 AM  
Anonymous Howard Davis said...

Brian so sorry for your loss. I guess we must keep on keepin on. Living the good life and fighting the good fight. To our comrads. To a cure. hip hip..
Since your first post, it`s the journey
be well

March 25, 2010 at 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's why I just don't want a stem cell transplant. It just makes people miserable and then kills them.

What we need is the graft-versus-leukemia effect without the graft-versus-host disease.

What if there was some way to temporarily replace the stem cells with the donor, and then have those fade away once they've killed the leukemia, to be replaced by the patient's own cells again.

March 26, 2010 at 9:28 AM  

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