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Journal entry by Erik Olin Wright

I decided to open this CaringBridge website to make it easier for people to get updates on my health status, but I still very much enjoy personal emails and letters rather than having all communications take the form of journal postings + comment threads. So don't hesitate to write to me directly at eowright@wisc.edu.  

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Journal entry by Erik Olin Wright

I have sent many of you the following account of what's going on:

On Friday, April 6, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. This was completely out of the blue – I had no symptoms at all. The suspicion was raised as a result of a pretty routine blood test and then confirmed by a bone marrow biopsy. Given my age and the details of the mutations involved, this is not the kind of leukemia that can be kept at bay by periodic cycles of chemo and remission. The only real approach is to try for a complete cure through intensive chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant which basically gives me an entirely new immune system. The whole process is fraught with potential problems ranging from glitches to set backs to catastrophes, but there is a non-remote possibility that at the end of the process I’ll be fully back to normal. That’s my plan!

 

We decided to have the treatments at the Froedtert Hospital of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee rather than in Madison. I activated my doctorly networks as soon as I had the news – my brother-in-law at the University of Florida medical school, and two doctors in Madison. They each talked to the hematology oncologist they knew with whom they had the most confidence. And all three said that the Medical College of Wisconsin was the place to go for stem cell transplants. I managed to get an appointment for consultations on Tuesday, April 10, with the lead doctors in both the hematology oncology team and the transplant team, and felt extremely good about them as people as well as their approach to the whole endeavor. We could have still done the first phase of the process in Madison, but it seemed better to have everything in one place.

The steps in the process, as best as I can tell, are:

1. A month of chemo, which began April 11, to produce a remission, defined as no longer detectable cancer. The chemo in this phase has a newly approved slow-release formulation which mutes the side-effects while still being more effective. So far, no nausea and no hair loss. If I get a full remission, then I move on to step 2. If not, repeat step 1.

2. 4-6 weeks of recovery from the chemo. If the cancer recurs in that period, go back to step 1. If not, on to step 3. To get the information requires bone marrow biopsies. As a psychologist friend of said, alluding to rat studies, “I wouldn’t press a bar for it.”

3. The stem cell transplant. This involves finding a match from a registry of 27 million donors worldwide. As I understand the process, there are eight specific genetic markers, so a perfect match is 8 for 8. One doesn’t need a perfect match to survive, but it reduces the chances of graft/host disease. Assuming an adequate match is found, then my entire immune system gets wiped out – not just the cancer cells, but everything. This is the kind of powerful high-side effect chemo that I associate with chemotherapy. This is going for broke. If the transplant fails, then that’s it. This is like getting a heart transplant: once the old heart is gone, the new one is what you have. With a good match, then the success rate is pretty high. All of this involves another month in the hospital.

4. Following the transplant hospitalization, we will have to live in Milwaukee fairly close to the hospital for 45 days because we will have frequent outpatient appointments, and there is a significant chance of infections requiring rehospitalization during this period. The big sources of catastrophe are infections and graft-host disease. More bone marrow biopsies. This, more or less, takes us to the end of the summer.

5. If I make it through 4, then we can return to Madison, with lab work being done in Madison, and periodic trip to Milwaukee for clinic visits for six months or so.

6. By sometime next spring, back in the saddle!

I am now in the midst of step 1 of the treatment. As the lemming said in freefall half way down the cliff, "so far so good."  When I wrote this to one of my students, he replied immediately: fortunately there was a trampoline at the bottom of the cliff.  I’m feeling hopeful, and even optimistic, but of course there are so many ways this can be derailed that I also try to be cheerfully realistic. What I absolutely will try my best NOT to do, is let the prospect of dying in the next few months contaminate the time while I am alive. We all die. That’s not news. And the one thing I know for sure that while I am alive I’m not dead. So why spoil it.

I like to think of this as an expedition into an unknown wilderness with perils rather than a catastrophe from which to be rescued. I still have no plans to retire when I get through this adventure and hope to be back in action in 2019.

