There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Monday, December 29, 2008

Infusion of infamy (coda)

On Oct. 2, the wife was in the midst of her every-other-week chemo infusions at the UC Davis Cancer Center when her path crossed that of Ellie Nesler. I wrote about it in the "Infusion of infamy" post.

"Ellie Nesler, the Sonora woman who made international headlines after she shot and killed her son's alleged molester in a Jamestown courtroom ..."
The news yesterday that Nesler had died after years of battling cancer clearly upset the wife.

Today, the wife and I were at the UC Davis Cancer Center for a pre-op consultation and last-minute tests. Tomorrow the wife will be back in surgery at the UC Davis Medical Center for a "re-incision," the do-over required because the first lumpectomy failed to get all of the cancer.

With an average cure rate of better than 85 percent for the wife's type of cancer, it's not difficult to be optimistic as each step in the treatment progresses -- chemo, surgery, radiation -- even with do-overs.

But then you are reminded that on the other side of that coin are the 15 percent who are not cured. Some battle for years. In the case of Nesler, she told the wife she had been under treatment for cancer for 15 years.

At the time, when the wife was in the midst of coping with the side effects of the chemo, to imagine a decade of the same was a deep cut. To learn that death still awaits even after so many years of fighting is a painful re-incision.

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