Life is the ultimate rng game, its chaotic, random, unpredictable.
You don’t get to choose your starting stats, your passives, character sliders, and racial bonuses; the best you can do is make up with what you started with and work a viable build with what you have.
Life has, is, and never will be fair, it’ll never treat you equal no matter how hard you force it, it’ll never take into account what you’ve done or can do with the time that is given to you.
You can spend all your life being a force of good in this world, you can save countless lives, you can bringing joy to so many people during the course of your life—and yet that doesn’t guarantee that that nothing bad will ever happen to you. On the other hand, you can be the most absolute and utter piece of shit in the entire universe, and you can come unscathed, not even a stubbed toe.
You can be a young and extremely introverted boy with a difficulty for social interaction and a passion for Pokémon and fighting games; you simply go through your daily affairs without troubling anyone, then one morning during you faint and pass out during P.E. class. The next thing you know is that you have a medical condition that affects your brain and can kill you at any time, requiring urgent brain surgery to fix—one that leaves a scar in the back of your neck. I’m talking about my young brother here.
You can be a doctor with five medical specialties, you’ve ran your hospital’s Pain and Palliative Care unit with dignity and diligence for over a decade and a half despite all the hardships and limited resources that you’ve had at your disposal while doing so. You’ve helped thousands of patients across the years, your practice is so overcrowded that at times your patients have had to wait for months.
You’ve had to take the stairs to the seventh-floor countless times because your hospital’s elevators barely function at times. You’ve had to deprive yourself of sleep so many times, but its ok, its what you signed up for when you chose to be a doctor.
Your son has finally recovered from that dreadful surgery, everything seems to be going back to normal—thank God, but then you start feeling ill. A few scans and tests later and the Doctors tell you that you have a Suprarenal Adenoma—don’t worry, its “hypo-functional” don’t be alarmed.
You take your diagnosis and keep doing your thing, but you feel ill again, doctors insist that there’s nothing to be alarmed, it’s probably reflux or something; you don’t seem too convinced, something’s not adding up. One morning, as you were about to give a conference in another city, you feel so inexplicably bad that you just can’t do it, you go back to your home and cancel your presentation. You’re forced to spend your young son’s birthday while in bed as a result.
A couple of weeks later, you take some vacation days off to figure out things, doctors insist that everything is fine, but you know that’s not the case. That’s when you ignore the doctors’ advice and commission the tests on your own.
That’s when one word, one dreaded six-letter word turns your life upside down:
Summer of 2015. I’ll never forget that terrible afternoon when she said it to me with tears in her eyes, the night before was the last time we had a good night of sleep. She had been misdiagnosed all along, even her first biopsy afterwards was ruled out as something else, it took a second one and a test at a different place to finally get the correct and definitive type of cancer: Leiomyosarcoma.
The following two and a half years have been a living hell for her, one that she’s never deserved but that’s just how life does things. This is a fight that she’s had to weather with every inch of strength, at first, she continued to work like nothing had happened, she didn’t let neither the cancer nor the chemo stop her.
When the first round of chemo didn’t work, she was switched to a different regime, that’s when things started to get complicated, Docetaxel was hard to procure in this country (don’t forget, we have a shortage of ~85% of all meds right now), and Gemcitabine alone wasn’t working effectively as a result. The glaring indifference from my mother’s oncologist made her ditch her and seek a new one.
Her new oncologist told her that the next course of action would be Ifosfamide and Mesna—the one her previous doctor should’ve started with all along. Ifosfamide is quite toxic, which is why its mixed with Mesna to reduce the risks inherent with it. Once again, the med shortage hit her hard, Mesna was close to impossible to find.
By September 2017 CT scans showed that Ifosfamide and Mesna wasn’t working, the next thing to try was Pazopanib (Votrient), which has been proven to be effective—the problem is that those pills can’t be found anymore in this country (there is a large chain that specializes in these sort of meds, their last box was sold to a lady in another city in that month, they never got a restock, government decides what gets imported and what doesn’t).
They can be found in other countries yes, but their cost is astronomically huge (thousands of dollars for just a month of treatment), with Pazopanib out of reach, she’s been taking a “better than nothing treatment” for the past 6 months, but its side effects have become too much, her mobility has been impaired, she’s retaining fluids, and her overall health has taking a huge hit, to make matters worse, this chemo expired a few months ago, but that’s the only thing at her disposal.
I’ve always taken pride in my (limited) ability to help others, from petty computer problems to more complex situations, it’s how I was raised, to help others in times of need and not ask in return. But goddamnit I’ve never felt as powerless as I’ve had over these two and a half years, I look back at photos of her before all this and it just kills me to see her how her health has slowly deteriorated, I just wish I could do something more.
I bought her a nice cake for her 60th birthday (thanks to you, Patrons <3), but that was a very bleak birthday, despite all, we smiled, and signed her a happy birthday; she had decided to drop that chemo that has been affecting her so much and just go on with her life and our escape plans like normal, but she resumed them after some days.
