We went over to her house for dinner sunday night. She is suffering from full blown mental illness or early onset dementia. When we arrived she was in a manic state pacing around the house yelling about conspiracies and that she will no longer eat food from California. My wife and her went to the porch and the husband came over to me crying, and said "I am ready to leave.....I am not strong enough for this" I explained that after forty years of marriage his strength has never been needed more. She yelled at me about how I had eaten poison because the Chinese are intentionally poisoning Americans. I kept amping up as she explained how the doctors at Mayo are just trying to make money as they had scheduled her double Mac without reconstruction which she said she wanted, but she kept interrupting the doctor on how she wanted the sequences to work. The female doctor very gently leaned over and put her hand on her arm.....C Mayo clinic has approved modalities of the medical standard of care and patients do not change those protocols, but you are free to choose another facility which meets your expectations.......SHE LEFT MAYO.
Now she is doctor shopping, trying to find a doctor which will tell her what she wants to hear......she has an appointment with a chiropractor who can count cancer locations with some kind of scan......absolutely nuts and changing every moment. I finally very firmly said that you are seeking a perfect solution to the word Cancer, but perfect is the enemy of good and the Mayo doctors have told her they have a 93% success rate at this point, with only a 6% remission rate. Time is of the essence and now that they are seeing shadows on your liver, your probabilities are going to rapidly change. At which time she walks by me and explains that she is a witch and that she came from a long line of witches who have intuition in their guts and know the answers........as she opens the porch door to join my wife for another smoke.
The husband then says to me Mrs. Seaoat and I were the only two humans who would have stayed. I explained again that mental illness cannot interfere with her proper medical care and they must immediately have a family meeting with the kids, but he explained his son asked her to leave his house the week before because he could not take her ramblings and he is very conflicted about cancer and death. The daughter is quickly reaching the same condition because none of them know how to deal with mental illness or dementia. I spent a career dealing with these issues so I used me best skills to get her to sit down and listen. I explained that she needs to write down what each doctor has recommended, and score their recommendations. It will be your decision, but the one thing you cannot do is doctor shop and delay because a very curable form of breast cancer can become a death sentence. I told her I do not care what her choice will be because that is a personal choice, but it must be made. She got very calm and she listened. She started talking about her choices and how she did not want to recover in dirty hotels. So we discussed Northwestern, and they are having a meeting with the Northwestern doctors, and I am hopeful this will line up quickly.
She earlier had come up to me while her husband was grilling steaks, and said her husband was trying to kill her and she thinks he is poisoning her socks, and he once forgot to turn off the grill and tried to kill her by burning down the house. She was much calmer when we left, but her physical and mental illness have us very sad. This is a couple that we have taken vacations with and golfed with in couple golf for thirty years. She never was an educated woman, but she was intelligent, and what we loved about her was her outspoken nature and she was a loyal friend. As friends Mrs. Seaoat realizes that those hour phone calls no matter how disturbing must continue until she gets treatment. Mrs. Seaoat turned to me in the car, and said thank you. She explained that as I have been dying I have been concerned about what was best for the family as I handled the disease. Getting Paranoid and angry does nothing to cure cancer or help the caretakers. She said the husband is going to break, and she fears if her mental illness is not treated she is simply going to take a cureable cancer and sign her own death sentence. There is so much more to tell, but it is all sad. I can only hope that Northwestern can get in and do surgery before she completely looses her mind.