Published On: Wed, Feb 14th, 2018

Three strikes and you are out

Jacob Gelt DekkerMy lymphoma that developed  in June 2014, has relapsed for the third time, and this time with a fury. A 10x20 cm large tumor grew into the lower right, abdominal area, with multiple, large metastasis in the pelvic bone, bladder, prostate, nerves and blood vessels, as well as in the soft tissue toward the spinal cord. The pain is only manageable with morphine 24/7.

It is the way it is. I will complete diagnostics in the next few days, and maybe I try another round of chemo. If not, there is not a lot of time left; 2-3 months.

As any experienced patient knows, battling the medical, industrial complex has proven to be the biggest of all challenges; the bureaucrats, the insurance companies, and then the demi-gods of research and experimental therapy who make decisions over you is to live, and who is to die. This slow, sluggish, arrogant apparatus is supposed to care for the sick and suffering, but it is so self-absorbed with union rules, or by research fame and glory, that it often seem: for the patient there are but two places, the waiting room and the cemetery. The pretense of caring, rather than caring, sets the tone.

Patients are instantly turned into institutionalized numbers, complete with barcode, are there to support the gigantic medical industry, and not the other way around. Profit is one and only motive power that drives the machine.

Do I sound like a frustrated patient? Yes, I am, and I am also angry, which is not abnormal, considering my circumstances. This is my seventh encounter with cancer, since 1976. A lot has changed over time, and a lot more is changing but too late for me to benefit from it.

As an experienced patient, I can only recommend one thing; insist on medical service, and forget their pretense; what counts is your life, not your reputation of politeness. You may yet hear from me again, or not.

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