This last week is what has finally made me vent off with this post, lest I be consumed. My insomnia became worse after a bumpy week of “Not real Socialism™” among other things, the chemo made her retain more fluids than usual, and it started to impair her breathing—even her mobility worsened, I have to help her out of the toilet now.
I only got three hours of sleep on Thursday, and couldn’t sleep at all. By Friday she just wasn’t feeling well, I took her to the hospital she had dedicated more than fifteen years of her medical career, the whole experience was a huge mess, by the time we arrived I had been awake for more than 24 hours.
Her vehicle won’t lock one of the rear doors, and has a problem that’s making it drain the battery, gotta take it off if leaving it idle for extended periods of time, lucky for us, she still had her parking card that grants access to the doctors’s parking lot (least they could do after ~15 years of service is let her use that parking lot I guess, because anyone can just open the car right now until I find a place that can fix it)
A nurse was very kind to her, and procured a wheelchair while someone attended her; but of course, in every place there’s always a cunt, who demanded it back because “there isn’t enough wheelchairs.”
I was tired, scared, desperate because my mom wasn’t feeling well, so I argued with the guy, I just wanted her to use the wheelchair for a few more minutes because there wasn’t any seating available. This went on until a seat was finally available.
The nurse drew some blood out of her for tests, but of course, there isn’t enough reactive and materials to process the samples, I had to go to a private lab to get them tested. The problem was that I’m not familiarized with the area, those fancy GPS and phone navigations that y’all are accustomed to simply don’t work here (Waze does work but it’s such a battery drain that I can’t use it, my phone barely holds charge as it is)
I put myself in God’s hands there and asked for directions, don’t ask me how, but I managed to arrive. I asked for directions to go back to the hospital, and I followed them—for the most part that is, I missed the most crucial turn and went left instead of right, ended up being way far from where I was supposed to be at.
Sun was setting down (I’m not really good at night driving, I can’t see well at night), I ended up in front of a pizzeria I once ate with my family when I was a kid, and saw an elderly guy working on the parking. I asked him for directions but said that it’d just be too complicated to explain (he was right), but he had a proposal.
The man was honest, he showed me his badge, he worked at another nearby hospital, but due to the utter collapse of this country he had taken a job at that restaurant, the tips weren’t going well that afternoon for him and he hadn’t received his salary yet, thus he had no money to buy bread for himself and his wife.
He said that he’d gladly guide me to the hospital if I’d help him with cash for bread, he’d guide me all the way to the hospital, I didn’t think it twice (in any case, I do keep a wrench hidden on my mom’s car’s driver seat—guns are banned so I might as well have a weapon should I ever need it, right? I’ve already been tear gassed while taking her to chemo so yeah…)
He did said his name, but I just can’t seem to recall it now, he’s one of those souls God puts in front of you in times of need, God bless that man, we chatted all the way to the hospital; thankfully we do keep a lil amount of paper cash in the house and we had taken it just in case, I gave him the cash so he’d be able to buy bread, and we parted ways.
When I returned, doctors said that they needed to drain fluids from my mom’s body, however, they needed a urine sample. Boy, the women’s bathroom sure was a smelly mess, it reeked of piss and clogged toilets. I had to take her to the men’s room and stand outside so that no one else would go in while she got the sample; of course, there was no running water either.
There’s no seating either, its like someone took all the seats and benches away, cellphone reception is nonexistent in that area either, there was a blackout in my house and I had no way to communicate with my brother. After a long wait, doctors finally drained some of the fluids off her.
Someone from the hospital gave her two vials of medicinal albumin—literal gold right now because like with pretty much everything else, is super hard to find, I’m not kidding when I say you have to keep an eye on those because someone can snatch them off the table if you’re not paying attention, that’s how difficult it is to find.
While waiting for her to recover, an emergency case of Diphtheria arrived at the emergency, forcing everyone that wasn’t a patient to leave the area as there isn’t enough cloth masks for everyone. While my mom is vaccinated against it, I am not, as soon as she felt better we left straight home.
She’s been slowly recovering, lemme avail myself of the opportunity to thank you all for all the help and support, I really appreciate it. To say that my mom is strong is a long understatement, despite everything that has happened she remains resolute and determined to keep fighting.
She doesn’t deserve going through all of this, she’s dedicated all of her medical career—most of her life helping and saving others, but that’s just how life goes. I’ve never been that strong on my own, I’ve always drawn my strength out of my desire to help my family, friends, loved ones, and everyone that I can somehow be of assistance, that has always been my absolute doctrine.
Cancer has already taken an uncle and a friend away from me, I don’t wanna lose my mom to it too.
Gotta keep going, I can’t afford to give up—not allowed to give up either, I have to get them both outta this country no matter what, I have to find a way so my mom gets the help she so desperately needs.