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Quill

I’ve just learned some shockingly sad news

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A friend of mine from high school has been doing battle against cancer (a form of leukemia) since just a couple weeks before I was dx’ed with breast cancer. She was being treated at Hopkins which, it’s probably naive of me, but they are SOOOO good at treating unusual or difficult cancers there. Never in my wildest bad dream did I think she would not recover. But I learned this morning that she passed away early this morning. 

I am so stunned and sad. It’s not even that we were such close friends; I had not seen her in thirty years and would not probably have known except for FB. But I think there’s an aspect like Survivor’s Guilt. I won my battle (for now) and she did not. How can that be? It’s so cruelly unfair. It could have gone the other way and my husband would be putting up that horrible post and have the horrible task of telling the kids mommy died. But I have gotten a pass for the time being and she didn’t get to go on. 

I think there’s also a part where I am sickened to be reminded I was diagnosed with a disease that often claims lives, if not mine...yet. My sense of safety is totally effed up at the moment. 

It just sucks so bad! Cancer is a horrible thief. 

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1 minute ago, Quill said:

I think there’s also a part where I am sickened to be reminded I was diagnosed with a disease that often claims lives, if not mine...yet. My sense of safety is totally effed up at the moment. 

Cancer is a catch all term for lots of different situations. Some, like yours, have very good survival odds. For non-invasive breast cancer the 5 year survival rate is 99%.

https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/breast-cancer/statistics

If the cancer is located only in the breast, the 5-year survival rate of women with breast cancer is 99%. Sixty-two percent (62%) of people with breast cancer are diagnosed with this stage. If the cancer has spread to the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 85%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 27%.

I'm sorry for the death of your friend. But know that your odds are excellent and that you'll be here for your kids and your boardies for many more years.

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It’s very disturbing when people my age or close to my age die of illness. I’m sure if I had a similar illness it would feel even more so.

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I"m sorry.

I dont have survivor's guilt because I read the book Cancer: The Emporer of All Maladies. We are in a time where science and reasoning is just getting off the ground, and my surviving of what I have while someone else didn't is not due to a thing I did or they didn't do.  Its random luck that started generations ago and will always be until science research advances.  I have done what I could in computer advancement, and my colleagues the same in science.  Know that about half of the research in cancer is awaiting funding, and consider directing your advocacy.  I'll die knowing what I did in computers professionally contributed to people surviving the same cancer now that killed my dad twenty five years ago.....progress has been that fast in brain cancer.  Cherish.

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I am sorry.  It’s always hard but when the friend is my age it really upsets me......it feels so much closer.

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My elementary school classmate had leukemia and had monthly blood transfusion so she missed school regularly. Her cousin was in my class so she had family in the classroom.

My late down syndrome cousin died of leukemia in his 20s. There is a higher risk of acute leukemia for people with down syndrome. https://www.dana-farber.org/newsroom/news-releases/2014/dana-farber-researchers-uncover-link-between-down-syndrome-and-leukemia/

My aunt’s husband died of leukemia in his 40s and my aunt died of colon cancer in her 70s. Her children are scared of course.

I used to volunteer at the children’s ward for cancer and kidney failure patients. Many have their wishes granted by Make A Wish foundation.    https://www.worldwish.org/en

Leukemia patients need a lot of platelets. Hospital does run low at times because they have to get as good a match as possible. https://mytransfusion.com.au/sites/default/files/I_need_to_know_about_HLA_matched_platelets.pdf A few of my buddies donate regularly. So the more people able to and donating blood the better for the patients. Bone marrow match is more of a lottery chance. 

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24 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

My elementary school classmate had leukemia and had monthly blood transfusion so she missed school regularly. Her cousin was in my class so she had family in the classroom.

My late down syndrome cousin died of leukemia in his 20s. There is a higher risk of acute leukemia for people with down syndrome. https://www.dana-farber.org/newsroom/news-releases/2014/dana-farber-researchers-uncover-link-between-down-syndrome-and-leukemia/

My aunt’s husband died of leukemia in his 40s and my aunt died of colon cancer in her 70s. Her children are scared of course.

I used to volunteer at the children’s ward for cancer and kidney failure patients. Many have their wishes granted by Make A Wish foundation.    https://www.worldwish.org/en

Leukemia patients need a lot of platelets. Hospital does run low at times because they have to get as good a match as possible. https://mytransfusion.com.au/sites/default/files/I_need_to_know_about_HLA_matched_platelets.pdf A few of my buddies donate regularly. So the more people able to and donating blood the better for the patients. Bone marrow match is more of a lottery chance. 

My friend had had a bone marrow transplant back in the early part of this year. Her brother was a good match (I don’t remember exactly, but like a 75% match or something.) But she had had some setbacks since the transplant and thee was some rejection. 

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I know who you're talking about!!!!! Her sister was my department chair when I was a teacher and we stayed good friends after I moved away. I've been following the journey on FB and it hit me pretty hard today, too. Life is so fragile and we just never know what will happen.

Sherry

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I am sorry, Quill. Hugs.

And I truly don’t mean to pick on a previous poster, but while 5 year survival rates are comforting, I recall researching 15, 20, and 25 year rates for young women with breast cancer and being not-quite-so-comforted. 

As for survival guilt, no, I do not have that. There are enough cases of bc raging its ugly return 15+ years later for me to feel survivor guilt. 

ETA: Sorry if I am being negative. I went to a funeral for a peer last week. He died unexpectedly from a heart attack, and it was indeed so sad and shocking.

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18 minutes ago, Penguin said:

ETA: Sorry if I am being negative. I went to a funeral for a peer last week. He died unexpectedly from a heart attack, and it was indeed so sad and shocking.

 

My uncle and cousin died of heart attack. My cousin was out of town on an international work trip when he pass. It was worse actually on their immediate families because there was no chance for that “final goodbye”.

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