Curiosity Inc. wrote:
Sorry things are so hectic, Jester. As long as we're voicing personal grievances, I may as well vent one of my own, if you all don't mind.
There's this woman who spent years working for my parents. Diana was one of their bookkeepers for so long -- practically since they first started practicing optometry over two decades ago -- that she's pretty much a surrogate parent to me. Unfortunately, she came down with liver cancer a few months ago. Diana eventually got a clean bill of health, but decided to retire anyway.
Now, not two months later, we get word that she woke up with a splitting headache and collapsed while the ambulance was on its way. Turns out that the doctors had completely failed to notice that the cancer had metastasized. She had a brain tumor that literally burst open.
Two brain surgeries later -- both in the same day -- and the initial tumor is gone. Trouble is, there's no telling how many other tumors will result from the initial burst and they can't do another scan until her condition's stable.
Went with my mom to see her earlier this evening. Dad couldn't bring himself to come. Diana's husband was there and we've met each other at countless office parties. Still had his great sense of humor, I'm glad to say. One of Diana's daughters was there as well. Wonderful girl, just got engaged a few months ago.
Anyway, Diana's currently recovering at OHSU, the finest hospital/medical school/research center in Oregon. Her mental capacities seem crystal clear, on those few times when she's conscious. She's looking like hell, but things could be a lot worse.
The whole trip meant a lot to me, partly because OHSU is my personal Promised Land. It's where I first realized that I wanted to go into bioscience and take part in the next big medical breakthrough. I've labored for five years with the dream of learning and working there. I've always been overcome by a sense of religious awe when I walk through those halls and this time was no different, though I also had that feeling of grief and anxiety when I went there tonight. It was almost too much to bear.
What's more, I knew that I wanted to find a cure for cancer when I went into bioscience, but that was mostly so I could grow rich in life and develop something that would continue to improve lives after I'm gone. I have a good idea of what cancer is and how it happens, but I'd never actually seen someone lying unconscious with it before. I've participated in cancer donation drives and played at awareness walks with my drumline, but I'd never seen how it affects people and loved ones.
...Sorry, that rant went on a bit longer than I'd expected. In any case, thanks for listening.
Curi, I'm really, really sorry. I can't say much except that I'm wishing the best for you all and hope your friend will get better and STAY better.