Friday, April 29, 2016

Echoing Lots of Other People When I Say

Fuck cancer.  Seriously. 

I lost a friend this week to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a blood cancer.  Because one of the main treatments for this is a bone marrow transplant, and I had helped Mrs. Graybeard through a similar treatment, we had talked about treatment details and I tried to help him out as much as I could.  He was diagnosed approximately a year ago, and passed away last Saturday at 48.  Far, far, too young; with kids still in school (one of four in college).  I met him when I started at my last job 20 years ago.  That means he was 28, and already a young star.  A brilliant young man.  We worked together on a first-of-its-kind design job for the company from about '03 to '08.  I did the analog/radio portion and he did the digital design, so we had to work together quite a lot. 

Back in 1997, when Mrs. Graybeard was going through her cancer treatment (I've told this story before), she had a stem cell transplant.  I go into a lot of details about that sort of treatment at that link.  It's relevant here because of the similarity between the treatment my friend was to get and the treatment my wife got.  In the case of the treatment for his Lymphoma, the main difference is that the patient's marrow is considered contaminated because the disease is a cancer of the immune system.  That means the transplant has to come from a donor, and that brings potential problems that aren't there when it's your own stem cells being put back, like my wife had.  Briefly, my friend couldn't complete the transplant.  I don't know the medical details.  There was talk about another "new, miracle" treatment but he didn't make it to that, either.
It's almost a cliche' to say the world has suffered a loss when someone passes, but in this case it's true.  If you fly, your flights are safer because of this guy. 


  1. Having lost my father to cancer at 50, I can understand your pain. I'm sorry, SiG.