The bad news I received a few days ago was really, really bad news. I've been in a funk about it ever since. I learned that two of my leukemia and transplant buddies relapsed. One had just had his first transplant and still has a lot of options open to him. The other one, my terrific two time transplant twin, relapsed and has elected to receive palliative chemotherapy. Meaning that she is no longer seeking a curative treatment, that the chemo she is receiving now is just to make her comfortable, and that she is going to die.
I am completely heart broken.
I could try to convince her to continue to look for other opinions, other options, that she can't just give up, but that would be wrong for several reasons. First of all because it isn't necessarily realistic, and second of all and most importantly, because it is her choice and I have to accept that.
When someone is dying, it isn't about you, it's about the person who is dying. This is the time to stop being selfish and self-centered and think about them. Do whatever you can to make it easier for them.
When my first cancer friend, Chris, got really sick and it should have been obvious to me that she was dying, I couldn't accept it because I cared so much about her. I couldn't bear to think of her dying. But by being unable to accept it, I think I made her own dealing with her impending death harder for her and I really regret that. When Sean, Tali, and Steve died it was more sudden and shocking; I didn't have a chance to get used to the idea. I knew they were sick, but their health deteriorated so quickly that I didn't find out how bad it was until they were already gone.
I am closer to J and T than I have ever been to any other cancer friends and it hurts so much more to know that they have more bad times ahead. With J, he still has more time and options, even though I know how shitty the chemo and second transplants are. They suck.
But with T... I just can't even begin to imagine a time when she won't be in my life. It makes my heart hurt to think about it. At least I know that I will be a better friend to her than I was to Chris. I accept her decision, I know how important it is to spend as much time together as possible, to enjoy whatever time is left and not take one second for granted. I'm going to do whatever I can to make this easier for her.
It just hurts so much.
J and T, if you read this, I love you both.