Adrienne was a 21 year old Hodge survivor. Man was she ever. She was legendary with the online Hodge community. If you had a problem, you just hoped Adrienne would help you on it and she almost always did. A person asked about a doctor in some town. Adrienne had a list along with some commentary on each. A person asked about a treatment, Adrienne could tell you what to expect in a language the docs couldn't tell you. Her mom and her wrote this one piece titled, "How you know you relapsed." It should be shown to every oncological intern. It was a work of art. I have just that page bookmarked.
When I was looking into the pros and cons of my stem cell transplant, I asked for Adrienne's help and she came through. Both her and her mom offered advice, asked me questions and made me think. She left me with her cell phone number and her class schedule so I would know the best time to reach her. I never called. I was too intimidated. It would be like having Michael Jordan's personal cell phone number.
Adrienne spent most of her life with Hodgkin's. She had it since she was nine. Imagine fighting something off since the age of nine. But she did it and with style, never letting the disease control the way she thought about life.
A couple of weeks ago, Adrienne passed away. She died like she lived giving the disease one hell of a tussle. She's the benchmark. She went twelve years. I don't think anyone can beat that. I'd love to be wrong. I need to be wrong. It seems as though that could be my max as well.
I had been having a hard time with a couple lymph nodes in my groin and one in my neck. Because I'm no longer in Houston, the team at MD Anderson suggested I get a doctor here to look over any kind of thing like this. Today I went to see him. Although he doesn't have any scientific data and is only making a judgement based on feeling a node, noticing how large it is and going through my history, his best bet at this point is that I have cancer once again. I go in for scans and tests one week from Thursday. I'll know for sure then.
When a soldier gets killed in battle, many of the other soldiers don't immediately think, "Poor George. I loved that guy." Instead, they usually think, "That was a close one. When is it going to be my turn?" Adrienne went down. But I think I just got shot, too.