Rose always wanted to hold a fundraiser for Alicia that she’d met in treatment. Alicia had done a newspaper chronicle about her illness and Rose recognized her one day and they formed the inevitable bond of breast cancer patients. Even at her sickest, Rose was constantly thinking of others. She was constantly talking about the excellent care she’d received from her doctors, nurses, and staff. From my perspective, Rose could not have received better treatment. Her fight for 10 years centered around her oncologist and the Infusion Center at UCSF (University of California, San Francisco).
Rose committed me to follow up on the fundraiser idea. She said, “Why don’t you start a blog and turn it into a book.” I don’t have a clue how Rose knew that I wanted to do it. I needed some way to channel my sadness which I recognized. Thus, “Blogging on Rose” began with Rose’s permission. I already had several going as writing is my hobby. Some have a garage full of tools, play golf, whatever, I write. So writing about Rose just seemed natural and I had just gotten an IPhone, so why not? Rose would say, “Look Out!, here comes his iPhone.” At first, I brought my computer, but somehow it seemed a little intrusive and distracting as I sat by Rose’s bed and pecked away. Rose mostly slept. ( iPhone users can just peck away). There’s no way for me to convey how significant to me and my own grief, writing about the struggle and the process truly was. Thanks Rose for allowing us to share your journey.
The trips to the Infusion Center were incredibly emotional. The staff at the UCSF Infusion Center are saints. There is no way for me to convey how great they are. It is almost worshipful as I watched them. I would not want to call them by name for fear that I might overlook someone. But, to me, once a patient entered those hallowed rooms, nothing else mattered but the care of the patient. It was no waiting, blood pressure, comfort, is this OK, want some water, tea. They’re a bunch of paratroopers, everyone of them.