It has been four weeks since Bruce passed away, and I felt the need to write just a quick note to thank everyone again so much for all their support and best wishes. I now know what an incredible help those heartfelt words are, what solace it brings to read the comments about Bruce and what he has meant to so many.
I ventured back to Johns Hopkins nearly two weeks ago, to thank Bruce’s doctors and nurses for their amazing care and concern. We could not have asked for a better team – their dedication to Bruce and their other patients is truly astonishing.
In going back to the hospital I was also, of course, looking for answers. What happened that last day? Why did he suddenly fail after having such a good day just the day before? Unfortunately there were no hard and fast answers. The doctors told me they often see patients rally one last time before the end. They talked about his fragile state, how any one thing could have tipped the balance. His oncologist told me his mental picture was Bruce’s baseball cap just swimming on his head – that Bruce just couldn’t gain back the weight and strength he needed after his transplant. One of his pulmonologists said that Bruce was in incredibly hostile terrain – dealing with both the effect of the bone marrow transplant and his chronic GVHD.
One thing I’ve learned all too well is that there so much that doctors simply don’t know and can’t predict, let alone control.
So many people have told me that in reading the blog- they felt as though they had ventured along with us on this long journey. And really – all of you have. You’ve been there for the highs – and the lows. You’ve been there with words of encouragement and hope and wisdom and humor. As much as Bruce “gave” to others through the blog, he got back so much more from all of you. He was humbled and honored at your comments and your concern.
My children and I will join many others to walk in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night” walk later this month. We will think of Bruce and the brave fight he waged. We will think of all of you, right there with us.
The words “Thank You” somehow seem insufficient, but know that I mean them from the bottom of my heart.