Monday, April 14, 2014

Lucky to be alive

In yesterday's New York Times, oncology nurse Theresa Brown wrote about a young woman dying of a fungal infection (like I had) after receiving a stem cell transplant from a matched donor to treat her cancer (like I did). (Providing the Balm of Truth)

The patient had been taking immune suppressants to keep the donated cells from attacking her own body; the problem was that patients like her (and me) are susceptible to infections that wouldn't bother healthy people.

Brown wrote about the family members who couldn't believe they were losing their loved one and about her own attempts to help them in their struggle to accept that nothing more could be done. She also wrote that roughly 30 percent of patients are dead within a year of such stem cell transplants. That figure seems a little high, but still, it is a stark reminder of what could have been, of what almost was and of how lucky I am to be alive.

I am continually grateful for the brilliant doctors at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and for my donor, Denise. I am grateful for the research that has brought us so far. I am saddened by the story of this young woman but hopeful that more and more outcomes will be happy.

That said, I wish all my Jewish friends (and family) a good Passover and wish all a happy spring!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

and I am so grateful to have you as such a wonderful part of my life...Runderful Ronni -- that slipped out while I was typing...


Happy Spring!