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Living With Leukemia (Leukaemia)

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Leukemia: The Diary of a Husband

When you live with someone - a spouse, a child, a relative - who suffers with a chronic illness, such as leukemia, it is sometimes easy (or easier) to forget about time. The days roll into each other. Your focus is on them, and everything else around you seems peripheral and unimportant.

And so it was that time and life played a cruel trick on both myself and my wife, just three short years into our marriage. It was late 1990/early 1991 when my wife became ill. It would be only a few short months later when she would hear the words that would change both our lives: "I'm sorry. You have leukemia".

In the Beginning

Blood Tests

It was just a normal day, but that day would change my life forever. I had arrived home from work before my wife, as I usually did. I was starting to prepare for our evening meal, when she too arrived home, but clutching her left leg. She was screaming in pain and collapsed on our dining room floor.

My first thoughts were that she had been involved in an accident. But through her tears she told me that she hadn't. I felt helpless. My wife had always been very fit and healthy, regularly taking part in sports, particularly cross country running. She sat there on the carpet for a while until the pain had subsided enough for her to stand. As the evening progressed, her leg began to feel better, but not entirely free of what seemed like an aching cramp.

I told her that she needed to get to the doctor as soon as possible, just to make sure there wasn't more to the pain than just a strain or spasm. The next day, the pain was still there, so she decided to make an appointment.

This is when her nightmare began. Blood tests were ordered, as the doctor could not make a diagnosis in his office. It was obviously not a simple strain. The next day she received a phone call from the doctor telling her she needed to visit the hospital in order to have her leg scanned. Although she was finding it harder to walk, I managed to get her to the hospital...and then we just waited.

The Diagnosis

Aplastic Anemia

We waited for what seemed an eternity for the results from the blood tests and the scan. Eventually, they came. The scan showed that my wife had an overly large abscess in her thigh, deep in the muscle tissue. As a result, her white blood count was sky high as her body tried to fight off this painful and unwelcome intruder. She had also contracted a condition called Aplastic Anemia, where the bone marrow does not replenish blood cells correctly.

To say we were both shocked would be an understatement. But life never prepares you for this kind of news. We really did not have a lot of time to digest the information before my wife was admitted to the hospital for treatment of both illnesses.

Blood Smear of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Blood Smear of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

The Hospital Stay

The Leukemia Develops

At the beginning of May, 1991 my wife began a hospital stay that would last seven months. The abscess in her leg had enlarged, and it was now critical to have it drained and removed. She went into surgery, and the next time I saw her she was lying in bed with her thigh heavily bandaged and unable to move.

But, more bad news was on the horizon. The doctor dealing with her Aplastic Anemia wanted to see me urgently. Fearing the worst, I met with him and he explained that her blood condition had deteriorated and had now developed into leukemia. I was stunned. My mind was in a haze. To make matters worse, they could only undertake minimal treatment because of the surgery to her leg.

From that point on our lives changed forever. Over the next few days the bandages around my wife's thigh were slowly removed to allow the beginning of the healing process. However, her blood condition was preventing the large wound from repairing quickly, and she began to develop several smaller abscesses on her back. These were also drained and then treated daily along with her thigh.

To try to explain how one's mind works through this kind of real life drama is not easy. It is almost as if you are put on autopilot. My wife was getting the best treatment, but I felt helpless in her plight. I knew she had a lot of strength, both mentally and physically, but the news of her illness and her surgery was sometimes too much for her to bear. My only way of helping was to be with her as often as possible and to encourage her in any way I could.

And encouragement is what I offered, along with all the love I could muster. Encouragement and love during the good times when a few more centimetres of that gaping wound healed. Encouragement and love during the bad times when her tears flowed and anger coursed through her body. "Why Me?"

A Private Moment

A Very Special Song

As time went by, my wife's thigh wound healed at an excruciatingly slow pace. Eventually, it had healed enough to allow her to sit up and dangle her legs over the side of the bed.

One evening, I arrived at the hospital and headed for her room as usual. As I reached the doorway, my wife's back was to me as she sat watching the television. As I stood and looked for a moment, I heard her crying. She was listening to the following song on video, which was very popular at the time, just sobbing her heart out.

