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View Diary: WYFP: Freaking CANCER! (153 comments)

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  •  Cancer killed my husband years ago. (30+ / 0-)

    Just today, I chatted with a 39 yr old woman I had just won a family law case for.  She has custody of a lovely 14 yr old girl...finally!  And she has plans for them.
    And my client just got diagnosed with cervical cancer, has spots in her lungs, cancerous lymph nodes, lumps in both breast.
    No money for Christmas, only fuel for her truck to go to work and the dr.  I am going to buy them a prepaid VISA card.  They can spend $100 any way they wish.
    I am afflicted with human parvo and rocky mountain spotted fever.  Both.  At the same time.
    My middle finger on my left hand is so swollen it is liable to burst.  But at least I can walk now.
    I really have no problems.

    •  I am sorry about your illnesses, but yes, (23+ / 0-)

      it is awful about your client. Awful.

      Are you somewhere that she can get good cancer care? Really cutting-edge? Even Stage IV cervical cancer patients can be treated and time can be gained. If/when she has surgery, suggest to her that she check into a chemo sensitivity and resistance assay with some of her live biopsied tissue; it might help narrow her treatment choices so that it's not so hit-and-miss.

      When I was diagnosed with uterine (endometrial) cancer almost 2 years ago, I was at Stage IIIC2, with cancer in my lymph nodes. My chemo didn't work, and the cancer spread to my lungs. But fortunately for me, the next line of treatment recommended (anti-estrogenic hormones) has been effective. So far, so good. It's important for people with advanced cancer to know that some people can make it; the odds are aggregates.

      I should add that I'm doing allopathic oncology but also several complementary therapies. It is a steep learning curve to negotiate, so I hope that she has some good, smart support in getting through the medical maze. And some health insurance too. (Although if she doesn't--there are ways, as you probably already know.)

      Good luck to YOU for a full recovery, soon. Good luck to your client and her daughter too for the same.

      Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:24:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ((otc)) (11+ / 0-)

      It's giving even though you are in pain that makes you such a wonderful person.

      Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

      by Purple Priestess on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:34:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  peregrine kate and Purple Priestess (7+ / 0-)

        Thanks for the response.
        My client is minimum wage part time.  The reason she had such a tough time gaining custody of this kid was her precarious finances.  I sought out a resale store guy, and he donated her a bed room set for her kid.  I gave her a coffee table, a couple of end tables, and my paralegal gave her a convection oven.
        We are near Houston, and MD Anderson might accept her as a charity case.  
        As for myself, parvo doesn't lend itself to treatment. (as a rule).  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, when it doesn't kill you, is treated with doxycycline, which I took.
        I think I got the parvo in China last spring, and it may be chronic.  RMSF usually resolves iteself in a few weeks.
        Parvo is more painful than anything I have ever had, which includes broken bones, hep b, pleurisy, hysterectomy, etc...
        There have been days when I hurt so much, I had no interest whatsoever in living in that condition.  Other parvo sufferers say the same thing.
        It is no longer all over my body, now just in my hands and wrists.
        I am worried the 14 yr old will lose her mom, have to go back to her dad.  I fear for her life, if her mom does not beat this cancer.

        •  Oh dear, oh dear. (6+ / 0-)

          I was afraid you'd say something like this. Your client and her child sound so terribly vulnerable. Does she have any family nearby to be supportive, who have the resources to be, that is? Church or other community connections? I'm sorry, it's not as though I think you haven't thought of all this already :( It is a great thing that you have extended yourself so far already to help her out. What a shame that she is so ill.

          If she can indeed get connected with the folks at MDA, then there she might be able to access some social work and other auxiliary support, emotional and maybe even financial. There are also a few national resources to tap for women with cervical cancer; I'll look them up and send them to you if you like. If there's a Gilda's Club or a Cancer Support Community nearby, they also might be helpful; it depends.

          My younger daughter is only 16 herself, and at this point she is totally estranged from her father (long and unhappy story), which is one reason why I resonate so strongly to your client's situation. I was really concerned about her prospects two years ago, when I first became ill. For a teen like your client's daughter, every month her mom can gain is huge. In the worst case--I hope that you can help your client figure out a safe place for her daughter to be, and for the court to respect her wishes and her daughter's need for protection.

          Pardon me for being so forward, but when Western medicine isn't sufficient then perhaps other paradigms can be helpful. Some of those, I understand, may well be accessible to your client if MDA takes her on, because they have a healthy variety of complementary therapies available there. Otherwise, I know that the expenses can be prohibitive.

          I will be mindful of your client and her daughter and hope for the best. Please feel free to keep us posted as you feel appropriate.

          As for your parvo--that sounds awful. I had no idea that it could be that painful. I hope that your body can continue to rally and diminish the effects, and that you might be able to identify other sources of relief. {{{{{on the cusp}}}}} You have some BFPs to deal with, that's for sure.

          Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

          by peregrine kate on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:30:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  so do you, pk (8+ / 0-)

            You are remarkable, Energizer Bunny type, and my hero.
            My client has nobody. There are no groups here.  MDA should accept her.  She has nothing, nobody.  Her older daughter just died at age 20 from diabetes, for lack of money.  
            My late hubby had his best days from alternative meds we got from Tijuana, and I am taking propilis, other herbs, and a prescription pain med Savella, which is non-narcotic, non-habit forming.  I thought it was junk, ineffective, until I had to go 4 days without it, due to a shipment screw up.  I thought I would die, actually wished I would.  
            The parvo affected every joint in my body, from head to toe, except the spine.  After 7 months, it is down to my hands and wrists, occasionally an elbow, or toes.
            This, I can deal with.
            My client's child is NOT safe with her father, and I have no idea what to do, but I hope to have time to find her a foster home.  Her mom may live a couple of years, or for 40.  I will try to do something for them.

            •  You know, my friend, this is such a sad testimony (3+ / 0-)

              about the state of affairs in this country. That a 20-year-old should die for lack of medical care, due to lack of money.... Words fail me.

              Grief takes a toll on the body all on its own. Grief, and worry, and pain. I am even more sorrowful to read of your client's struggle under these circumstances. It is hard to keep on fighting sometimes.

              I know that we all know of someone on the edge, maybe many someones. Some of us here are clearly on the edge ourselves. But one of my pie-in-the-sky ideas for the Monday Night Cancer Club is to turn toward advocacy and practical support, as well as providing a forum for folks here who are in the thick of it. I don't know if there are other Kossacks near Houston who could be called upon to help. (And of course it's complicated due to privacy issues; it might be more trouble than it's worth.) I don't know if it's possible to access other people who might have contacts and resources to help out your client. But I do believe in the old motto (whose source is escaping me at the moment) that each one should reach one so that we can all move forward together as best as we can.

              If you think there's any thing that could be gained by us putting our heads together, please give me a holler via Kosmail. I would be honored to be of use.

              It sounds like you are on the right track with the parvo remedies. It may take more time, but eventually the body may well rally enough so that you only have to deal with outbreaks.

              Dear on the cusp--my sister in struggle and loss--I hold you, too, in the light. I admire you for your advocacy and your dedication.

              Peace and blessings to you and yours.

              Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

              by peregrine kate on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:15:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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