Thursday, February 25, 2010

Were do they all go?

I was discussing some mutual CLL friends with the spouse of a (sadly) deceased CLLer. We both agreed that we had lost touch with a number of outgoing, well-regarded CLL patients. Where do they go? Have they died? Have they just moved on, and stopped posting on the various CLL lists?

I could, but won't, name names. I do know that on many occasions, we get the sad news from a spouse, son or daughter, that their loved one has passed away from this crappy disease. I remember one case that bothered me a lot. The daughter of a proud, older farmer who had developed CLL had written in asking for advice. I gave links to websites, put in my two cents on various subjects, and tried to help anyway I could. Unfortunately, her father passed away from CLL after only a couple of years.

But what about people who just disappear? I know in one case a woman who went through HDMP+R (high dose steroids plus rituxan), and followed it with Campath, had such a good response she just stopped posting. She let her website lapse. I feared the worst. But, she finally answered my e-mail. She said she was just putting CLL behind her. (What a wonderful outcome for her!)

Others just disappear without a trace, and I'm reluctant to e-mail them or search the obituaries. No news is good news, sort of thing. I suspect that most of the friends I've had with CLL (some of whom I've met in person) have passed away.

Really, I wish they'd have a loved one let us know what has happened. I know it might be difficult to let the rest of the world in on your grief. I've left instructions to my wife to write to various lists if and when I pass away. (It doesn't have to be from CLL, now does it? Car crashes kill over 40,000 people a year in the US.

One CLL memorial page is at: At least this page lets us know what happened to some of our CLL friends.


debbiedoesraw said...

Hey there
good point re; CLL people who disappear. On crazy sexy life forum we have a memorial page, helps us know who has passed etc. Most of us who have CLL will tell family what to do.. but the unexpected does happen and some folks just slip into the ether.

Barry B. said...

I have left instructions for my wife to post. When I was in the hospital the last time, she posted on my local yahoo group list and elsewhere.

So, hopefully, she's prepared.