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My Experience: Steven Lohan

I would say one of the hardest experiences that I've faced with cancer was the loss of my mother. I don't mean that in her passing, but no longer being able to hold her attention, or even being able to have a conversation. This ‘chemo brain’ as it's called to my discontent, was really heartbreaking for me. As a ten year old, seeing my mother lose herself in this disease, it was more than I think I was able to comprehend. Chemotherapy is a scary treatment, even if you come out the other side. Its effects are more than I'm able to handle, and the fact that people on a daily basis endure these effects is truly inspiring. This isn't the overwhelming majority sadly. Many people, including my mother, find out too late, and the chemotherapy is merely a grasp at recovery. In the final months of my mother life, she was bed ridden, unable to process what was going on. This was devastating to me and my entire family. Obviously carrying a bias, I wanted to address the lack (in my opinion) of navigation in hospitals. I think that if a patient is obviously past the threshold, there should be a professional advisor that helps direct the family in which path to take. Hospitals too often have the power to overcharge patients by administering far too many treatments, leading to a decrease in quality of life in people who already have cancer. Especially when it is clear that the patient will not recover, it is vital that there is an impartial third party between the families and the hospitals. Although this may cause more turmoil within the family, as they ultimately have the final say, this would be a more ethical approach rather than taking advantage of families who just want to see their loved one recover, no matter the cost.

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