Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cancer is evil

I've been very distracted for the last few weeks--my sister's had another setback with her cancer. It's an evil disease. She was in the hospital when I went through Chicago last Wednesday--they set up her portacatheter to administer pain meds instead of chemo now. Why oh why don't oncologists realize that those pain med patches just don't work after a person loses every ounce of body fat and much of their muscle? The oncologists don't do anything about it until they switch the patient to palliative care. Now at least she's out of pain. But why don't oncologists work with palliative care specialists so they can make pain manageable even as they're still trying to stop the cancer? It's not until they take them off chemo and other cancer treatments that they send them off to palliative care and pain relief. Does this really need to be an either/or situation?

I'll be visiting Mary tomorrow on my way back to Ithaca. The photo was taken last year at Elmhurst's Relay for Life. Mary's been very active in fundraising for the Cancer Society for many years now.