The news just came across my Facebook feed. Another cancer patient has lost his life, due to side effects from a drug that was supposed to save his life.
Now let me state first, I believe 100% in chemotherapy. Without it, death from cancer is almost a certainty. And while the drug did what it was intended to, the side effects, and how they were handled by medicine, are what led to his passing.
If there are two times that I get pissed off as a cancer survivor, it is when a long term survivor passes without getting the proper care necessary to handle our unique conditions due to damage caused by extreme treatments decades ago. The other, is when a current patient survives their treatments only to succumb to side effects and the lack of sufficient follow-up care, and also the proper handling of the crisis due to lack of education or experience. Another young man has lost his life. Another young wife is now a widow.
You should be pissed off too, whether you are a cancer patient or survivor, or not.
There is no reason whatsoever, in this day and age, that when medicine knows the potential for a side effect, even if it happens less than .001% of the time, that one time that it does happen is one too many. This young man survived his cancer, but when he fell ill from the treatments, the response to his care, gave him exactly the opposite of what only a few doctors know not to do, and the result is a tragic loss for yet another family.
Please listen to me, chemo and radiation cure cancer. They really do. They are not pleasant to go through, but to leave untreated, is almost certainly not going to end well. But more than just a handful of doctors need to have the knowledge of what not to give a patient who has been given a drug or treatment that affects a particular body organ.
I am open and willing to use “Paul’s Heart” to get this message out. Tell me your story and I will publish it here. I will share it on “Paul’s Heart” Facebook page. After dealing with late effects myself for over seven years, we are no closer to doctors having the knowledge they need, or perhaps even the protocol to use. We as patients, survivors, and caregivers need to take this on ourselves.
I want to help.