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Okay, this one is definitely NOT fun. But it is real.
And we like to share things that are fact-based and real around here. In much the same way that we’ve shared the stories of Steve Vaught (aka ‘Fat Man Walking’… his words, not mine), Cancer Giggles — a site bringing joy to people living with cancer, and Mike’s secret blog for his pregnant wife called Love Lori, among others.
Today’s entry is about AT and BJ.
I first heard about their story through a friend of a friend over at the TennesseeBloggers.com website. Then some Rocky Top Brigaders went above and beyond to spread the prayer chain.
The end result was certainly something no one could have predicted. Especially since it happened so fast…
What started as “flu-like symptoms” on October 30, 2006 ultimately claimed BJ’s life just 18 days later on November 17, 2006.
I share AT’s story with you, for the same reason that he says he continues to write in his blog about it… with the hope that it will help someone else.
I will continue writing about my experiences, because it is therapeutic, and because maybe it will help you.
Trust me when I say, reading about what he went through… the ups, the downs, the emotional rollercoasters, the family turmoil, the support, the prayers, the lack of feeling, and the unknown… will definitely have an effect on you.
I spent several hours reading his blog last night and I stayed up way later than I had intended — simply because I could not pull myself away from AT’s touching story.
He has always had a blog (called AtomicTumor, hence the ‘AT’), and like most bloggers, he continued to write through the early stages of BJ’s illness. I’m certain that he would never have thought that he could write at such great lengths and with such great detail about something so tragic. But that’s just how it happened.
Blogs are like that. They are therapeutic, and raw, and real. And they enable us to write about whatever it is we are going through at the moment.
This is AT’s story… AtomicTumor.com
Just as touching are the hundreds (if not thousands) of commenters, many of whom have shared their own experiences in dealing with the same thing.
LissaKay, a friend of theirs, talks about the Memorial Fund for BJ Kilpatrick
on her blog. She also shares pictures of BJ (click “that’s not all I have to say” to see them), as well as this video:
Update: Have you ever heard of LifeGem? Me neither, but it’s something interesting that I learned about after reading AT’s blog. Check it out in his November 17th post.
Professionally, I pursued my Masters Degree in Family Therapy at Texas Tech — where I obtained invaluable expertise and experience helping people with a wide variety of physical and emotional health issues. Personally, I think it's useful when people realize that they're not the only one going through a difficult time. So any time that I think my personal health experiences would be helpful to someone else going through the same thing, I will share my story here. With health issues that I've personally experienced (like Endometriosis, Lyme Disease, Hysterectomy, Skin Cancer, Ganglion Cysts, Autism, and other topics that very few people enjoy talking about) and health products that I've found beneficial (like sleep aids, essential oils, and medications)… I do my best to provide my own raw and honest firsthand experiences that I think others would appreciate hearing about and (hopefully) find helpful. I'm grateful that I have a number of friends who have also been willing to share their very personal stories here — regarding their own physical and emotional health. When I'm not writing about health topics, you will find me sharing Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).