When my sister was diagnosed with colon cancer in November 2006, I searched around the Internet for information. The NPR (National Public Radio) website has several blogs and one of them is called My Cancer, which up until a couple of days ago was written by Leroy Sievers, a former journalist who told his story through a series of blog posts for the two and half years he had the disease. This is a link to the blog. This is a link to NPR's remembrances of him.
Leroy died in his sleep Friday night. He and his partner, Laurie, were planning on transferring him to hospice soon, so I assume he died in his sleep in his own home.
I just visited the blog and became the 596th person to leave a comment there. Talk about having an impact. You wouldn't think this would be a new thing, to blog about cancer, but he just seemed to have a way of talking about the disease and how it affected so many aspects of his life. And, more importantly, he strove to be defined not soley by his cancer, but by other things he had done and believed in.
And the treatments. His cancer was in several places: spine, ribs, brain, lungs. And they would systematically treat each one and Leroy got more time out of it. He had many procedures besides chemo, and it was a lesson for me in what possible treatment options are available these days. He never went down the "alternative medicine" route, though, and I respect him for that.
He said that the blog was his greatest accomplishment. This from a person who was an embedded journalist in the Iraq war in 2003, and reported on crises from all over the world.
I hope that his partner Laurie will agree to carry on and blog about the grieving process. I know that when my sister died, there was a tendency for people to assume things had returned to normal before they really had.
*sigh* I'll miss you Leroy. It's like losing a friend.