Through the Dark Waters by Robert Simpson PDFIn the prime of life, Bernice, a vivacious wife and mother is stunned when she is diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Despite all efforts, it moves from leg to groin to lungs to spine, Stage IV, average life expectancy: 16 months. Then her spine, riddled by the cancer, collapses, paralyzing her from the chest down. The cancer appears to be going to her brain. Her doctor gives her two months to live.
But Bernice refuses to die. Initiation of a search for aggressive treatment terminates Hospice care and reveals that modern medicine has few answers when it comes to melanoma. Denied further treatment for a new metastasis in one lung, she and her caregiver husband embark on an odyssey that winds through hospitals, surgeries, experimental therapies, successes, failures, disappointments, and despair. Survival is day-to-day, a product of prayer, self-sufficiency, and learning by experience. The cancer returns, and part of her spine is removed.
Dread, constant debilitating pain from the original spinal injury, diabetes, hypertension, pressure ulcers, acute renal failure, and failure of others to understand - these are her life. Somehow, through years of struggle, outliving her prognosis by an unheard-of margin, she and her husband learn that self-reliance and determination are key, and that, no matter how deep and dark the waters that threaten, there is always room for hope.
About the Author:
Robert Simpson is a freelance writer and full time caregiver for his invalid wife, with whom he lives on the outskirts of Columbus, Georgia. He has performed her daily care for the past twelve years. Simpson served for three decades as an Infantry officer in the U.S. Army, spending five years as a paratrooper. He has been published in a regional magazine and a variety of military publications, contributed a chapter to a history, "U.S. Army Infantry," and writes regular newspaper opinion pieces. He has written numerous articles about his wife's cancer and paraplegia.
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