It's been a little over a year since my sister and peace-colleague Dede Miller was diagnosed with "triple-negative" stage 4 breast cancer. It's been almost a year since she left her small home in Los Angeles County to come for a "visit" with me up in Vacaville CA and has been here since.
At a time in her life when she was most scared an vulnerable, she was jerked around by LAC-USC (LA County-USC Medical Center) and denied treatment because of a "coverage" SNAFU. So, I brought her up to northern California to see if we could get her care up here. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the tumor in her breast ruptured outward and I had to rush her to the emergency room and she became covered under my county's Medi-cal program. It has been a blessing and a curse.
Some in the medical establishment are "hammers" and every problem they see is a "nail" that has to be beaten to be solved. After a solid year of one different chemo after another, Dede's cancer is still there, but the chemo has insidiously destroyed her immune system and her energy. Even though we have tried and continue to try every alternative treatment, daily supplements, and whole healthy food, her body is growing tired of the fight.
We saw some early victories where the breast tumor was almost gone and Dede's energy spiked upward, but there's one thing no one in the medical establishment has been able to tell us: why no surgery to remove the breast? Besides the weakness, dizziness and heart palpitations, she is in a lot of pain from the invader.
It seems like her medical oncologist is out of chemo options to give her and I think that could be potentially a good thing--I hope in the respite, it will giver her body time to bounce back. Dede has been referred to UC Davis Medical to see if a surgical oncologist there can do anything, or if they have any trials for Dede's cancer, which is rare for her age and race, and has no hormone receptors like other breast cancers which have seen some good remission/cure rates. Although it's been several weeks since the referral, we have not heard from UC Davis.
Because of her weakness, Dede is growing increasingly dependent upon me and I think that unless something miraculous happens, my scheduled trips away from home to do activist work will become shorter and less frequent than they already have been. (Who wants to see a fifty-ish antiwar campaigner, when a seventy-ish pro-war person is running for president?)
As for myself, a visit from my ill sister a year ago is turning into a full-time, unpaid job. I honestly believed that she would well be on her way to recovery by now and moving back to her home in Los Angeles. I want it mostly for her, but also for myself. This has been the most physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting thing I have had to go through since Casey was killed 12 years ago. Like an untimely death from a war based on lies and for profit, fighting cancer and the Cancer Industrial Complex (C-I-C) is hard for the entire family that rallies for support.
It seems that the Cancer Industrial Complex is not invested in curing patients, but keeping them alive as long as possible to wring every penny out of that death and disease and if a cure does occur, it's not because the Complex pumped gallons of poison into a person's body, or focused carcinogenic radiation on it, but because
of that person's ability to heal despite the C-I-C. I have also been learning (the hard way) about the Natural Cancer Cure Industrial Complex---where there's suffering, there will always be those willing to capitalize and profit off of that suffering.
One hundred years ago, one in 80 people were afflicted with cancer; today, it's one out of every three. (The price WE pay for "progress). Just like the war on drugs and poverty, the war on cancer has done what it was designed to do: create more cancer for the 99%, while creating more profit for the 1%.
It doesn't matter if you are antiwar or prowar; socialist, communist, or capitalist; man or woman; young or old; living in this cancerous empire is designed to make us ill. Cancer is indiscriminate and vicious.
Even though Dede does have Medi-Cal and SSDI, this entire thing has also become a financial burden. Medi-Cal does not cover her supplements or alternative treatments, or the cost of the time I am expending in helping her.
