Thursday, July 13, 2006


Yesterday was a bit of a bummer. My blood counts tanked, so I had to get two units of red cells and a unit of platelets. Bah. I got them at the hospital where my Dad passed away, so for 11 hours I was staring at the same mauve pink walls I recall so well and so unhappily from a few months ago. At one point in the transfusion process I wasn't feeling really well, BP dropping, temperature going up, heart fluttering, etc. and I started to panic, thinking "what if something goes wrong with me? My family will have to make that same high-speed, heart-in-your-throat drive to this same hospital, and I absolutely can't bear that thought." Nothing, of course, was going to happen to me. But sometimes, as I've said here before, it's hard to be the patient and the patient advocate simultaneously, and sometimes when something weird happens you are doubly stressed because you're hoping you don't pass out so that you can still be your own advocate. (The outpatient facility for transfusions and chemo being too small to allow family/friends to stay with you).

So I finally got home, gratefully so, but was still having myself a wee pity party that this is my life sometimes. Then I read a blog I've been following, of Tricia, "TEB," a thirty year-old woman with a one year-old son and Stage IV melanoma. Her blog began as cute stories of a young family, developed into a chronicle of her struggle with this truly horrifying disease, and in doing so, became testament to her bravery, her love for her family, and their love for her.

In one of her earlier posts after undergoing painful and unsuccessful treatment, TEB asked her readers, rather than to feel bad for her, to without fail and without excuses, take one day in the next two weeks and spend it with family and friends. Go to a park, the beach, anywhere, but spend a whole day focusing on nothing but the people you love. TEB had her priorities right and she was trying to help others to do the same.

TEB passed away yesterday, at the age of 30. She is survived by her husband, her baby son, and numerous family members.

So what kind of day was yesterday, really? A pretty good one, it turns out, for people who got to come home to a loving family, a funny 2 year-old, and a new set of red cells keeping her healthy. I'm lucky. So lucky. And, as one of TEB's commenters said so well:

"Life at its longest is short. Love now."

Teb's Troops

1 comment:

Joe Tornatore said...

i once returned to the hospital that my dad passed away in. similar despair.