I remained at the doorway, listening intently to the words of the song, not daring to enter the room, feeling as if I was intruding on a private moment. It was heartbreaking to watch.

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Understanding Leukemia

December 1991

Home For Christmas

Those eight months seemed to last a lifetime. But, little by little, her leg improved.

One evening, not long before Christmas, I made my way to the hospital after work as I normally did. Imagine my utter surprise when I rounded the corner to her room and found her standing there facing me. I had to take a step back, just in case I was imagining things. Admittedly, she was propping herself up on a walking stick due to her lack of strength, but this was the best Christmas present I could have hoped for.

A couple of weeks passed, and we received the news that she could go home. Her leg was now strong enough to allow her to walk. She would be home for Christmas.

This battle was over, but she had not yet won the war.

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Battling the Leukemia

A Bone Marrow Transplant

In the interim, the doctors had discovered that my wife's leukemia had worsened. As a consequence, she now had to undergo more aggressive treatment in the form of chemotherapy and regular blood transfusions.

As anyone who has undergone chemotherapy will know, the effects of this can often be more debilitating than the disease that is being treated. One sad consequence was that my wife lost her beautiful hair. And any woman will tell you how shattering this is to one's self-esteem. It got to the point where she would not leave the house for some time, as she felt she was the object of people's stares. In the end, I and our families bought some fashionable hats for her, and some normality returned to her life.

Months passed with the continuing treatment and, to a certain extent, our daily routine returned to some kind of ordered structure. Continuing hospital visits occurred, in between which my wife was able to visit friends and family. I had been very lucky to have a wonderfully understanding employer who allowed me to take time away as and when it was absolutely necessary.

As time went by, the doctors became concerned that while the chemo and blood transfusions were holding the leukemia at bay, they were not having the desired result of remission. It was at this point that we were given what amounted to an ultimatum: continue the present treatment with the high chance that the leukemia would worsen or undergo a bone marrow transplant with a 70% chance of a full recovery.

In my mind, there really was no option. However, my wife was more hesitant about a bone marrow transplant, having learnt about the pain and the dangers the process could potentially create. This option also hinged upon whether a suitable bone marrow donor could be found. As my wife was an only child, finding someone was going to more difficult than if she had siblings. We talked at length, and after some painful conversations, we both decided that this was really the only way to go.

The Bone Marrow Transplant

Battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia

We were told from the very beginning of my wife's diagnosis that it would be tough to treat. Her leukemia was not a usual strain seen at her age. She had Acute Myeloid Leukemia, which was normally found in patients of more advanced years.

Since we had gone ahead with the decision of a bone marrow transplant, her usual treatment went on as normal, as we waited for a donor to come along. The doctors had informed us that it could be a long time before one was found. And so it proved. Months passed as the experts scanned the bone marrow registries, looking for a suitable match, but to no avail.

Then, in late 1993, news came that one had been located. The sense of relief in our house was palpable. Sheer joy could not fully describe our feelings. More tests were required from both my wife and the donor, but everything looked good for the transplant to go ahead.

We travelled to London, where once again, my wife was admitted to the hospital. This time she would have to go onto an isolation ward, with only myself able to enter her room for short periods. She was to undergo intensive chemotherapy to begin with, which would intentionally reduce her immune system. This had to be done so that the transplanted bone marrow would not be rejected.

The transplant took place. A precious bag of bone marrow flowed slowly into my wife's body, and with it a stream of hope for life.

After the Bone Marrow Transplant

Awaiting the Results

Considering the enormity of what had just happened, my wife's stay in hospital was relatively short. Her immune system had returned to normal fairly quickly, and she was allowed to go home. Now, we had to wait once again. This time to find out whether the bone marrow transplant had taken.

We knew it would take some time to find out the result, but the wait was excruciating as the days went by. Finally, we received a call, but it was not the news we were hoping for. The transplant had failed and the leukemia had returned. We were devastated. Consoling my wife was one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do.