 

 


 

 

 

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Journal entry by Erik Olin Wright

I am going to keep a running list of all of the positive things about having acute myeloid leukemia. When grad students from California come to Wisconsin and seem worried about the winters I tell them, "You need to find some reason to regret the end of winter." For me it is cross-country skiing. So, here are some items already on my list:

1. I ate my first bowl of ice cream in 25 years. In 1993 I switched to a strict low fat diet for cardio-vascular reasons. At that time the recommendation was just "low fat." Since then there has been a much more nuanced set of recommendations about different kinds of fats, and refined carbohydrates are now seen as especially bad for cardio health. But one constant through the 25 years is that saturated fat is bad for you, so no ice cream for a quarter of a century. The doctors and nutritionist here tell me that I need lots of calories in this battle, and that since my appetite is likely to decline, I should just drop the restrictions. Marcia got me Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream and I ate an entire bowl.

2. Marcia agreed to watch Games of Thrones. I enjoyed listening to the Game of Thrones  audiobooks (while exercising) and had seen some of the episodes in the HBO series, but Marcia doesn't like movies with a lot of violence, so I could never convince her to watch it with me. She felt that "under the circumstances" she would give it a try. She still doesn't watch the many violent bits, but she is enjoying the characters, the saga, and the strange mélange of fantasy and medieval realism.

3. I get a month vacation just with Marcia in an exotic location with beautiful views of Milwaukee from the 8th floor of our "home away from home."

4. For the first time in 42 years as a professor, my must-to-do-with-a-deadline list is empty. 
When I initially got the diagnosis I knew that I would have to cancel a range of plans, especially an interesting trip to give lectures in Italy, Germany and Norway in late May and early June. Once I got here I was told I should basically cancel everything until the end of 2018, and possibly longer. I began by informing anyone whose own plans would be directly affected by my situation, and then cancelled everything. This involved finding other people to take over various responsibilities for some conferences I had organized, arranging for my teaching to be covered one way or another for the rest of the semester, telling graduate students that I wouldn't be able to write comments on dissertation drafts, taking a leave of absence of the Politics & Society editorial board, etc. The result is an empty list of things with deadlines. I still hope to do some writing on the book I am finishing, and perhaps clearing my desk will make this even easier.

I will add more things to this list as time goes by.

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Journal entry by Erik Olin Wright

It is hard not to have a military metaphor for treating cancer. Battling cancer. Putting up a heroic struggle. Chemotherapy is chemical warfare. My doctors are a war cabinet planning their attack. The nurses tend the wounded. And the war has a narrative structure, with skirmishes and battles, strategic retreats, rallying the troops, endlessly spying on the enemy.

Two nights ago was the first serious skirmish: my temperature spiked modestly and I went through  six or seven hours of chills and night sweats (I soaked six hospital gowns in the course of the evening), feeling really awful. Up until that point, I never felt sick. I could gleefully say in emails that the diagnosis was out of the blue -- no symptoms. I was immediately put on various IV-drip prophylactic antibiotics and heightened visits from staff. The fever broke around midnight and I immediately felt much better. The rest of the night was shaky, but not terrible. And during the course of the day I felt continuously better.

The whole episode fits the military metaphor. August, 1914. World War I begins. Cheering in the streets. Young men volunteer in droves in Britain. We'll be back by Christmas. They land in Flanders, march off to Flanders a couple of weeks later. All very Jolly. I was diagnosed April 6, arrive here April 11 symptom-free. I didn't cheer the war, mind you, but there was no real dread. When asked how things were going I would reply, "If I didn't have a dire illness, I would code all of this in the 'interesting' column." The illusion disappeared when I reached the front. All hell breaks loose. Confusion, uncertainty as a lived reality rather than intellectual perspective. Is this what its like? Is this the "New Normal". But then the bombardment suddenly stops. Things calm down. Now a full day later it is like being on leave from the front, hanging out in a pub, comfortable, at ease.

So, what happened was not a "New Normal", but an episode. This is reassuring, of course -- it is easier to tolerate pain knowing it will end. Torturers know this, is why they try to avoid killing someone under torture and promise and end to torture if the target cooperates. I know that there will be much worse episodes in the war ahead and some will be extended for days, maybe longer. But there will also be periods of leave from the front.

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Journal entry by Erik Olin Wright

A background event: I had a PICC line put in so that fluids in IV bags could go directly to a  catheter that threaded to a vein that emptied directly into my heart. The procedure involves real-time x-ray images to guide the catheter. Later, I was asked by my hematologist, "Did you ever have TB? The doctors are concerned because of the images during the PICC line insertion." I knew what was at issue. When I was about 8 years old I had histoplasmosis. That left some benign scarring on my lungs. Doctors freak out whenever I have a chest x-ray. That seemed to calm things down. But a few days later....

