Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

I Am Suing You For Curing Me


I saw a commercial on television the other day.  It was a law firm, advertising its services to those who suffered baldness from chemotherapy, a well-likely side effect.  Of course, the commercial did not specify the conditions that needed to be met, for instance, that the baldness had to be permanent.  But that is beside the point.

Not to diminish the psychological impact of losing your hair due to cancer treatments, and though so may argue that it is easier for a male to lose his hair, I completely disagree.  I believe it is equally just as difficult.

But let us look at this concept.  You are going to die from cancer without treatment.  But the treatment you are going to give you has the potential to cause your hair to fall out.  In fact, it is really likely.  Oh, and there is a chance that it might be permanent.  Here is your choice, go through treatment, or die.  But now, here is a new option, if you choose the treatment, lawyers will help you make money for the inconvenience of the hair loss.

But that will be good for you.  But, damn, one would think, that the extra expense incurred by the company making the drug to pay for the lawsuits, would cause the drug price to go higher, and perhaps even make it unaffordable for many, resulting in those patients losing their lives instead of their hair.

Seriously, why do we have lawyers willing to help a patient deal with hair loss due to chemotherapy toxicity, but when it comes to more serious conditions, such as congestive heart failure, restrictive lung disease, secondary cancers, all caused by the original treatments, there are no lawyers to deal with these unfortunate patients?  People actually die from these side effects.  Where are the lawsuits for the lives that are lost, not just the hair?

Because it is simple.  Until an actual cure is found, without causing side effects, this is the choice we have to make, to live or to die.  I was treated with 4 times the lifetime maximum exposure of ionized radiation and several chemotherapeutic drugs known to kill people or cause extreme health issues later in life.  In fact, that is exactly what happened to me.  Of course, if you look at the side effect warnings I got back in 1988, the doctors only missed it by nearly completely, telling me of a risk of secondary cancer and possibly an enlarged heart.  Today, 26 years later, I have cardiac, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, immunological, muscular, spinal, endocrine related issues all caused by my treatments.

Where is my lawsuit?  The answer?  There will not be one.  I chose to live.

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