I wanted to know the options. I was told that the only way to continue this battle was to find another bone marrow donor. But, this time, there would only be a 30% chance of conquering the disease. At this point, anything the doctors could offer was something we had to grab with both hands. Once again, our lives became a waiting game.

April 20, 1994

The Leukemia Diary is Tragically Closed

A couple of months passed and although regular updates came from the doctors, no new donor had yet been found. My wife continued with her treatments, but as each day went by, the more anxious we became. In this case, the old adage "no news is good news" just didn't apply.

During April, 1994, my wife contracted a cold - something that most of us can fight off with ease. For her, it was more serious. All of the treatments had weakened her system and the cold went to her lungs. As a precautionary measure, she was admitted to the hospital for continuing observation. However, her body was finding it more difficult to cope with any kind of added problems, and the situation became worse.

On April 20, I was at the hospital visiting with her as normal. She seemed okay, but as the afternoon progressed, she gradually began acting strangely. She started saying things that did not make sense, and was regularly in and out of sleep. She was beginning to scare me, and I called a nurse to check on her. She told me that the drugs she was taking could sometimes cause this reaction.

She put my mind at rest to a certain extent, but I was still worried. As she was sleeping, I decided to take a break and go and get some air. As I stood outside reflecting on the day so far, I ran into our best friend's parents. My mind was such a haze that I assumed they were there to visit my wife. As we chatted, I found out that they were visiting their daughter, who had just given birth to her second baby. I had completely forgotten that she was pregnant, with everything that had been happening.

As I returned to her floor, my mother, brother and her parents arrived and we all went into her room together. She was still sleeping, but we were shocked to see how pale she had become. Once again, I called in a nurse and she said she would get a doctor to visit. As we waited, my wife came in and out sleep, but she was worrying me more than ever.

A doctor eventually arrived and examined her, but just by the look on his face, things did not look good. He pulled me aside and told me to expect the worst. Her condition had deteriorated to such an extent that very little could be done to pull her out of her present state. I didn't know what to do with myself. I, now, had to go and repeat to the parents what was going on. We all stood looking at one another in a state of shock.

As the evening went by, we kept vigil in her room. The doctors could not give any more certain information, but they advised us to go home and get some rest. I didn't want to go, but over the previous few days, I had not slept well. Her parents had left earlier, saying they would return, and my mother convinced me to take a break. We went to my brother's house, but not ten minutes after arriving, the hospital called saying we should go back as soon as possible.

Some of what followed is a little hazy, as my mind switched off. In the time it had taken us to drive from home to the hospital, my wife had died. I remember holding her like I never wanted to let her go, and telling her how much I loved her. I remember my father-in-law standing in the room in disbelief, moving to the window, looking out and sobbing. I remember having to let her go...forever.

She was thirty-years-old, and this isn't the way things were meant to happen.

Funeral Arrangements

I couldn't remember ever seeing the crematorium this full. I had attended some funerals in the past, but I had never known there to be so many people as there was that day. It was overwhelming, and one of the saddest days of my life.

One of the most important things for me to arrange was the correct prayers, hymns and music for my young wife's funeral. I recalled the Bryan Adams video that she was watching in the hospital, and as her coffin entered the crematorium, this is the song that played.

She was also a big Elton John fan, and I tried to find the most appropriate track to play as the service ended. This is the one I chose.

An Important Footnote

A Silver Lining

Since I published this page, it has dawned on me that I had forgotten to add some important information.

Earlier, I mentioned that I had met our best friend's parents at the hospital. Not until later did I discover that our friend had given birth to a beautiful baby girl on the same day that my wife had died. She later became my goddaughter. She is now a happy, healthy and radiant 20-year-old.

Secondly, in a strange irony, I met and married my present wife because of these events. After my first wife's death, I became involved with a local branch of The Anthony Nolan Fund, trying to raise funds and awareness about bone marrow donation. As Treasurer, I decided to buy my first computer to keep track of the monies. I had never been on the Internet before, but one day, I inadvertently happened upon a chat room on MSN. There was a group of people there from all walks of life, who made me laugh and smile again.

