Contrasting Fortunes

Contrasting Fortunes

On Saturday 14th Jan two of my children celebrated their birthdays: my son Ben who lives with his mum in Germany turned 15 and my youngest daughter Ava turned 4 (the cheek of them to choose the same day to be born!)

We arranged a party for Ava at a local soft play centre (her first choice) and she invited 14 of her pre-school friends to come along. I love kids of this age – they have so much energy, are totally honest with their opinions …and are just so full of life! It was amidst the chaos and carnage of a wild 4 year olds party that, for some unknown reason, I decided to check my phone. And there it was, an email that would change the vibe for the next couple of days. 

Soon after diagnosis in 2015 I joined a local cancer charity online forum – a place where people with similar conditions could meet up and swap stories / help each other out / offer advice. Over the following year I formed bonds with quite a few people, all struggling through chemo or at various stages of recovery.  I’ve never physically met anyone of my forum buddies, but felt I knew some of them pretty well. It was an email about a 33-year-old woman who had been very active on the forums. She’d not long had a baby. She’d been fighting Hodgkin’s since mid 2015 like me. But unlike me, the doctors had decided an auto wouldn’t do the trick for her and she was in hospital recovering from an allogeneic transplant (donor stem cells). She didn’t make it and had passed away earlier that day.

I know that cancer kills. I am aware of the statistics, especially when it comes to transplants – and even more especially: allogeneic transplants. They are dangerous and shit goes wrong. I know that. But it was still a shock. A tragedy. And it’s just so sad hearing of people with young children passing away. It sucks. The contrast of fortunes struck me. These children running around, full of beans, happy as can be. And a family somewhere else in the UK grieving. Cancer takes no prisoners. It is completely without a face or a conscience. It doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference if you have lots of money or a young family that needs and loves you or a huge circle of friends. If its your turn its your turn.

Besides this, I am generally feeling well. I haven’t been blogging much lately simply because there’s not been that much Hodgkin’s related stuff to talk about, which is a good thing! I have a clinic appointment this week and another PET scan in 6 weeks so will post again soon with an update.


One Comment

Lisa mcloughlin

Life is a gift Clive and it would seem often a lottery. I can’t imagine how this lady’s family are feeling – and it won’t make things change to say thank goodness it isn’t you. X


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