The scene: Saturday morning (April 20) my lead hematologist, Dr. Michaelis, noticed some pink spots on my forehead: "Are those new?" Marcia had commented to me about them before: "Yes, they started a few days ago, right after the chemo." The doctor approached me and asked, "Are they tender?" "I don't know. Nobody's poked them." So she poked them. The largest was tender. She decided to ask the dermatology team to come and look at them. One possibility, I was told that the histoplasmosis had been reactivated by the collapse of my immune system. After 63 years? Unlikely, but histo is a fungal disease, and fungi can be dormant for a very long time. I want the dermatology team to look at this.

The event: 
So in the afternoon, a dermatology resident came to my room. She examined me head to toe and found a number of other such spots. She returned later with the head of the dermatology team to do a biopsy of the largest of these spots. There are many possibilities, many of no consequence, some that should be treated. Histoplasmosis is one possibility, but they willtest for all sorts of things.The biopsy is to be taken from the right side of my neck, near my shoulder. I am lying on the bed. The procedure is pretty simple: a numbing shot, then a couple of thin scalpel samples, then stich it all up to minimize the scar. She asks me what I do. I tell her I'm a sociology professor. What is your research on? I then launch into an explanation of the idea of real utopias, and that leads to a discussion of the ward at Froedtert Hospital which is my current home and why I think it has some real utopian qualities. I'm sort of giving a lecture. I emphasize one very specific aspect of what seems to be the culture of this unit: the doctors really listen to the patients. I'm speaking of course only from my observations of how I am treated: some of the doctors hang out in my room when they do their daily visit; they always listen attentively; they never seem impatient, wanting to get on with things. I go on in professorial mode: I know that efficiency matters, but here at least it does not seem to be the highest priority. The quality of caregiving, of caring, is what strikes me. The young dermatologist fellow continues to stitch up the wound, listening attentively. The lecture continues. Sometimes these issues are referred to "bedside manners", but that makes it seem more like being polite. This is about creating human connections that matter, and to really matter they need to matter to both parties. It is hard to fake it; to pretend it matters when it doesn't. 

I then paused and saw the scene as a whole in my mind's eye: me, lying on the bed with my head at the foot of the bed, chattering away about ideas, values, social analysis; and a young doctor, focusing intently on the lower right side of my neck, doing her part to heal me. I said, emotions welling up suddenly making it hard to get the words out, "I guess I'm being a professor giving a lecture." She put her hand on my chest and said some comforting words. But of course my half-sobs were not coming from despair or sadness, but from the emotional intensity of this time where my feelings of identity and connection figure so powerfully in my everyday being, not just as a background context of being. And seeing, experiencing, my identity as a professor wend its way into this particular moment in this particular way, filled me with feeling.

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Journal entry by Erik Olin Wright

I hadn't planned on using this website to give regular updates of the clinical Medical Condition report variety, but I think it is probably worth doing very short versions of that from time to time. I will call these entries simply: Medical Update. So here is Medical Update #1:

I am feeling very well with no symptoms other than fatigue. All the relevant numbers are moving in the right direction according to script. The chemo was confined to days 1,3 and 5. This is day 13. The bone marrow biopsy is schedule for day 20 (April 30) which will give us the critical information about remission during this phase of the treatment.

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Journal entry by Erik Olin Wright

The simplest and most obvious reason I am writing this is a kind of efficiency: Many people want to know how things are going and it is easier to have regular postings easily accessible to anyone then to send this information to people one at a time. I've decided to have a specific posting called Medical Update to make this aspect of the journal clear.

But informational updates is not for me the main thing. I am having a rich and interesting experience, and needless to say, one that triggers lots of thoughts and reflections. I know that some of you will be interested in my musings, and again, the easiest way to share is to post. I would in any case be writing these kinds of musings, something I often do when I travel. I haven't in the past ever posted my travel journals, but in this instance I thought many of you would want to read about my travel to the land of acute myeloid leukemia, so why not share?