To cut a long story short, my present wife began talking to me about my first wife's illness. We corresponded for seventeen months, she in the US, I in the UK. I was due a vacation, so we decided that I should take a trip to America and meet. After several flights across the Atlantic by both of us, we knew we had fallen in love. In May of 2000, I proposed to her on the sands of Myrtle Beach, SC and we married two months later. We will celebrate ten years of our love later this year.

I have really come to believe the old saying that "every cloud has a silver lining".

Thank you for reading my story. My heartfelt hope is that one day this dreadful disease will be defeated. To help bring that day closer, a percentage of the royalties from this page are to be donated to the Lymphoma and Leukemia Fund. The remaining percentage will be donated to my chosen leukemia charity.

I want to thank each and everyone of you who have left such generous and supportive comments. I am truly appreciative of your visits here.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2009 Richard

Has Leukemia Touched Your Life? Or That of a Loved One? : Let's Fight Leukemia Together

Robin Gardner on August 09, 2018:

My deapest condolences to you, I know how hard this was for you to write... My ♥ goes out to you... Thank you for sharing you're story... Much luv

cecilmagpayo on June 15, 2014:

my husband was diagnosed last February 2011 with CML chronic myeologenous leukemia. and since then on and off in the hospital. last April 22, 2014, he was admitted due to severe headache, and while in the hospital he got seizures, and CT scan results, he got edema in his head, due to high platelets count. His leukemia now in accelerated phase. Twice he became 50/50 while in the hospital. Thanks to the medical team, thanks to God and all the prayers and support of all our friends relatives and people we've never met but willing to help us. We're home now, and he's gettin better.. Praying he'll be in remission.. He's now taking Tasigna a chemo pills, here it is so expensive it costs us P58 thousand a week., which we cannot afford.. . . Hoping and praying . . . God bless

lesliesinclair on November 26, 2013:

I write through tears of one who has faced a family members trauma and this carefully rendered story touches me so. I think what you share and the way you share it is a gift to all who suffer such a huge trial. It's wonderful that you were able to turn your knowledge to help others, and a blessing from God for you to find a helpmate.

Lorelei Cohen on October 24, 2013:

It broke my heart to read your wife's story of leukemia. I pray one day that a cure for these illnesses will be found so no other family has to go through this sadness.

cancerfunds1 on October 22, 2013:

Great! Thanks for sharing the beautiful story with us all.

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on September 04, 2013:

Thank you for sharing this story with us.

Lori Green from Las Vegas on August 30, 2013:

My friend's just lost their 11 year old son to leukemia. The same week he took the turn for the worse his sister (who was to be his bone marrow donor) was diagnosed with it. They are currently living in Guam and hoping to find a donor for her. They can't use any more family members. Thank you for this lens.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on August 30, 2013:

This page will help raise awareness of leukemia. You wrote it beautifully.

Mary Crowther from Havre de Grace on August 29, 2013:

So sorry and thank you for sharing this.

missmary1960 on August 27, 2013:

I am sorry for your losses, it's such a beautiful tribute that you have been able to write. I also lost my first husband to that devil in 1992, and with 3 small children in tow. We are lucky to be able to move on but never forget. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Fay Favored from USA on August 27, 2013:

I am so sorry for your loss, but appreciate you sharing this story. She was so young and I can relate to how you lived with this news.

jura on August 26, 2013:

It is very sad lens

rattie lm on August 26, 2013:

A beautifully constructed lens. Thanks so much for sharing.

Wendy-S LM on August 24, 2013:

Thanks for sharing your story. I lost my oldest daughter from leukemia, 80 days post transplant. She was 5 years old. That happened over 20 years ago and it's good to see that the survival rate has been improving.

LorLinda from Denver Colorado on August 03, 2013:

My brother was only five when he died of Leukemia, he suffered a lot.

Gayle from McLaughlin on July 19, 2013:

Thank you for writing this beautiful story and your journey through this devastating illness. My father had another type of leukemia so I always am interested in other's stories.

nifwlseirff on June 27, 2013:

Thank you for sharing your experience, this is a wonderful tribute. I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss.

