Bitter and Sweet

Tonight marks my final night as an inpatient non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma chemotherapy patient at Penn. Given my B-cycle track record it possible that I’ll make one final return to the floor next week for a neutropenic fever, but maybe we’ll get lucky, especially given all that we’ve been through these last 7 months, and just have a few crappy feverless days on the couch at home. Wish us luck.

It has been a sad day again in the Rick-Yudell orbit. This morning Jacqui’s uncle Billy (her father’s brother) passed away following his battle with kidney cancer, and we mourn his loss dearly. That marks the third death in a year in our immediately family. I did not know Billy well, but I know how much he meant to Jacqui’s father Alan and to his family and I offer my deepest condolences to them during this time of sorrow.

It has also been a sad day here on Rhoads 6, which seems to have a disproportionate share of young cancer patients in their teens and twenties, one of whom, a 25-five-year-old, is not expected to make it through the night. My heart is broken for him and his lovely family. No mother or father should have to nurse their child to their grave.

So it is with both sadness and hope that I spend my final night here. Profoundly aware of mortality, yet confident that I have a long and healthy life ahead.

Godspeed William Rick. May you and your family find peace now and always.

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