Thursday, May 05, 2016

Cancer sucks

That's not a very daring statement, is it? You never find anyone speaking up for cancer, do you?

But the terrible illness is terribly top of mind right now because of Katie. She's a charming, hardworking young member of our team, about 25. And so sweet! After one of our former coworker's lost her husband in a tragic plane crash almost exactly one year ago, Katie and her husband took it upon themselves to go over to the woman's home and cut her grass when they cut their own -- just because they knew it was a chore the late husband handled and they weren't sure the widow, a working mother, was on top of it.

She's newly wed, with a new home and a bright future ahead of her. So this should be a wonderful time for her, but it's not. Katie's dear older brother is losing his battle with a fast-moving form of cancer. Despite chemotherapy, it's moved from his kidney to his chest and liver.

Her brother's treatment began five months ago in the small town in downstate Illinois where the family lives. Then he moved up here to Chicago's premier comprehensive cancer center. Now he's moved to the Mayo Clinic and is undergoing more targeted therapy with a new and very expensive drug.

With her brother in Minnesota, Katie simply can't spend the time she wants to with him. She's distracted, naturally, and her work has suffered.

But we're all on her side. At her request, the agency made up some #TEAMJIM shirts for her brother's nurses and techs to wear. Individually we've kicked in about $200 to her brother's YouCaring fund, and a more formal fundraiser is being planned here at work to get more money to the family.

Katie doesn't deserve this heartache. I suppose no one does, but especially not Katie.

I seem to be surrounded by so much hurt these days. So many people in my life are plagued with worry, and I worry about them.

I'm tired. Physically and emotionally. I want to help but I lack the resources and imagination right now to help anyone.