I knew Thomas very briefly. Thomas doesn’t have liver cancer anymore. He battled cancer diligently for years, I’m told.

Thomas died on my birthday.

I wish I’d had the courage to hug him two weeks ago, but I was a little afraid of his abdomen which protruded as a result of an on-going draining procedure. And I was a little afraid because I knew him as a resident at my work, and I don’t want to pick favorites and treat people differently. But damn, talk about a missed opportunity to take comfort and give comfort to a kindred soul going through a similar torture as me.

Thomas understood me very well just standing in my doorway, and I’ll always be grateful for his compassion without pity.

Thomas will live in my memory forever. I will honor my promise to him to keep fighting and live though this. It’s worth the fight for me.

For Thomas, though? When last we talked, Thomas knew his time was near. He didn’t want more poking, more blood draws, more stop-gap procedures, more traveling… Thomas was very tired, and he wanted peace.

Dear friend, you shall have rest now. I’m sorry for me, but I’m glad you’re free.

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