But there is another thing in play here, which I am finding quite salient. I am finding writing about what is happening very comforting to me. Comforting -- maybe therapeutic. I love to write. It is a source of joy, not just because the product may be good sometimes, but because there are moments in the process in which I feel an elevated positive emotional intensity, some combination of contentment and excitement. When I am fully immersed in writing on some interesting problem I am often thinking about it in the back of my mind all the time. One way I drift off to sleep is to think about a piece on which I am working, go over the overall narrative arc, and then think about some specific expositional problem. Multitasking sleep and composition, and waking in the morning with new ways of moving forward. Writing often makes me happy -- not always, of course: there are those damn deadlines that can undermine things. But here there are no deadlines. I'll write when I can. And share the writing with you because part of the happiness I get comes from the pleasure and meaning some of this may have for the people I love. 

Journal entry by Erik Olin Wright

In order to provide some gentle encouragement for patients to get some exercise, the bone marrow transplant ward has organized a "marrow-thon". The ward is configured as a figure-8. Eight full laps is about a mile, so 210 laps is about the length of a proper Marathon. If you complete this during your stay here, you get a t-shirt of someone pushing an IV pole over the finish line. This, I thought, was kind of cute and endearing -- making the activity like the  weekend 10K "run for the cure." I didn't need the t-shirt as a motivator since I'm good at doing what doctors tell me I should do because of the health benefits. Still, it added a little jokey fun to the task.Ten laps a day is set as the goal. When I first arrived I walked pretty briskly down the corridors. I was without an attached IV pole, but others had them and were shuffling along. This is one of the few contexts in which I see other patients. Some walking clockwise, others counterclockwise. We greet each other as we pass, but don't really engage in conversation. I also attended at PT class designed to keep us active. Only one other person was with me in the class. Why not others, I thought. The exercise would be good for them; why don't they make the effort? 

That was the first week. In the second week my energy level declined steadily; I had some very tough nights; I was operating under different parameters. A few days ago, after missing one whole day of laps towards the marrow-thon t-shirt, I went for the walk with Michael Burawoy who was visiting from Berkeley. I'm sure we were walking too fast for my current state. After half a lap I was finding it hard to talk and walk at the same time, so we slowed down; I stopped talking; but we kept on. As we approached my room I thought, should I stop? No, I said to myself, do another lap. I started shaking as we rounded the next corner and very quickly it became clear that this was not a question of willingness to exert the effort, but of some real limit. I couldn't get words out through my shivering. Michael helped me get back to the room. I fell into the bed, and was back to some sort of equilibrium within 5 minutes.

Of course I knew before all of this that one can never really tell how much "effort" a person is expending just by looking from the outside at what they do. But I also realized that I had been softly judgmental about patients who didn't seem to be putting out the effort to go to the PT class or participate in the corridor walking. Even in this context of very sick people -- right, that's me, a "very sick person" -- I was implicitly acting out a work ethic of effort-as-virtue. So stupid. Of course, when there is a shared task and some people do not seem to be pulling their weight, sharing the burden, there are grounds for judgment on grounds of unfairness and free-riding, but that is about the distribution of effort and not the sheer fact of effort. And even there observations may be misleading because the internal burden may not map well onto perceived effort.

I have always silently felt I could deal with challenging situations through effort and willpower. Something hard might take longer, but I could expend the needed effort through sheer will. I know I wouldn't have defended that view, but something like that was in my heart. Will power may matter, and exerting effort is important for accomplishing goals, but the capacity to exert effort may just be outside of one's control.

Journal entry by Erik Olin Wright

Every day, I try to call my mother, Beatrice Wright, who lives in an assisted living facility in Madison, She is over 100 years old, nearly blind, very frail. Before I got sick I would try to visit her every day, usually on my way home biking from the University.

We had established a very nice routine for these daily times together. I would begin by asking her, how are you feeling today, and almost always she would answer "Good enough", and I would say, "that's the right answer, you pass the test". Occasionally the reply would be with gusto, "Good enough!!" and I would say, "that sounds like good enough plus." We would laugh together.

In recent months one of the things we would do during our visits is discuss lyrics to familiar songs. Sometimes she would suggest a song; sometimes I would. My mother was a distinguished professor of rehabilitation psychology, and often I would pick a song in which I could use our conversations to invoke her professional past and, when appropriate, the ideas that animated her academic life. Once we had chosen a song, I would look it up on the Internet. Often we would discover that there were  surprising lyrics after the first more familiar verse, or on some occasions fantastic alternative verses. Last week, when I called from the hospital, we studied "American 'Tis of thee" together. The original version was published in the early 1830s as a patriotic song proclaiming the glories of America the land of liberty. In the 1840s an abolitionist version appeared:

My country, 'tis of thee,
Stronghold of slavery, of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Where men man’s rights deride,
From every mountainside thy deeds shall ring!

