Growing up is hard to do. As a 24 year old, just starting out in the working world, being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma can be a big blow. Here's my attempt at putting it behind me as smoothly as possible.

08 March, 2006

Finished, but crying

I can't remember the last time I was crying, probably last year when my grandfather passed away, but I am right now. It's been an emotional day.

My chemo went well. The IV slid in on the first try, no burning in my veins, I'm not feeling all that bad right now, etc.

I got home and checked the Hodgkins support website which I do often. I was all set to brag about being finished. One of my friends, a beautiful young girl, diagnosed about the same time as me, sharing the same experiences as me, Caitlin Homes, had passed away. Her mom posted the message and told us that she got pneumonia yesterday and passed away in her sleep. My girlfriend welled up at the news, but I held it together. I didn't want to read too much because I was having dinner with my girlfriend, my sister and her boyfriend.

We had dinner and then opened up a fantastic bottle of port that my friend Ananth bought me for finishing chemo. It was delicious! We were all very happy that I was finally finished with this ordeal.

Then my girlfriend left, my sister and her boyfriend went to sleep, and I went back to the support website to read it fully. I read the mother's comments and I read all of the condolences left by the members (all people who have gone through or who are going through Hodgkins). I completely lost it, and I think I did so for two reasons.

1. She was just an amazing girl. She was probably only 20 but she seemed so incredibly happy right up until the end. Her comments always included funny pictures of her and her friends, she enjoyed life, she made those around her happy. She was worried that her sadness would impact her parents so she tried to hide it. Why do we lose those who are so good so young?

2. It made me realize my own mortality. My 30% recurrence chances are not good odds. I've made it this far, but am I really done? I sure hope so.

Here are some great pictures of Caitlin, she will always be remembered.

Laughing is my favorite, my laugh is really loud. - Caitlin

Caitlin is the second person on our board to have passed away after Rickie-Lee just passed away a little while ago. It's a horrible disease and I hope from the bottom of my heart that my time with it is over.


Blogger Sarah said...

Great post, Mike. (I thought it was wonderful also that you shared it over on the board.) I still haven't stopped crying over Caity's death. She really had a wonderful spirit. We knew she was in trouble -- but this was so sudden and unexpected!

I didn't realize you had a blog. I'll put a link to yours on mine!

10:22 a.m.

Anonymous Mary said...

Hello Mike. I found your blog through the lymphoma message board. My boyfriend Ben has Hodgkin's 2b and I was reading through your posts.. it feels good to see someone going through the same thing and also to hear about the same symptoms from chemo and neupogen shots! Ben has finished 4 cycles and he goes for a PET tomorrow that will determine whether he gets 2 more cycles of chemo or straight to radiation. His mid way PET was great, no active cancer! Ben is also a photographer and also rides bikes. Anyway, sorry to type so much! I will continue to read your blog(if you don't mind) and it's great to hear you are doing well..

10:39 p.m.

Anonymous bigmak said...

congrats dude that you finished up with the chemo.

stay strong.

(vwvortex guy)

8:13 p.m.


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