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Serving the Present... Remembering the Past...
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The following plea by Dee Pearson is on behalf of her husband Tony.

A Special request from Mrs Dee Pearson

Tony went into the hospital on my birthday, 30 Jan. 2008, and died 2 months  later.  He spent all that time in Surgical ICU and experienced many  problems and mistakes in his care.  I am not sure exactly what took his  life; I have yet to receive his autopsy report.  I do know what sent him to  the hospital, and kept him there for 2 months – colon cancer.  Tony  requested a colonoscopy from his provider for the last 2 years, of that I am  sure of.  I was with him in Feb 2007 when he requested one because he was  50 years old and he’d been having blood in his stool.  His provider brushed  it off as hemorrhoids, but he told her the blood was dark.  She told he  didn’t need it; “You’re too healthy, all your labs look good.” is what his nurse  practitioner/provider told us.  She even commented she wished all her  patients were as healthy as him, as she was giving him hemoccult cards. 

In  early Jan., this year, Tony again asked for a colonoscopy; later that day he  told me “I never felt like she blew me off before, but she did today. She told  me outright “no” to the colonoscopy.”  He then showed me the hemoccult  cards she (again) gave him.  I asked what he was going to do about it, but  he was not sure; he trusted her, but he was going to think it over and look into  getting another opinion.  He never got the chance. 

On 1 Feb surgeons  removed a cancer mass slightly smaller than a tennis ball, along with ¾ of his  colon, 19 lymph nodes, and a biopsy of his liver, which had spots on it.   The surgeons asked why he had not gotten a colonoscopy, as the mass had to be  growing in him for over 2 years.  The pathology report came back; the colon  mass was definitely cancer (which we knew) and the liver had cancer; metastatic  adnocarcinoma - stage 4.  There were other mistakes made in Tony’s care at  the hospital, but the first was his provider’ s failure to order him a  colonoscopy.  So, the first purpose of this e-mail; Get a  colonoscopy.  Especially if you have any blood in your stool, have a family  history of cancer, or are 50 or older. If your healthcare provider will not  order one for you – change providers!

Tony and I have many  pictures of each other and our time together; paper copies as well as digital  photos.  We even have a digital camera that takes 5 minutes of video!   We always meant to use that feature, we just never got around to it.  We  thought we’d have time to do it in the future.  Our time ran out far too  quickly.  For those of you who knew us, you know we dearly loved each other  and our life together.  Now, all I have is Tony’s voice on the answering  machine and on his cell phone; and I am truly grateful for them.  But I  have no video allowing me to see Tony’s walk, hear his laughter or his voice, or  see his face as he tells me he loves me or says “My beautiful lady, you are my  heart.”  I had this beautiful wonderful man in my life for 11 years.   To this day I have no idea what I ever did to deserve him.  I will tell you  I thanked God every day for putting Tony in my life, I still do, and I will till  the day I draw my last breath. I have no regrets other than I failed to get  video of our time together. And I can't begin to tell you how much that hurts me  now.  Everyone is quick to take video of their kids, but they never want to  be in the video. 

So, the second purpose of this e-mail: If you love  someone, make video of them; in this age of technology it’s so easy to do.   Do not hide from the video recorder; welcome it!  No matter what you look  like at the time, you will be stunningly beautiful to your loved ones when the  day comes that you have left this earth.  They will treasure it and thank  you for the gift you continue to give them every time they look at  it.   Three times we were told Tony would not live  through the night, but with many prayers and the grace of God he did; even his  doctors were amazed. Tony always believed he would beat his surgery problems and  the cancer. Thought it all he never lost faith in the Lord. Tony always said "If  my suffering helps anyone in any way, or brings someone closer to Christ; it  will all be worth it.”   He accepted whatever the Lord had for him. The  third purpose and last purpose of this e-mail:  Help me to reach as many  people as possible by passing this e-mail to everyone you know.  Maybe it  will encourage them to get a colonoscopy or take video of themselves and their  loved ones.  Tony and I do not want another person, couple, or family, to  suffer they way we have. Please, I ask you to do these things as a gift  to you and your loved ones from us.

Very respectfully,
Dee  Pearson

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