Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cancer won today (not in reference to Kel, but includes an update on him)

First, I am sorry that I haven't posted in a week. Everything is really busy with another summer semester starting and I am more than burning the candle at both ends.

I will update about Kel first, and then vent/scream/cry about a friend below.

We finally got the pathology back from Kel's surgery. The mass they removed was pretty large - about 10+ cm x 6 or 7 cm. They found teratoma, seminoma and yolk sac carcinoma. We were a little shocked that there was no embryonal carcinoma (which was all that was found in the original mass).

The good part is that yolk sac is known to produce a lot of AFP (the marker in his blood) and explains the increasing #s. Also good is that there were some lymph nodes on either side of the mass that were free from cancer, at least anything visible. That doesn't mean this is definitely a cure, but clean margins are a good sign.

Kel has his staples taken out tomorrow, his stent on Monday and should see the oncologist again next week after more b/w to see if the #s are still going down. He is feeling a little better everyday, but it is a long and slow process. He is planning on going back to work on Thursday, but we will see.

Ok, the rest below is saddening and maddening and makes me want to go pour bleach on all of the cancer cells at work since I really just need to kill cancer today. It is not about Kel, so if you are having a bad day yourself and don't want to read anything sad, please stop now.

Today my dear friend Christy Ley Hood lost her fight against Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. The end was fast and shocking and we are sad.

I first met Christy after Kel and I had a few miscarriages and we were undergoing all of the testing and fertility treatments, etc. I joined up with a group of women online going through similar experiences. It is there that I met Christy - aka the Screaming Bird.

Christy was funny, and as vulnerable and torn as I was. In a group of wonderful and supportive women, she was one of the most involved. We spoke often, and though she lived in GA and sadly was one of the women I never had the honor of hugging in real life, we were all bonded as friends for life.

Christy had her daughter, Sarai, soon after David was born. Sarai was the light of her life. She is a beautiful 4 year old who I dearly hope will have wonderful memories of her mother. Even when Christy knew her leukemia had relapsed and it was dire, she endeavored to make sure that Sarai had a special 4th birthday party before checking into the hospital.

Christy was diagnosed near the end of mom's disease, and when mom passed, I shared some of her scarves with Christy. When Kel was diagnosed in December, Christy was in remission, but she was quick to befriend Kel and become a great cheerleader for him. She raised the spirits of us all.

One year into her remission, Christy learned that the leukemia was back and she needed to get ready for an immediate bone marrow transplant. She never got that far. With no immune system, she quickly succumbed to an infection that put her on dialysis and into a coma and today we learned that she was lost to this world.

The news hit hard all around the country, for the depth and breadth of lives touched by this special woman was large. Kel had only known her for a few months, but felt her power just as much. When I heard, I cried and cursed and cried some more.

Christy fought SO hard against the cancer, in her path to having Sarai, in life. She isn't supposed to have lost. She isn't supposed to be gone.

This reminder of how much this disease can rob need not have come. I know it. I get it. I live the day in a day out of it as Kel and I fear for the future. We hope and we fear. We hug and we cry. We just don't know. And then it just pulls the rug out again when we lose someone who is supposed to be in remission and surviving. What good is remission if it can be stolen away? What good is hope if it can be devastated?

I find myself for the first time screaming 'Why' to the heavens! Why?

Damn it, cancer sux. Cancer f'ing sux.

Christy, you may be gone from this world, but your light shines on and you will always be remembered with love in our hearts.

Hoping to get some sleep, but doubting it,

1 comment:

  1. Yolk sac carcinoma. You make it sound like it's a sweetmeat that Wolfgang Puck might consider. Yuk.

    My heart goes out to you two. You remain in my thoughts, especially when you've lost a friend.