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Thomas Bland


   Class of '00 / Died: 7-25-01

(By his daughter, Tina Michelle Bland Smith;

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 here.

So, this is to the greatest Dad, Son, Father-in-law, and Grandfather there was: We All Love You,
He was always there for us and we were there for him till the end!

Tina Michelle Bland Smith



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