My father died of leukemia when I was a teenager. We had a turbulent history, as he regularly abused drugs and would bring me along on his "visits to friends" when I was too young to realize how damaging being surrounded by dangerous situations and being less important than his addictions was too my psyche. I finally refused to visit him until he cleaned up. He contracted leukemia shortly after, then died of complications related to the unfortunate combination of pneumonia, a bad head wound sustained when his weakened body gave out as he walked, and his needle-contracted hepatitis. I have always felt that if I hadn't decided - out of fear, anger, and hurt - to attend my 14th birthday party that he'd planned that weekend, he wouldn't have fallen and may have lived.