There's been some recent news about a family friend and it's hard for me to process. It's not my own family member, but I can't help but think about what it must feel like for hers. When something bad happens to someone you know, it forces you to face your own mortality, and your loved ones' mortality. No one in my immediate family has been stricken with cancer, but man, I sure do feel like I'm in the minority. I know too many people (around my age) that personally had cancer, have siblings with cancer, or have parents with cancer. Open that up to include grandparents and extended family, and the number affected grows exponentially. It's so morbid to say, but it really just feels like a matter of time before I or someone very close to me gets diagnosed. I hate cancer.
On a somewhat related note, I received a call from the National Marrow Donor Program regarding the recipient of my bone marrow donation back in January. He is still fighting, and now needs a white blood cell donation. This is much less intensive than the procedure I underwent in January, but it still worries me just a little bit. They'll need to extract the cells over a period of 3-4 hours, where I'll be hooked up to a machine and effectively "giving blood" for that long. They'll separate the cells from the blood extracted from one arm, and then the remainder will be pumped back into my body through the other arm. Considering my history of fainting and the low blood pressure problems I experienced during the last donation, I'm not 100% confident about doing this. There's no way I could say no to helping this boy, though, so I'm just hoping for a smooth procedure. I have it scheduled for next week.
"Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul." - Jim Valvano