Dec 20, 2012
So, my friend Ricky died from hepatocellular carcinoma. We kind of knew it would happen eventually, but not now. He was "terminal" and spent the last few months not doing any treatments or getting any scans. He just wanted to live and be normal. He hung out with his friends, ate what he wanted to eat, drew, listened to music, got a tattoo, played video games, and just had fun. He was only 20. I met him during treatment, and his sense of humor definitely got me through some of those rough times. Recently, he got a scan, and after that they told him he'd only have about a week. We really weren't ready for it to be that soon, but...yeah.
Today was also the 8 month anniversary of my friend Randi's passing. She had cancer a whopping 4 times. The first one was oral cancer, the second was Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and the 3rd and 4th were squamous cell carcinoma. The 3rd was in her neck, and she had her neck totally reconstructed. They used her abs to do it. They removed tons of her neck and put her abs there. SHE HAD ABS IN HER NECK! Then after we thought all that cancer nonsense would finally be leaving her alone...she's not even been in remission for 3 months, she was told it had recurred in her lungs. They were doing surgery to remove the cancer, and she died during the surgery. At this point, she was not able to swallow anymore, because her esophagus had closed, so I'd like to think that she's in heaven eating all the food she wants. Especially tacos. She wanted to teach chemistry in China. I met her in college through a mutual friend, and she was in my biochemistry class. She's so awesome! She's the one who taught me NGUNS! Never Give Up, Never Surrender! She's a triplet, too! Her family spread her ashes in China. I recently became friends with her girlfriend, who's also awesome! I should have figured that she'd be awesome, since Randi was so awesome. She also taught us about the legend of 1000 cranes. That if you fold 1000 origami cranes, you can make a wish. She wanted to get to 2000. She made her first wish, but we only got to about 1700 before she passed. We eventually did get to 2000, and all of the cranes were tied to helium balloons and released during her memorial service. The 19th of every month, many of her friends make cranes and leave them in random places or places that she liked to go. One of her best friends started a charity in her honour where they make 1000 cranes for children at a cancer hospital so that they can make a wish. I was the first recipient of the 1000 cranes before they teamed up with this Children's Cancer Center, and I made a wish. I still have the cranes strung up all around my apartment. The second recipient was a young boy who is a terminal cancer patient there. They strung them up all around his room.
Every time someone else that I meet through treatment or that I meet with cancer passes away, it remind me of my own mortality, and it scares me. I've been told that at Stage IV, they aren't trying to make the tumours go away. They're not trying to "cure" me, they're just trying to extend my life by stopping the growth of the tumours. However, there are people who have had the growth of their tumours stopped for long periods of time. There are even people who have had tumour regression. I want that! Everyone is different, though. So far, none of the treatments have been very effective, but I start a new kind soon, and I'm cautiously hopeful about this one. We'll see.