Sunday, June 18, 2006

being there for friends

On Thursday evening, I received word from Su that our friend, Lindsey's treatment was unsuccessful and that she, therefore, is in need of a stem cell transplant. You may recall me writing about her awhile back. Su, Lindsey, and I are in the same Young Adult Networking group at Gilda's. She was treated for leukemia, but unfortunately it has spread to her brain and spine. From what I understand, a transplant is her best shot.

Chad, who I met for the first time at the Sloan-Kettering meeting, "Dating and Disclosure" a few months ago and subsequently at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society conference gave me a buzz Friday evening. You may remember that he too has a case of relapsed Hodgkin's Disease and is facing an autologous stem cell transplant at Sloan. The tentative start date for the high-dose chemo is July 3rd. We chatted for awhile updating each other on the news of our lives. We exchanged war stories about the rigors of the treatment. I also told him about Su about which he was happy to learn. I offered to do whatever I could. I'd be happy, I told him, to share anything that I learned or experienced about the transplant process. I told him that I'd also be more than glad, if he so desires, to visit him during his transplant. Perhaps he'll want some good grub from outside or to watch a particular DVD. We promised to keep in touch. I'll check up on him again around transplant time.

In both cases, it's difficult to see people you know have to endure more suffering. In particular, I suppose one is even more sensitive to the issue when they themself know first-hand what it's like. Dr. Roberts (not knowing about Lindsey or Chad) thought that it was healthy for me to distance myself for the moment from the hospital and in particular, patients who were still undergoing treatment. Consequently, he told me he thought becoming a cancer buddy or a volunteer should wait for at least a year at which time the experience of my treatment will be more distant and not so palpable. I think that makes a great deal of sense. Indeed, I'm still trying to grapple with my own issues, but in the case of Lindsey and Chad two individuals whom I know personally, I can't do that. They're there and in need and as someone who understands well what's ahead, I think there's no other choice but to be involved and help.


Post a Comment

<< Home