The word “leukemia” makes me sick to my stomach. It’s such a long painful process from diagnosis to cure. And cure, often not reached. When we think of cancer, we think of it effecting an organ like lungs or colon or a tissue like our breast. A tumor that can be removed or shrunk. But blood cancer, there is no tumor. Just cancer cells taking over the blood cells in you.
Those blood cells keep you healthy, free of infections. They also keep you from bleeding by clumping vessel injuries. And they carry much needed oxygen from your lungs to body tissues. You wipe it all out, you risk so much. But to cure the cancer, you must wipe out it all and risk death.
I sometimes can’t believe I know all this about leukemia. I wish had no reason to know it. But I here I am, educating myself about something I hate.
Through out this long stay, the faces of other patients and their families have become familiar. And we watch each other come and go. We watch as one gets well. We watch as one does not. We see the smiles and the tears on all the faces. When a door is left open, we peak inside to hope to see our new friends up and pushing forward. We often instead see them laying in bed struggling to get through the day.
Why? It isn’t right. It just isnt. This path is horrific and long. And each day you wake, you hope today is the day, your love one turns the corner and starts improving.