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Born in the 50s

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Comment by shelley 4 hours ago

Yes, Melissa.  It felt peculiar to rationally consider how to best maintain my health when I constantly ask John to take me with him.   

Comment by Tekwriter 10 hours ago

When my husband had his two brain surgeries I spent almost every night in the hospital with him. Two nights I stayed at home. The first I had been up 36 hours and they said he would remain sedated all night, and the second I was familiar with the nurses.  It is sad to think we need someone there. My cancer treatment was cutting edge and very aggressive. I would hate to do it again. Specially since my Oncologist moved over to Hematology completely.

Comment by Melissa 10 hours ago

That's such a good decision, Shelley. I wouldn't have had the presence of mind to think it through like that. 

Comment by shelley 12 hours ago

Harvard, MD Anderson & Mayo Clinic maintain a database of 7 million cancer patients with 28 kinds of cancer.  A woman named Joan DelFattore, herself a cancer survivor, researched 59 studies from this database and found that single women (divorced, widowed or never married) received less aggressive treatment options from their oncologists.  Sometimes doctors assume that single women do not have the support system needed to help with the side effects of aggressive treatments.  Assume being the operative word.  Even if the women list friends, relatives, etc as support people.  Doctors assume the single women will not be able to deal with/handle it.  

I know the importance of being vigilant in the hospital.  The first night that my husband entered the hospital, I waited until he fell asleep for the night and went home.  Mostly to grasp what was happening.  I spent every night thereafter in the hospital and was appalled but not surprised by the care.  Hospitalized friends and relatives have had various enlightening experiences.  Funny, though, I never thought of myself as the one hospitalized/seriously ill.  Always the caretaker, I guess.  

My decision to create a new home base in San Francisco was certainly an intellectual performance.  Emotionally, I would prefer to stay in our Santa Cruz bed for as much as my life as possible.  But it does feel good to emerge from the fog even briefly.  

Thank you all.     

Comment by irishlady (jan) 12 hours ago

Garys wife..I totally agree with your post. I learned that lesson the hard way. That is the main reason I recently moved up nearer my daughter because she is the one who always handles everything with me...her brothers always pass it off to her. And luckily for me, I have driven this point home that if I am ever hospitalized to always have someone there with me.And she is a "pitbull" so know nothing will happen..

Comment by Gary'swife 14 hours ago

Shelley - you make some excellent points about medical care.   I have found that if someone is in the hospital and no one comes to check on them in person, (and can ask some questions), they might not receive as good of medical care.

My former boss lived in lower NYC.  He was German, but lived in Brazil for many years, and had been transferred to the U.S. for maybe 1 year.  He had a mild heart attack, was taken to the hospital by ambulance.  His wife was there, but she was unfamiliar with the U.S. medical system. When I spoke with her the next day to find out where he was, she said he was just inside the doors of the hospital ..which did not make any sense to me.  So I went to see him, and he was still in the emergency room!.  There were absolutely no medical staff around, so I went to the nurses station, picked up the phone, and told the operator I wanted to know who the attending physician was for this patient.   Within 3 minutes there were  3 Drs. at his bedside.   He told me later he was ready to check himself out if not for my actions.  He ended up being transferred to another (better) hospital and had a stent put in. 

 After this, I always made a point of going to see people in the hospital (like the grandmother of a friend who lived out of town), just so the medical staff saw there was someone around who cared out this person.  Of course, not sure who will show up when I am in the hospital!  I have several close friends who will, but not so sure about my family.

Comment by CarLady 14 hours ago

Congratulations Shelley on using your critical thinking skills to assess your current situation, feelings and determine your future needs both physically and emotionally. It’s great that you had a friend to discuss this with and act as a sounding board.  I’m sure you feel better after going through the process and putting a name to concerns and feelings that had probably been weighing you down.  I hope you enjoy the holidays with a lighter heart. Please stay safe on those long commutes and hopefully you won’t have to do it too long.  

Comment by Barzan 16 hours ago

Shelley, That was a very clear minded train of thought you documented for us.  You have emerged from the fog.  It is a wonderful decision that you made.  Sending you a virtual hug and hoping you make it through the holidays unscathed.


Comment by shelley yesterday

I appreciate this group so much.  Got lots of excellent advice after my last post (where to live).  I've been thinking a lot about where I would best recuperate after serious injury or illness.  Yesterday a friend of mine helped me realize that I'm only thinking about moving back to Syracuse because I'm so lonely.  If I became seriously ill or needed major surgery, although my Syracuse friends and family would be most supportive, medical care in Syracuse is inferior.   My Santa Cruz mobile home park friends and neighbors would also be supportive and help with care but medical care in Santa Cruz is also inferior.  When my husband had cancer, we drove back and forth to Stanford Medical Center but we were a couple then.  I'm single now.  Did any of you listen to the recent NPR report about how single/widowed women receive different/less effective medical care for serious illnesses (cancer, etc) than those as couples?  Scary.   My Half Moon Bay cottage:  no medical care and no support people.  So I think I need to find a place to live in San Francisco.  My son and his family and old friends would take good care of me and medical services are exemplary.  I can have a place in San Francisco, close to work, family and friends;  and I can head to Santa Cruz whenever.  Thanks again.  

Comment by booktime (Susan) on Saturday

Shelley, I sold and bought 3 years after Ed died. I did not have the travel issue (my commute was 17 minutes!) but there were many things that came to light after 3 years. For me, I did not have the close neighbor and friend network. That became more clear as time passed by. Then, again for me, the house symbolized Ed's and my dreams together. It became unbearable, for me, to continue to live there and try to continue those dreams.

I sold and bought pretty quickly. I now live in the town I work in - commute is 1 minute! I do not have any regrets for doing this.  But I am glad I waited until my path became more clear. Those first two years were too difficult. And it was during those first two years I did have more connection with the neighbors but then that all but just about ended.

I guess I join everyone else in encouraging you to wait. I know the travel is ghastly. And I don't see your original post which was excellent in detailing what you were facing. But if there was a way to find an easier commuting pattern, that's what I would encourage.

Hugs to you - it is so hard.


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