Please donate to her GoFundMe page---and/or send her a card to:
C/O Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox
PO BOX 6264
Vacaville, CA 95696
Several years ago I was asked by an-in-law family member to help with a wife's Stage 4 breast cancer....from a tax perspective. I accepted because I would anyway and because this 40 year old mother of 4 was in desperate need. She died in 2009. April. I was tasked with helping to address IRS issues because she had taken a total distributions from her 401(K) to pay for her treatment.....without her family's knowledge.....until the IRS notice showed up. She was a smart woman, an alternate for the Olympics as a swimmer in the 1980s. And she was employed as an engineer for 17 years...in between having four beautiful daughters. Well the IRS aent a notice after she died assessing a 10% penalty for Box 1 early distributions under the age of 59 and a half, and the family, already devasàted faced a $6,000 tax bill plus interest. I called this woman's doctor and found a veritable clearinghouse of medical profiteers. I wrote it all down. I was so digusted. I said "I am calling about Martha Majomski-Barrone". They said "Which Martha Majomski-Barrone?". And I said "how many Martha Majomski-Barrones do you have?". And they said "dozens". It was an education. I was able to get the penalty abated because as a stage 4 cancer patient she was considered disabled (only took 4 weeks after I talked - finally- to her doctor). Such a disgusting, repulsive system. Cindy Sheehan:. If I can do anything to help, please let me know. Hugs.ReplyDelete
I've been caring for my 89 yr old very ill mother for the past 4 months and I know how exhausting it is to care for a sick loved one. Judy and I love you both, Dede and Cindy. We can't do much from so far away, but our positive thoughts are with you both.ReplyDelete
I am very sorry for the plight of your sister Dede and for your plight. I have never been called to be as stretched as you are in caring for anybody else. What you wrote about your unhappy experiences both with "traditional" and "alternative" medical providers, reminds me of the Holy Unmercenaries, whose biggest miracles were, not their healings, but the fact that they didn't take any money for them. (Wikipedia article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Unmercenaries .) Probably the best known are Saints Cosmas and Damian who, according to the Wikpedia article, "were reputed twin brothers, physicians, and early Christian martyrs. . . . Accepting no payment for their services led to them being named Anarguroi (Ανάργυροι, "Unmercenaries") . . . ." ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saints_Cosmas_and_Damian )ReplyDelete
Natural Cancer treatments don't work as well when the person is continually subjected to chemotherapy and radiation. So ending the chemotherapy and radiation treatments would improve her chances of recovery. Another thing that can also interfere with healing is if a person is holding onto negative emotions which also weaken the immune system. Also toxins in the mouth from amalgam(mercury) fillings, infections from root canals, extractions, or other dental toxins also contribute to the disease process and feed the growth of pathogenic organisms.ReplyDelete
I want to take this time out as a cancer survivor to encourage women out there still suffering from this. The sad news about it is that i was diagnosed on my 36th birthday in 2008 and with stage 3 TNBC which after i made research was a very aggressive form of cancer at that point i decided and told myself i was going to die and that the end has finally come.All my life i never thought of having breast cancer because i was very active and i worked out at the gym several times every week and my diet was okay. In my search for a cure after 6 years of diagnosis and even after chemo spending thousands of dollars a church member told me about Dr kennedy who could help me with a permanent cure, i doubted this at first but i later gave it a try and today i proud to say i am a cancer survivor no nodes and i am totally free the new diagnosis confirmed it. Do not die in silence or ignorance reach him on (email@example.com or whatsapp +16468833189) don't be shy just speak to someone today.ReplyDelete
The past 4 years of my life has been years of torment right from when i was diagnosed with breast cancer (triple negative) stage IV. It was hard for me because i never in my life imagined i would have anything related to cancer. The first two years my oncologist gave me so much hope that i had to undergo chemo and radiation therapy twice and the lymph nodes were still there. It kept reoccurring and i was about to lose it all. I lost weight and i had high blood pressure due to steady thinking. I got the contact of Dr. Roland whom i was told treats cancer naturally with herbal medicine, i never believed but i was dying and to satisfy my curiosity i had to invite him over and he came with his medicine and began to treat me for a month. In three months time i didn't feel any symptoms and i decided to confirm and i went to my oncologist for a test and i tested negative to cancer. I never believed in herbal methods or treatments but now i do because it saved me. You too can contact him for more info on any form of cancer and also about his medicine and treatment process on (firstname.lastname@example.org) do not die in ignorance and never give up hope.ReplyDelete
Dede was a very sweet person. When I was at Coachella back in 2007, I think, she was outside of Willie's bus and let me in the bus just before Willie played. Willie was kind enough to received me in just minutes before going on stage. I had my mom's phone number ready for Willie to call and say hello. My mom was a HUGE fan. We had gone to concerts in our youth. Of course, my mom didn't answer. However, Willie left a voicemail for her. My mom was very sick at the time and it was just a few weeks before she had to go into the hospital. Dede allowed a big ray of light into my mom's life that day. You see, my mom was also very sick w/ cancer. I will never forget what Dede did. I tried to return the light by donating just a bit. Much love and strength to you both. If possible, tell her I said thank you!!!!! chris underscore cox at intuit dot com.ReplyDelete