This blog is something I find myself driven to create in my search for why I am still alive. This post is a short history of almost two years living with cancer. I will try not to be wordy as I write and edit it.
In the fall of 2016 I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Doctors in the hospital had big plans for me, that included exploratory surgery of my stomach. As soon as I learned about the presence of cancer in the biopsied tumor, I refused further medical treatment. Shortly thereafter I started receiving end-of-life care from a local hospice.
April 7, 2017 my physical health had deteriorated to the point that it was no longer safe for me to live in my apartment. This made me eligible for a bed at the hospice house across the river in Salem, Oregon. Doing research and talking to persons who had family members and loved ones who died from cancer, I really believed that I only had a couple weeks left to live.
I lived for a year in the hospice waiting to die. My Medicare benefits ran out because I didn’t die within six months. An updated MRI of the biopsied area did not show any new tumors. But the diameter of the bleeding tumor that made me anemic and brought me into the ER in the first place was 5cm in diameter. The medical literature I read spoke about one and two centimeter tumors. Doctors were also advised by the literature to be honest about death from cancer with their patients and to try to recruit those no longer curable as guinea pigs for experimental drug studies.
Had the cancer metastasized? Good question. The hospice house needed my bed after I was “kicked over the fence” as a cancer survivor. I now live in an adult foster home as just another older adult needing help with daily living.