My husband got a message on Facebook from his sister: “Call Mom”.
It turned out that her best friend and condo mate had died. Of leukemia. Within four days of diagnosis. No, that’s not a typo. Four days.
My mother in law and her friend were like the latterday Golden Girls of Quebec City. They hung out, they went to parties, they celebrated things like St. Patrick’s Day with a vehemence that would put me under the table. They were enjoying their retirement years to the fullest.
Some time ago, the friend noticed she was a little tired and had some bruising on her body but chalked that up to overdoing it in the fun department and ignored it. The fatigue persisted. Then one day, her gums started to bleed. Not like they would if you brushed too hard or were too heavy handed with the floss, but seriously heavy bleeding. They went to the hospital. Hours and many vials of blood taken later, the diagnosis was in: leukemia.
My mother in law was – and still is – shattered. How does someone go from fun loving crazy lady to dead in four days? She ignored her body. There were signs but she chose to ignore them. We’ll never know if she ignored them consciously or not but ignore them she did.
She was younger than my mother in law and, had this been discovered, she would have been healthy enough for a marrow transplant or other medical interventions. By the time they found it, the doctors were unwilling to give a prognosis but apparently, it was clear to all that she wasn’t leaving the hospital. The friend re-wrote her will and spent time with her friends and family. And then it was over. Just like that.
Don’t ignore your body.