Every 4 minutes, someone in the US is diagnosed with a blood cancer; approximately every 10 minutes, someone dies from it. Nearly 150,000 new cases are expected this year.
In the April 19, 2014 post, I wrote a brief remembrance of my childhood friend, Sandee, who died of leukemia in 2010 just before her 58th birthday. In that post, I included a message from her husband, Mitch, who asked people to support his fundraising efforts (described in the post). Sandee left behind not only a bereft husband, but also three wonderful grown children; two (at the time) grandchildren; a mother who would herself die of lymphoma soon after her daughter; a mother-in-law who would also soon die of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; three siblings; many nieces and nephews, a large extended family; and many, many friends. I have had two other friends with blood cancers as well, one of whom died and one of whom, thankfully, is still with us. But even sadder still are the stories of children who suffer with and die from blood cancers.
About a month ago, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) called and asked me to be a neighborhood volunteer, delivering information to immediate neighbors asking them to consider donating to the fight against blood cancers. Yesterday, I hand-delivered LLS envelopes to some of my neighbors’ mailboxes, but electronic media are so much more far-reaching. So I ask anyone who sees—and shares—this post to please consider supporting this worthy society, as well as the many other organizations that are fighting cancers—and gradually winning the battles. Let’s help win the war.
This PDF—Leukemia & Lymphoma Society_Information on Blood Cancers—contains useful information about potential signs and symptoms of blood cancer, such as
- Unexplained anemia (Sandee actually had a known blood problem from 20 years ago, the treatment for which eventually led to leukemia)
- Excessive bleeding
- Chronic fatigue (one of Sandee’s most prominent symptoms)
- Recurrent fever (another one of Sandee’s most prominent symptoms)
- Unexplained back or bone pain
- Pain in joints or bones
- Recurrent infection
- Swelling of lymph nodes
- Easy bruising