Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sad news all around...ugh. :(

I heard from my friend Gloria yesterday. Our friend Carla seems to be succumbing to her very rare brain cancer. Carla was diagnosed in late October with Stage 4 Glioblastoma, a rare brain tumor, and things are not looking good. It's all started with a seizure she had at work, and after an MRI and other tests, the doctor told Carla that it appeared that she had a cyst in her brain that needed to be removed. Shortly after her surgery, the doctors explained to her that she had a very rare type of brain tumor, and that it was aggressive. At that time, she was given anywhere from 4 months to less than a year to live. Other doctors gave her hope, so they put her on radition and chemotherapy. Within weeks, her brain began to swell, and she experienced more seizures. Carla has not been in her home since before Christmas. She has been in and out of nursing homes and the hospital. Today, she's in the hospital. She continues to have seizures, and because of the steriods she's taking, is unable to walk at all. The past decade for Carla has brought her a lot of sadness. First, she loses her father, then her brother to cancer (he was in his 40s). In her mid-40s, Carla falls in love, and gets married for the first time. Her husband dies a few years later from a heart attack. Now that Carla is beginning to see the light again after suffering through so much darkness, this.

I met Carla while working at a law firm in the San Fernando Valley. I always thought she was a bit weird, but with a heart of gold. When I left the firm, I stayed in touch with Gloria and Dora, and we would often see each other. Carla I rarely saw, but we often communicated via e-mail or Facebook. In fact, just before her diagnosis, Carla was telling me she was looking forward to early retirement. She is now 55. I told her why not. She had inherited her dad's home. Her own home was almost paid for, she had a good union pension (her entire career as a legal assitant was spent at labor law firms which afforded her union membership with the Teamsters), basically that she was set for retirement. How sad. How very, very sad. :(

Gloria is not fairing that well either. She was diagnosed with MS a few years ago, and it's been making her very tired lately. Gloria is on her own, and has not re-married since her husband left her a single-mother many, many years ago. I don't know how she does it. My hat is off to this amazing lady.

Gloria also told me that our mutual friend Dora's 22 year old son is not doing that well either. Her son was recently diagnosed with a rare form of eye disease that required a corneal transplant. I just heard that the corneal transplant did not hold, and this young man right now has no vision. Ugh. My heart already went to Dora many years ago when I learned that her second born son was diagnosed with severe autism. Tony, her son with autism has no cognitive thoughts whatsoever, and does not even recognize his own mom. How does Dora do it...I just don't know. God bless my friends, Carla, Gloria and Dora. Many God give them strength and comfort during these difficult and frightening times in their lives. :(

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