Jul 15, 2010 - 7:16 am
I decided decades ago, after watching several generations of women die of cancer, that I would not be treated when (not if) I developed cancer. That decision has never wavered; what I've seen since has made me more determined and content with my choice.
So here I am. But it turns out that doctors don't particularly appreciate that decision; when I explained that I wouldn't be opting for surgery or chemo, or volunteering as a lab rat (I didn't put it that way!) I got yelled at and tossed aside. Not more than I expected, to be honest, but less than I might have hoped for, as the only reason I even bothered getting diagnosed was because the pain and exhaustion are beginning to eat away at my life balance. And when I didn't fall in line, the doctor told me he wasn't going to bother writing me a pain scrip. I love the medical profession, it always lives down to the standards I've come to know and loathe. Although I realize that this isn't the way most people see or experience health care -- try it without having insurance. You're less than dirt beneath most of their feet.
All I need to do is get through until I'm declared a lost cause -- Oregon rocks, in that it provides the goodnight pill! But it turns out doctors prefer patients that bring up their income... so how am I going to make it until then? I don't want to to be penalized for choosing a quicker outcome or spend months fighting for pain medication; I'd rather fit in a last trip overseas. So many of the social and healthcare nets have been quietly dismantled and closed over the last year -- there's really nothing left. I do NOT want to spend precious hours in an ER, not to mention I'd end up on the street, paying ER costs just to obtain basic med needs, which I *can* pay for, day to day.
I can explain my decision, but I can't *create* a doctor that will treat me pallatively, outside the surgical/chemo system, and this major metropolitan city has become a wasteland of shuttered care options. Which is what has really made the situation so difficult.
What I need is a broad plan. And a starting point. And a pony. I don't have any of those things.