Monday, May 14, 2007

A Tale of Two Lymphomas

For the past few weeks, I've been following the blog of another City of Hope lymphoma patient, 22-year old Jenna.

I felt a connection with her because she's a patient of Dr. Forman's and completed an autologous stem cell transplant (SCT) at the City of Hope in January. Her blog tells the story of her 28-day hospitalization, her rapid recovery, clean PET Scan, and trips to Spain and Mexico just weeks after the completion of her SCT. It's become my favorite bedtime story. ("Mommy, tell me the story about how Jenna has a stem cell transplant at the City of Hope and then drinks sangria in Spain and surfs in Mexico.")

Jenna's blog frequently requested that readers pray for her friend Alese, a 23-year-old woman with Hodgkins Lymphoma. I just checked Jenna's blog and was devastated to learn that Alese passed away two days ago.

After reading Alese's website, I feel small and insignificant. This bright and beautiful girl, diagnosed at age 17, endured an arduous, six-year, bi-coastal battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Read Alese's website to learn how to live life, with or without cancer.


Marco said...

Susan, you are neither small nor insignificant. We may be many in this world, we may be too self aware of our limitations, but we are all very special, and linked together by our humanity. You especially. Keep on writing - that's your large and significant gift to us all.

SAMO Calling said...

Marco said it best. You are feeding us all through your writings. Keep on keeping on baby - we're a hungry bunch of friends.

Re your tale, I recently read a story (I think it was CNN online) about a 22 yr old cancer patient who took to writing a blog. It opened up his world to others around the globe. It's a great thing to have.

I'm heading off to do the sciatic MRI this afternoon and I've got to psych myself up for the "lipstick tube" they put me into. My claustrophobia is going to require some serious hand-holding. Later gator

Paula Johnson said...

Reading Alese's blog brings to mind what I told a close friend when his brother died in March after a long illness:

I really don't enjoy being mad at God, but He brings it on Himself.

Janet Aird said...

Well, Susan, one thing this shows is that we all have some kind of pain. And you said yourself not to compare. People get through things the best they can, and it sure helps when there's a community like this - that you created. Thank you.

Emily M. said...

I just got to catch up on your blog. First of all I have to say Cindy was absolutely stunning for prom!
I just sifted through Alese's website/blog/myspace/pics, etc for the last hour or so. I am so overwhelmed by her story I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep tonight!

I do agree; you are neither small nor insignificant. Nor is your journey through this! Remember "minimize, maximize, equalize"? :)

I love you and can't wait to see you next week!

Susan Carrier said...

Minimize, maximize, equalize? Now that's pretty catchy. How did I forget?

And how did all of you get so wise? Thanks for the reminders!

Frankie said...

Read Alese's website and was also very affected by it.

Thinking of you.