My native country, thee,
Where all men are born free, if white’s their skin;
I love thy hills and dales,
Thy mounts and pleasant vales;
But hate thy negro sales, as foulest sin.

Let wailing swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees the black man’s wrong;
Let every tongue awake;
Let bond and free partake;
Let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

Our father’s God! to thee,
Author of Liberty, to thee we sing;
Soon may our land be bright,
With holy freedom’s right,
Protect us by thy might, Great God, our King.

It comes, the joyful day,
When tyranny’s proud sway, stern as the grave,
Shall to the ground be hurl’d,
And freedom’s flag, unfurl’d,
Shall wave throughout the world, O’er every slave.

Trump of glad jubilee!
Echo o’er land and sea freedom for all.
Let the glad tidings fly,
And every tribe reply,
“Glory to God on high,” at Slavery’s fall.

We had a great time with those verses, and for me the experience of the two doing this was powerful and moving: two professors mother and son, one 100 years old, the other 71, both in assisted living facilities -- one in a retirement community, the other a cancer ward in a hospital -- discussing the lyrics of a song.

Another sweet moment was in a discussion of the line from "America the Beautiful". When I read the line: "And crown thy good with brotherhood", my mother said: "Rickey. It should be 'Crown they good with siblinghood. Otherwise people will feel it only applies to men." That is the mother I have known since childhood: always on the lookout for ways to improve things, and especially keen on the power of language to alter perception. Professionally she championed the change in discourses of physical disability from "Disabled persons" to "a person with a disability."

A few days ago I suggested "I Whistle a Happy Tune" from the musical The King & I. Broadway Musicals are an important part of the soundtrack of my childhood. My Dad loved them. He had a special LP turntable which played one side of an LP from below and then the other side from above. In the King & I there is a song early on in which a little boy is afraid of the people he is meeting in Siam and his mother comforts him by telling him that when she is afraid she pretends she is brave by whistling a happy tune. An early line in the song says:

The result of this deception
Is very strange to tell
For when I fool the people
I fear I fool myself as well!

Later there is a stronger claim:

Make believe you're brave
And the trick will take you far.
You may be as brave
As you make believe you are

Here you are not just fooling yourself, you actually became brave.

Later I reflected a bit about the meaning behind the lyrics as they bear on my situation. There are no "people I fear" which need fooling, but for sure there are fearful things and I want to face these fearful things "bravely". I don't think I am making believe I am brave in order to actually become brave, but there is a shadow of that sort of idea: I know that if I focus on the fearful possibilities it will undermine my sense of hopefulness. But deliberately focusing on the positive is not fooling oneself. I am also not  "putting on a brave face," which is more about hiding one's inner state from others, maybe because looking brave gets public approval. I have to admit that it does make me feel good when people comment that I am confronting my illness with courage. But I don't feel I am acting this way to elicit those compliments. Mostly, I think, I have just decided that the best way for me to deal with these fearful possibilities is to acknowledge them, and put them aside since I don't want them to interfere with my fully living my life.

That is easier to do now while I still feel physically well and the dire possibilities are still in the distance.








Journal entry by Erik Olin Wright

Sideshows. A lovely metaphor used by doctors. Strolling down the Midway toward the Big Top where the main event takes place. Barkers are shouting for attention, hoping to get you into their amusement. They are insistent and very annoying, demanding you to come in. The Big Top is where I want to go, but the damn Barkers -- symptoms that scream at you -- persuade you to enter. They cannot be ignored. 

Sideshow #1. Diabetes insipidus. The initial symptoms that ultimately lead to the leukemia diagnosis were extreme thirst and an almost continual urge to pee. Those symptoms suddenly emerged in early March. It took about a week for the diagnosis to be worked out. During that time I in my undergraduate lecture I either had to avoid drinking anything for a hour before and then give the lecture with a totally parched mouth, or I had to take a break half way through to pee. Anyway, after a week of tests and a referral to the UW endocrinology clinic, the diagnosis was definitive: my pituitary was not producing a hormone needed to regulate salt balance in the blood, kind of parallel to the way insulin regulates glucose balance. Regular diabetes is diabetes mellitus, meaning sweet diabetes because urine tastes sweet due to the high glucose concentrations. Urine with diabetes insipidus has a bland task. A nasal spray, twice a day, of a medication called Desmopressen instantly solved the problem. 

