A Moment At A Time & Unknown Life Expectancy

Unknown Life Expectancy Unit

Jer Sooz & Ted

Two Years One Day After Initial Brain Tumer Removal Surgery

The first sign we had a problem was a seizure June 3rd, 2010. 4 days later surgeons removed a 2 inch tumer from my husbands right medial lobe. Lab tests showed it to be sent from skin cancer. 22 sessions of radiation, 3 months of chemo and 5, 5 day Bio-chem treatments over the past years and ! 3 months ago I rushed him to the ER.

What were thought to be two turned out to be 5 new tumers showed up in his brain. These were removed through radial-cranial surgery at Sunset KAISER Radiology-Oncology shortly after the trip to the ER. The 5 lasers did destroy the tumers, but when I asked the radial surgeon of the real prognosis his answer was “well, I can assure you no cancer will grow exactly where we removed those 5 from. It most likely will recur in the brain”. That’s all.

After that we drove home to Bakersfield discussing the days to come. We stopped in Castaic CA at Foster’s. As we got back in the car my husband said, “I am starting to feel that headache the surgeon said would be coming on and it’s a doozy”.

That headache never went away. As a matter of fact it became worse as the days passed. There was a lot of resting, dizzyness, steroids, pain medication … more resting. Trouble sleeping, difficulty focusing, memory problems visual and hearing impairments; only a few of what a day in the life of one very tough man suffered each and every day since.

He refused the morphine offered and used ever increasing amounts of hydrocodone. Now I understand why that decision, as, it probably shoud only be used in a hospital setting.

Living life with Cancer, knowing the end is going to be sooner than you’d want it to be, all the appointments, treatments, fears, and oh the cost of it all. It’s difficult to enjoy each day knowing every symptom we are rushing off to an appointment to treat is only a temporary fix for a side effect.

The reality that once discovered/detected, many a cancer has already infiltrated ones body enough to take a terminal hold. Every element of our lives had been shaken to the core. The quality of life issues accompanied by the financial hit we took went well beyond the pale.

I am writing this while my husband is still alive because he wouldn’t be if I had not been reminded he served in the military from 1972 to 1976. With “no options left” I called the Veterans Administration, who welcomed him to their care a month ago.

This is how it went down. After I called his Home Health Nurse who rushed to the house and examined him, she suggested it was time to call Hospice, as he was not responsive I finally did. They rushed him to a Nursing Home where he fell out of bed the first night, and again the next day fell en route to the bethroom. The nursing home (or should I call it “Place Mis-representing as a Quality Care Facility”) informed me Friday, his second day there I would have to begin paying $8,000 a month or find another place for him by Monday. A full tank of gas in my Ford Focus, looking for reasonable care, and nothing but places that resembled Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, and worse.

If left to the processes of our supposedly best healthcare plan possible the end would have been without any dignity whatsoever and a lot of confusion, pain and agony. Or, of course we could have gone well beyond our means for sub-standard care, he would continue to suffer an agonizing and inhumane last few days, weeks or months and for the rest of my life I wouldn’t be able to afford to live.

This is an example of hard choices for ones who love those with a terminal illness, that have to be made right away.

Friends, know what your medical/health and legal options are, plan ahead on every level where health is concerned and be prepared. If you haven’t gotten the basic papers in order (the Advanced Directive, a will, or a Living Trust, the Power of Attorney and a Polst, if the ill one is at the home) while you are still capable do it now.

I say this with love and compassion. Sooz

Collaborative Cancer Research Can Save Lives Let’s Stand Up 2 Cancer

 http://www.standup2cancer.org/

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