As the sun was going down, the anticipation was building. The tests had been completed. The preliminary work-ups that would clear the way for the bone marrow transplant, were complete and it was just a matter of time when the new blood would arrive. When the washing of the blood would be over, Bruce would get his bone marrow transplant and he would take the next step, the big step, to rid his body of the leukemia that was trying to kill him.
So much HOPE…He knew his age and the type of blood cancer he had would put him in the high risk column, but he had HOPE. He was strong and healthy, except for having this cancer. He was ready for the challenge. His family and friends had made it clear to him, they had his back on this one. We would be his wall and he would stand tall, leaning against all of us.
The transplant didn’t even begin until the wee hours of the morning, a year ago,tomorrow. It took hours to complete, but when the last drop was squeezed into that I-V tube and traveled into his arm, we were so sure Bruce would be the one who would reset the curve on the survival chart.
When I think back to his struggle…absorbing all that chemotherapy, fighting off infection, GVH issues, the list is long. But his heart was strong and so was his will to live.
I know he had hard days and worse nights when it wasn’t so much the disease that raged-on inside him, but all the other problems that come with bone marrow transplant. And yet, he never really complained. He was a doctor, an infectious disease doctor, no less, so along with his medical team, he contributed so much knowledge to his own case.
And he fought on…until he couldn’t fight anymore.
That was one year ago. When we all had so much hope.