Deadicated LM on April 14, 2013:

I'm so sorry for your loss; I know it's very difficult and I thank you for sharing your experience with us . My brother-in-law had AML he received stem cells from his brother he beat the leukemia but died of host graft disease; it was a 9 month battle from diagnosis to the day he passed (on my birthday and almost a year to the day my mom lost her battle with ovarian cancer).

anonymous on March 03, 2013:

it is sad really.. thank u for sharing this and im sorry for your loss..

anonymous on March 03, 2013:

It is very amazing story.. I hope my mother will fight through this illness also :( God bless you all

anonymous on February 11, 2013:

This is one of the most beautiful and touching lenses I've ever read. I'm so sorry you and your family had to go through this, but I'm very happy that you have found love again!

Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on January 28, 2013:

I am filled with many different emotions after reading this amazing lens. This is an incredibly touching tribute to your first wife, and I am deeply sorry that you have experienced the loss of your second wife as well. Your strength, loyalty and courage are inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Blessed.

WebWriteGirl LM on January 22, 2013:

Thank you for sharing your story. It takes strength to do so.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on January 21, 2013:

Back to comment on a very touching as well as informative lens!

Barbara Walton from France on January 15, 2013:

So sad. I'm sorry for your loss. Losing someone so close must be very hard for you.

swapnal-sarang on January 04, 2013:

My father in law died of liver cancer last year. He went in and out of sleep in the last days. Your story reminded me of that sad time . Truly appreciate how brave you are to write ths story

anonymous on January 02, 2013:

sorry for your loss but im hoping my story don`t end like yours , my 4 year old grandson was diagnosed with leukemia on the 24/10/12 and 12 days later my 50 year old husband was diagnosed with leukemia as well there both going through chemo now and im hoping and praying for a good out come ...

grannysage on December 19, 2012:

I can't imagine the emotions that flooded through you as you wrote this. Your wife was blessed to have such a loving husband at her side throughout her journey.

treasuresabound on December 18, 2012:

Thank you for sharing your story, I can't imagine how you even managed to write all this down but you must be a very courageous man. I have had 2 close family friends who died from Leukemia, both females, one 28 years old and the other 38.

Heather B on December 18, 2012:

Your wife sounds like she was a strong and wonderful person, and she must have felt extremely loved in spite of her suffering. Thank you for sharing her story.

Rhonda Albom from New Zealand on December 17, 2012:

I am so sorry for your loss. I am in tears as I write this. Thank you for sharing this touching story.

gottaloveit2 on December 17, 2012:

Your article is so beautifully written, it had me in tears. Your first wife must have been someone very special - as are you. I'm so glad you went on to find your second chance at happiness.

anonymous on December 14, 2012:

Came across your story while researching more about Luekemia. Congratulations for the honour of your diary, it was interesting. I lost my love one two weeks ago, on December 2, 2012 to Luekemia. We both were in seperate countries at the time. He was told last year, he had a blood clot. This year, the later part of June 2012, we found out it was Leukemia. I know the pain you felt because I am dealing with the pain and hurt now. Congratulations on finding new love.

MintySea on October 11, 2012:

I am so sorry about your loss

anonymous on October 01, 2012:

so sorry to hear, my father is going through some of this now with lymphoma/leukemia. and i still cant grasp how this could have happened.

what you've expressed is felt by so many. its so hard.

hartworks lm on August 07, 2012:

In tears.

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on August 05, 2012:

In celebration of Friendship Day 2012, I am returning to some of my favorite lenses for fun, sharing and renewed blessings :) Friends Still Make it All Worthwhile!

macgillivray on July 05, 2012:

I just came across your lens after reading another about cancer - and I'm really sorry for your loss. I have just come through my own battle with womb cancer and I know I have had a narrow squeak; treatment for these horrible diseases is improving all the time - but that is at the expense of people who are brave enough to choose radical treatments with no guarantee of a good outcome. The lottery of life plays some very cruel tricks with the only positive note being that with every battle lost, medicine and research make tiny steps forward. Hopefully one day we'll be able to protect all from the devastation that you have so touchingly and honestly described. Margaret.

marsha32 on July 01, 2012:

You are very brave to share your story with the world. It's great of you to get this information out too! I'm glad that Ruth found your lens and shared it in her blog.

writerkath on July 01, 2012:

My heart goes out to you... No words could possibly be enough. I am so sorry for your tragic loss, and yet so thankful that you put this lens together to help others. Bless you...

