Liberty Activist Blog

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Update on Dan from Harlan (Aug 25)

Hello, all:

I took Dan to the VA today for his appointment with his oncologist (just got back - only 6 hours, a REMARKABLE record for the VA which has GOT to be the BUSIEST hospital complex in the WORLD). While I was there with him, the oncologist snuck him into the MRI clinic to get a clearer picture of what's going on inside Dan's head due to the aphasia on his left side, which I thought MIGHT be due to a stroke. The news is NOT very good, unfortunately at least in one sense. The aphasia and palsy-like trembling are being caused by three tumours on his spinal cord; there are
at least 20 more lesions on his brain, and 14 new active tumours. He is NOT in any pain, and it is the doctor's considered opinion that his mind will be gone LONG before the lung cancer starts causing him any pain. The
right lung tumour is pressing on his esophagus, which makes swallowing difficult, but there is no abrasion FROM the tumour, just compression.

There also is no evidence that the tumour has invaded his throat OR his esophagus, which means that, while we're going to have to feed him, he CAN still swallow. The doctor's OTHER considered opinion was that he is
getting better care here than he could get anywhere else except as a resident of a hospice, and he does NOT think that that is indicated at this point. He DID say, however, that when Dan finally became comatose, the hospice situation might be the best solution for all concerned. I don't agree with him on that, unless the hospice people
will agree to NOT take him out of here. Marti and I both would like to take this opportunity to thank ALL of you
who have taken the time to write, e-mail, call and visit. While Dan in all probability will not know who you are, he does enjoy the company.

I would also like to take this opportunity to tell you all that it has been the greatest joy in our lives to find out just how sincerely Dan was valued by such a wonderful group of people. It is humbling and
awe-inspiring, and I thank you all for the opportunity to get to know some of you, no matter how peripherally.

Blessed be,

Harlan Bennett


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