Tuesday, June 26, 2007

new blogs found


Adrienne's Updates

Hodgkin's Lymphoma Diary

Bit of a Bummer. . . .

Snoopy's Updates

Above are five blogs that I found during the past few days as I have searched for more information regarding mini-transplants for relapsed Hodgkin's Disease and patients' stories.

My return home means the academic year is completed but it also means that the final phase of my treatment is about to begin. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned. After yesterday's appointment, I realize that the planning of my treatment is on the move and with this understanding comes a certain degree of natural concern. My fear is that these days prior to hospitalization will be my last days of good health and that following the transplant will start a long drawn out period of GVHD, infections, fevers, rashes, mouth sores and more, which may result ultimately in my death. I guess you can say that to some degree I fear that the sand is falling faster and faster through the hourglass. Thinking like this adds a certain amount of pressure or stress. There are a number of books that I have at home that I have yet to read which I'd like to do before the transplant. I just started reading The Book of Life: An Illustrated History of the Evolution of Life on Earth, edited by Stephen Jay Gould. I had this book in Chicago, but with school going on I didn't have the time for any pleasure reading really. Traveling at this moment isn't a realistic option, so I have forgotten about it practically. The hospitalization will begin a new period of uncertainty and it's this which is the main cause of my anxiety. But that is the way it is, isn't it? All I can do is prepare myself as best I can (as I've tried to do) and hope for the very best.

I'm also bothered continuously by the daily news of suffering and death that I see or read in the news. As an information junkie, I can't help trying to keep up-to-date with the events of the world but especially at a time when I am aware of my mortality, news of such sad and horrific events makes me wonder (only naturally) how so many innocent people can suffer and die and why I should not as well. In particular, I become irritated and restless when I learn about human-induced suffering, such as murder, rape, beatings, abuse, war, and so on. There are innumerable ways in which a human can suffer and/or die naturally, such as from illness or an accident. Isn't this enough? Why should so many suffer and die at the hands of another human as well? It's senseless and unnecessary. They, like I, had dreams and interests, families and friends. Why should I survive and not them as well? In many cases, it must be a game of chance as to why some die and others live. It's just bizarre. This is why in part I have such a difficult time comprehending this mess in a religious sense, because the answers offered by the religions that I'm familiar with don't leave me fulfilled. On the surface, they don't seem to make any rational sense. The difficult reality is that the world is a harsh place and as Carl Sagan said we some times choose to see the world as we want to see it but not as it really is. It has always been like that. Do you know that there have been at least three major mass extinctions in the history of the planet? And that about 90% of all creatures that ever lived are no longer alive. It's remarkable.

Thinking about myself in this context might not helpful, I know, but it is humbling at least. My confidence isn't helped also when I surf the Web and come upon websites or stories about individuals who have passed away from Hodgkin's. It's bothersome and again, it naturally forces me to wonder why I should be fortunate enough to escape from death's clutches when they, individuals not very different than myself, were not able to do so.

As the hospitalization approaches, I need to contemplate less on these more depressing matters and focus on things more positive, such as reading, exercising, and art. I plan to see Dr. Roberts, my therapist, on Friday at noon.


Comment Blogger Kelly Kane said...

Hey there, good luck with transplant, and try not to do too much web surfing, it can drive you crazy. Also, if you're looking for support you can go to www.lymphoma.com - it's a message board and there are several members that have had transplants. Anywho, thanks for linking my blog on your site and congrats on graduation!


9:15 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hi Kelly. Thanks for the information. I'll be sure to visit your site from time to time.

Stay well.

9:31 PM  
Comment Anonymous Emily said...

*hugs* Kelly is right, its so easy to find lots of information from lots of sources that will just make you spin your wheels and put your head in a bad place. Focus on your joys, be proud of graduating, and hope for the best regarding treatment. Love you!


PS Congratulations on graduating!

7:56 AM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

you were reading my minds as the last few days I wanted to suggest that you call Dr. Roberts as you head into this next phase which you have every right to feel great anxiety about. you need someone to help you thru it professionally and where you can unload and not feel like you have to have "to keep it all together"!!

you are very strong but this is beyond human ability to keep it all together day in and day out!

8:39 AM  
Comment Blogger Adrienne said...

Hi, I found your site a few days ago and now I see that you posted a link to my daughter, Adrienne's site. I'd like to keep in touch. I've seen lots of people go through allo transplants and GVHD isn't a certainty at all. Adrienne had it quite bad with a sibling donor but that's quite unusual. Though she still fights the Hodgkin's, she doesn't have any signs of GVHD and is feeling quite well. Feel free to contact me at any time at alison95070@yahoo.com.

Alison (mom to Adrienne)

12:02 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hi Em,

You're right that I need to think that which is positive and good, but it can be very difficult some times. Thanks so much!

9:53 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...


Yes, the feelings I'm having now are natural and I feel it's important I be honest in this forum and express the moments when I feel happy and confident but also when I'm bothered by doubt and fear. Thanks for always offering good advice and being there!

9:55 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hello Alison,

Yes, I found Adrienne's site only a few days ago and thought it was terrific, so I had to share it with others. I hope this is ok. I'll be sure to email you soon.

Wishing you and Adrienne the very, very best!

9:57 PM  
Comment Anonymous Emily said...

It is also good that you're facing all of the feelings coming up, good and scary.

Love you!

7:15 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Love you too. Thanks Em!

9:39 PM  

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