Ruthi on June 19, 2012:

Bless you for sharing the most private moments of your love and your pain. My heart cries for you.

Lori Green from Las Vegas on June 16, 2012:

I wish I could give you 10 squid likes for this lens. My daughter was diagnosed with Cancer when she was 11. She is 17 now and just placed 4th in a Marathon for the Ronald McDonald House (A wonderful place). My heart goes to you and your family.

anonymous on June 15, 2012:

As I read your story it just brought back so many memories because I had a similiar experience and was able to identify with your story, My husband had the same disease and passed away in August 1996. All the issues you described and the emotions you felt while going through this ordeal, one cannot describe. It is a real debilitating disease and I hope and trust God that medical science will come up with a solution to resolve this killer disease. I have not re-married as yet. What I can tell you that this experience has made me more aware of my inner strength which I thought I did not possess and the ability to bounce-back from adversity. May God bless you for a very inspiring real life story. Lynn

sheezie77 on June 09, 2012:

Amazing lens, thank you for sharing with us!

samuelp on June 03, 2012:

Wow! Very touching story. It must be so hard to go through all of that... Thanks for sharing it!

Paul from Liverpool, England on June 01, 2012:

Re-Blessed and pinned.

anonymous on May 23, 2012:

As I have travelled through my journey of life I have gone from a carefree teenager to a woman who has weathered the storms of life. I have learned that happiness is not a destination but a journey. Along that journey are the people who make you and break you. Reading your story I felt every emotion through your words. Yes every cloud does have a silver lining and I do believe that everything happens for a reason.

Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on May 19, 2012:

Wonderfully done and heart wrenching. Squid Angel blessed.

Kay on May 12, 2012:

Your page just leaves me in tears. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story and one that is just going to help so many others going through this same thing. Blessed!

hippiechicjewelz on April 20, 2012:

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, and for sharing some great information. I have always believed that everything good and bad happens for a more divine reason. Your story truly touched my heart, my heart goes out to you!

Debbie from England on April 20, 2012:

I just came back & read every word for the second time. I hope you found writing your story therapeutic. Your God daughter is beautiful and it must be comforting to have something so precious come from something so sad. xx

crstnblue on March 24, 2012:

Impressive lens... Yes, my mom struggled with this tricky illness for years and she passed the way last year, but was a brave woman, loved life and did her best.

Thumbs up and blessed for bringing up such a sensitive topic!

anonymous on February 17, 2012:

Very touching story. My mom is also fighting against CML for 2years..

Debbie from England on January 15, 2012:

I visited this one a while ago and remember feeling the emotion that you've written into every word. This time, I bring an Angel blessing with my visit ;)

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on January 14, 2012:

A tough story to write about Richard, and for you just one tragic chapter unfortunately. Beautifully written, I am surprised I haven't read it before. Yesterday marked a year since Debbie had her brain tumour removed. We also as you know met on the internet, and in our case I moved from Florida back to the UK so we could be together. Only 2 months after the wedding she began to go downhill, and it took more than 6 months for them to diagnose her tumor, by which time she was close to being days from the end. Fortunately for us her story turned out well, so far. I hope 2012 turns into a good year for you as you begin yet another transition period in your life, blessed and LOTD was well deserved.

annieangel1 on January 14, 2012:

Richard - I'm speechless - this is a wonderful article on leukemia and a wonderful tribute to your wife.

Iain84 on January 11, 2012:

it must be heart breaking to see someone that you love suffer with leukemia. my heart goes out to anyone that has this dreadful condition x

whats4dinner on December 29, 2011:

very touching lens! Thanks so much for sharing, must have been really hard to clearly put this lens together. Your wife was a fighter and i am so sorry for your loss. May her soul rest in peace.

