Class of '00 / Died: 7-25-01
(By his daughter, Tina Michelle Bland Smith; OctoberAngel71@aol.com)
July 23, 2001: I don't know if this should be
a story of his death or just him recovering, because at this time he is not
doing good. He was diagnosed with MM back on September, 2000, after suffering
with the hip pain so bad the man could barely walk. His doctor told him that it
was arthritis, then his mouth started swelling up and his tongue. The doctor
told him he had a clean bill of health told him the mouth swelling was allergies.
So he went to an allergist, and the allergist ran blood tests and found high proteins
in the blood and something abnormal in the blood test. So he went back to his
doctor and then the doctor told him he was fine.
Well, the problems only got worse as time
progressed. Finally, the doctor told him, "I am going to send you to a specialist
for blood." After all that, the specialist told him, "We have bad news,
Mr. Bland. You have a rare type of cancer called Multiple Myeloma." It
crushed him and me, and the whole family really worried, "Is this man
we all depend on going to leave us at such a young age?"
So they started chemo for three months
straight and then they said, "This is not working. It is fighting us
too much. You need to go for radiation." So he got all the details on the radiation.
The specialist said he should live a normal life and walk right through this
with flying colors. He did great, started getting back to the things he loved to
do, and then like a bomb dropped on him one day the problems started again.
Now it is July 22, 2001 and he is in the
intensive care unit and he is not really conscious. They say he gets one
infection after another and the bone marrow is not producing the cells he needs.
The platelets are just being eaten as fast as they pump them in. He only
weighs (I would say) 100 pounds, and they tell us that he most likely will not
walk out of the hospital. He will live this way the rest of his life. I
know he would hate to live like this. He can't breathe for himself. The respirator
is doing the breathing for him, but he knows we are there for him and I hope he
realizes that if there was something I could do for him, God, I would. But
I guess it is a matter of time until the Lord takes him home, or, like the
doctor said, a big miracle would happen.
I am not much for miracles but I wish one
would happen for my dad, so I can have him back and tell him everything I want
to tell him. I just don't understand how the Lord can take someone with so much
sprit to live, and so much will to stay here. It just does not seem right, he is
only 54. My God, why him!
When I sent this on July 23, 2001, he was
in bad shape, and and all my world came to and end when the doctors told us on
July 25, 2001 that he had no hope and they thought at this point that they were
not prolonging his life, they were prolonging his Death. I was beginning to
think to same thing, so at 11:30 on July 25, 2001, we told them to unplug the
machine that was keeping him breathing and he took three deep breaths and
he was gone just like that. So at 12:45
he went to become an angel in the sky. But I am selfish, I would rather have him
So, this is to the greatest Dad, Son,
Father-in-law, and Grandfather there was: We All Love You,
Tom. He was always there for us and we
were there for him till the end!
Tina Michelle Bland Smith