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Notes from the Sick Bay

Cancer journey co-pilot's log star date 7.3.23. The patient continues to struggle. Intense discomfort from excessive fluid retention, known as "third spacing," presents itself in abdominal pressure, breathing difficulties, coughing, and acute emotional distress. This, in addition to catheterization, side effects of various drugs, psychological medical trauma, symptoms of post-sepsis, generalized muscular weakness, the ravages of neglected surgical wound care, and cancer itself, perpetuates an increasingly challenging uphill battle for Kara in tasks such as ostomy care and maxi pad maintenance due to wound seepage that appears to have intensified since her return to immunotherapy last Friday.

Personal comment:

If cancer is a war, which I do not believe, then this is what it truly looks like. It is ugly, it is bloody, it is a valley of screams and tears. No one wins this war...not even those who emerge cancer-free. Survivorship is the result of staging, perseverance, fortunate timing, and science based on the willingness of others to experiment with drugs that may not save their lives, but may save others who come after them. Unfortunately, in our society, we measure survivorship by tumors, not by people. And there are so many people still pinned down in the valley, begging the skies to let them come them lucky to be alive if they reach that point. This has been our experience for four years now, although the valley has gotten deeper and darker still. Nevertheless...the objective remains unchanged: Move to safety. Feel the sun on our faces. Life without horror. Or less of it, anyway. We have felt it before. May we feel it again.

May you find what is truly important in life, as I have.

Until next time.

--Her husband, Charles

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