SiochainGraSonas on December 16, 2011:

I recently loss my Uncle to AML. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am sorry to hear of your loss.

Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on December 13, 2011:

Thank you so much for sharing your story. ~ blessed

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on December 11, 2011:

Stopping back by to let you know this lens has been added to my new web page on becoming a bone marrow donor (

anonymous on December 10, 2011:

This is very moving, and sad because she was so young, thank you for sharing your story, and I am so happy that you found love again.

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on December 07, 2011:

There really are no words to respond to this journey you have shared. I came by because I was searching this site for any articles on bone marrow donations. I am a potential bone marrow donor and have been researching everything that is involved as well as reading inspirational accounts of how lives are impacted by leukemia and other diseases requiring a marrow or platelet donation. I sincerely hope to have the opportunity to help someone live. Wishing you peace.

Iain84 on November 25, 2011:

Beautiful lens and one that brought a lot of inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing.

Marika from Cyprus on September 16, 2011:

This is such a touching story, I'm really humbled. Thank you for sharing it with us here.

RhondaSueDavis on September 15, 2011:

you have eloquently and courageously and beautifully shared this story. Thank you. I think this the the best lens I have seen, ever. The love and dignity you shared with your wife in life is evident here.

Shamim Rajabali from Texas on September 11, 2011:

My son had leukemia when he was 9 years old. Thank God he is doing well now after 4 years. I pray for all those children suffering from this and other diseases.

NoYouAreNot on July 30, 2011:

Thank God, none of my immediate family and friends suffer from leukemia, although I have met people who'd gone through ordeals to get cured of it or who lost a beloved person as a result.

I wish I could donate blood for those in need, but although I've tried on several occasions, I have a low blood pressure and doctors don't allow me. Plus, I don't think I can donate bone marrow, because I have demyelination -- sort of MS, really, although I've had only a couple of minor symptoms up to now. I really care about helping and offering to people in need, and this makes me feel a bit useless some times.

K Bechand from NY on July 08, 2011:

God Bless you - I am an occupational therapist that has many people like you and your wife come into my life, and I hope that I can help make some simple additions to theirs to make life easier - Thank you for sharing your story - I bet there are many that need to hear it to get through similar situation. You are a strong person!

littlelotus on July 07, 2011:

what a journey! I'm glad that you've found a "silver lining" and it's all happy ending now :) I'm glad I read this lens..... my husband's niece was diagnosed with Leukimia..... she was 8 and now has fully recovered thanks to chemo-therapy and Reiki. She's now a healthy 15 y.o and still have to go to the hospital for checking every now and then.....

Chazz from New York on April 04, 2011:

I would like to add my angel blessing to this lens. I have added it to a similar lens of mine at, in honor of my sister-in-law who lost a 15-year battle with Lymphoma in May and was the recipient of two bone-marrow transplants without which she would not have been with us as long as she was. Those of us who could, have joined the registry of potential donors and I thank you for including this important information as well.

howtocurecancer on March 29, 2011:

I know hard it is. My mom is fighting cancer for the second time. This is the main reason I started blogging, to create awareness and to help others to save their lives.

Debbie from England on March 17, 2011:

Tears are falling down my cheeks as I write this. Thank you for sharing this story. Lensrolled to Brain Tumor... from a potential donor for the Anthony Nolan Trust.

Malu Couttolenc on March 16, 2011:

Rich you touched my heart, can't put into words what I'm feeling after reading your story..

A very well deserved PS

JeremiahStanghini on February 18, 2011:

A well deserved purple star!

With Love and Gratitude,


Kimsworld LM on February 14, 2011:

The Squid Quest was to comment on THE lens that touched you and made you remember it. There was no doubt in my mind that this is the most heart felt lens I have read. I can't imagine how difficult it was write.

So, to fulfill the the quest: I LOVE your lens.

Vikki from US on February 14, 2011:

Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story.........incredibly touching.

krish218 on February 12, 2011:

No words to express how touched I am ... You are really a great human being.. My best wishes to you and your family.

blessedmomto7 on February 07, 2011:

Wanted to let you know that this one is also featured on my blessings by blessedmombygrace lens.

blessedmomto7 on February 07, 2011:

wow, what a story. Blessed again.

Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on January 28, 2011:

I am touched and honored to have read your story. Going forward with your life is a tribute to the wife you lost to leukemia. Thank you for sharing such a powerful story.

clouda9 lm on January 28, 2011:

My Angel Blessing today is SWAH :)

rewards4life info on January 27, 2011:

What an emotional roller-coaster, such a powerful story. You have been through so much and seem so positive, it's amazing the amount of strength you have shown and have found your "silver lining". Thank you for sharing such an inspirational piece.

EuroSquid LM on January 21, 2011:

And some more Angel's dust for this amazing lens. Blessed.

CCGAL on January 16, 2011:

I wanted to come back and bless this lens the next time I was an angel, so now that I've got the Rocket Moms Wings for a week, here's some angel dust for you. ***Blessed***

goodbuytoyou on January 14, 2011:

As I read your story, I was in tears. Unfortunately, I know a little about what you went through. In May 2010, just 5 days after delivering my beautiful baby girl... my 4 year old son was diagnosed with leukemia. The events and emotions that you go through on this "journey" are impossible to describe (only someone that has gone through it can truly understand) - that being said, you did a BEAUTIFUL job! My son is currently in remission - PRAISE GOD - but he still has 3 years of chemo and treatments. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for writing your story - it helps to know that we're not alone. You know, at times we feel so isolated. I'm truly sorry for your loss! But glad that you found happiness with your new wife - your "silver lining." I wish you both all the best... Hoping that 2011 is a better year for all of us!

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on January 06, 2011:

Richard, I want to say congratulations on being listed on the 2010 Giant Squid Showcase and I also want you to know that you are still in my thoughts and prayers!

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on January 06, 2011:

Richard, I want to say congratulations on being listed on the 2010 Giant Squid Showcase and I also want you to know that you are still in my thoughts and prayers!

KimGiancaterino on December 30, 2010:

Just wanted to drop in again and congratulate you. This lens has touched many people. I wish you peace and happiness.

Spook LM on December 30, 2010:

One of the best I have ever read. I know that there has been more sadness in your life lately Richard, so am quite at loss what to say? Except that I admire your courage and wish you all the best for 2011 and a well deserved inclusion on the top 45.

Lisa from Rhode Island on December 30, 2010:

My heartfelt congratulations

greenerme on December 29, 2010:

So sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing this with everyone. Congrats on making the 2010 Giant Squid Showcase.

anonymous on December 29, 2010:

Stopping back in to congratulate you on your placement in the Top 45 of Giant Squid Showcase.

Julianne Gentile from Cleveland, Ohio, US on December 29, 2010:

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry for your loss. I found this lens from the best of 2010 page and this is definitely a well deserved honor. I hope that the new year finds you well.

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on December 29, 2010:

I had a very hard time reading this lens. You write so well and your pain is so evident that I am in tears as I write. My dad's cousin died of Leukemia a few years ago. My uncle, aunt and grandfather all died of various forms of cancer. Deady and painful, it is a disease that hurts not only the one suffering through it but also those around them. Virtual hugs, Richard, and thank you for sharing your story with us.

tandemonimom lm on December 29, 2010:

This is an amazing story and it took a lot of courage for you to share so openly. Thank you for it.

Mary Beth Granger from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA on December 29, 2010:

Congratulations on a well deserved making the 2010 Giant Squid Showcase. An excellent heartfelt lens. Blessed and added to my December Blessings.

Indigo Janson from UK on December 29, 2010:

This moving lens has well deserved its place in the 2010 Giant Squid Showcase. Wishing you brighter days ahead with happy memories of your loved ones taking the place of the sadness.

anonymous on December 28, 2010:

Oh my dear, this still does bring a tear. My heartfelt congratulations on having this love story included on the Best of List of the 2010 Giant Squid Showcase!

anonymous on December 28, 2010:

Beautifully written account of a heartbreaking story. You were brave to share it. Congrats on being in the showcase.

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