Fast forward a month. I'm in the hospital for acute myeloid leukemia. One morning I gave a squirt of the nasal spray and felt that I hadn't gotten a proper spray. The recommendation in such a case is to take another dose when symptoms reappear, which I did about eight hours later, and then took a dose at night. The result was that I was slightly overdosed for a period. This leads to a fall in sodium concentration below normal levels. That lead to some concern by the medical team, since low sodium levels can cause significant problems. When this worked itself out, the endocrinology team suggested that perhaps it would be a good idea to switch from the nasal spray delivery system to pills, a standard alternative, since then you never have to worry about the dose level. And, they said, a hospital is a good setting in which to do this, since often it takes some trial and error to get the dosage right; there is no simple algorithm to go from the spray to pills.  

So, we began the experiment. The nasal spray dose is 10 micrograms of medication. They began with a dose of 75 micrograms of the oral medication. A larger dose is needed because the medication has to be absorbed through the gut to get into your system. That had no effect whatsoever; it was just like having completely untreated insipidus. Then 100 was tried. Minimal effect. Then 150. A couple of hours of relief, then what the endocrinology doctors calls "breakthrough", meaning that the underlying condition breaks through and full symptoms reappear. Sounds more like breakdown than breakthrough. 200 micrograms still only gave a few hours of relief. This went on more or less for a day: periods of a few hours of controlled D.I. followed by having to pee every 20 minutes. The dose got close to the upper limit. The endocrine team didn't have a specific explanation for why the oral medication was proving so ineffective, but probably it had to do with something from the chemo interfering with absorption. Experimenting in the hospital for a shift to pills sounded good, but of course this didn't take into consideration exactly why In was in the hospital. So, in the end we decided to drop the experiment and stick with the nasal spray. Works fine. The Sideshow is closed.

Sideshow #2. Little red skin spots. A few days after the chemo cycle ended, some red spots appeared, first on my face and then on my neck and chest. Dr. Michaelis noticed them during her daily visit and asked Marcia if they were new. Marcia, ever vigilant, could confirm that they were. The dermatology team was called into action along with the infectious disease team. Because I had had a fungal infection, histoplasmosis, as a kid and fungal infections can be very serious with a compromised immune system, the dermatology team took this very seriously. A biopsy; increased prophylactic anti-fungal medication; daily inspections.  My brother-in-law, Ken Rand, a professor of infectious diseases, was in the loop on all  of this and was also concerned about various dire possibilities. Perhaps a tiger escaped from the Big Top and was wondering into the dermatology tent. But now, five or six days later, fungal infections have been ruled out, the spots are fading and the path reports indicate the condition is probably folliculitis -- inflammation around hair follicles caused either directly by the chemo or by skin bacteria, but not something that is threatening. The sideshow is closed.

                                                                      *
The problem with the sideshows is that sometimes they turn out to be a side door to the Big Top. You never know. 

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Journal entry by Erik Olin Wright

Hi everyone, 

This is Becky, Erik's daughter, writing.

Erik died just after midnight last night.

Marcia, Jenny, Michael Burawoy and I were all there with him. Yesterday morning, he had a fever and complained of pain; and things moved very quickly to a point where he was not able to be responsive.  We did what we could to make him comfortable, and the nurses and doctors at Froedtert were helpful, compassionate, and supportive. We spent time during the day and evening together reminiscing and laughing and holding his hand. We talked about how he would have had so much fun being there with all of us. Marcia finished reading him The Clearing so he could hear the ending.  We believe he was peaceful at the end.

We know how much this Caringbridge site has meant to him over the past months, and the community that has formed here is truly remarkable. It's been a great source of comfort and inspiration to read the comments here.  We are grateful for these ways that we get to continue to experience his great love of people, life, and the world. Thank you for being a part of that.
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Erik’s Story

Site created on April 19, 2018

Erik is in treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. He is keeping this journal to share his musings on this experience as well as to update people on his condition.

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