Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

After enjoying one of my few and far between happy days several weeks ago, my world imploded. In short order, two big quakes rocked Los Angeles causing me deep upset and I suffered my second concussion in the pool retriggering last year’s symptoms. Then unbelievably, I was faced with a life and death decision.

About six months ago I felt a lump in my breast. I didn’t have it checked because I’m prone to cysts and get annual mammograms. Furthermore, I stay away from western doctors like the plague because they generally hurt me. In fact they’ve told me three times that I was going to die from cancer without their many treatments. I refused all, and they were wrong.

But when my new internist alerted me to the fact that I’d missed my last mammogram (somehow their three reminder letters didn’t appear in my mailbox), I got concerned and had the lump checked. I mean, I knew it was a cyst, but why was it getting bigger?

Cynthia Toussaint

You’ve probably already guessed that I was wrong. Dead wrong. With subtle apprehension, my radiologist shared that I have an irregular shaped mass that is most likely a rapidly growing malignancy. Insert scream here.

After Dr. Wang recommended a biopsy of the mass and swollen lymph node as my next step, she was stunned by my hesitancy to follow through due to my fear of spreading CRPS. You see, what was lost on Dr. Wang – and most people – is that there are fates worse than death.

Decades ago, it was a procedure (ultimately unnecessary), that spread CRPS to my cervix, robbing me of my chance to have a baby. And it was a procedure (again unnecessary) that broke my contracted right arm, a fracture that went undiagnosed for a year. During that constant level 10 pain period, a doctor convinced me that lupus was the culprit and put me on an infusion drug that almost killed me after just two rounds.

After the ultrasound last week, I had pain in my right arm so severe that my heavenly lap swimming became hell. That’s when my situation really hit home. If I follow through with anymore cancer diagnostics and/or treatment, I’m terrified that my CRPS will worsen and likely spread. And with that I’ll lose my hard-fought quality of life, what little I have. Yes, the doctors might save my life, but would I have a life worth living?

I don’t have a good choice here. I’m seeing a surgeon today to discuss how invasive their proposed biopsy would be and if I can move forward safely with CRPS. If so, the biopsy should confirm that I have cancer, how aggressive it is and best treatments.

While I wrestle with this surreal conundrum, I find myself in unfamiliar, even ironic territory. After decades of having my many invisible illnesses doubted (just this morning I spoke with a man who was certain fibromyalgia was concocted by hysterical women), everyone who hears my news is heartbroken. They offer their prayers and visits, no questions asked. One fellow swimmer gasped “this is every woman’s worst nightmare.” A colleague on the east coast even offered to do breast cancer therapy research.

This new found embrace feels good, and not so good. In fact, one comment meant to comfort actually hurt. A friend emailed, “Cynthia, you have so many people who love and support you.” Sadly, due to the ravages of pain, I can count on one hand how many people have come by to help over the years.

An unfortunate twist has emerged. For about 25 years of illness, I hoped and prayed that I would get cancer to at last end my suffering. But I recently put some solid closure on the loss of those who abandoned me and have now accepted that I’ll never have what I need to be happy, all leading to a more peaceful and productive life. Just when I reached that clearing, now that I want to live, cancer is knocking at my door. So sad.

My probable cancer is pre-occupying my mind, so much back and forth. What is right for me? I feel like I’m about to fall off the earth into black. Even so, I recently came to a landing of refusing all treatment. I don’t know that my body could survive another asteroid hit. That, and I don’t think I have a quality of life that’s worth fighting cancer for.

Then last night, my 39-year partner and most wonderful human being on earth softly said that he wants me to live as long as I can. Tears well.

Truth be told, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I want to live, but I won’t make a choice out of desperation, like all of those before that sent me down the path of trauma and regret.

I will live or die on my own terms.

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Cynthia Toussaint founded For Grace in 2002. It is a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization dedicated to bringing awareness to gender disparity in the treatment of pain. She is also a frequent contributor to the National Pain Report.

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I am sorry Cynthia. I too have wished for cancer or something that would help me know I wouldn’t have so many more years of misery. I once had a profession I loved, a life partner,
and a wonderful athletic life filled to the brim with nature and outdoor adventures.

I could never have imagined this quality of life I now have after extensive CRPS for 10 years.
But not nearly as long as you have suffered from it.
In . 2017 I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. I was shocked but relieved eventually and remain relieved today.
I had a wide excision of the melanoma and oncologist in Calif said nodes were most likely positive for cancer due to the size.of the lesion.
I chose not to have the sentinel node biopsy. One only consents to a procedure if you are going to proceed with further testing and treatment and I knew I would choose to do nothing more. I have no desire to be exposed to more ineptitude, cruel uncaring treatment, and
lies of the medical community. I was a nurse practitioner for over 30 years so I knew better. I knew when they lied in their charting to create less work for themselves.
Going through the years of western medicine ‘treatment’ is what caused the loneliest most helpless feelings.

But I now have a wonderful doctor whose ego is not too big to say the words ‘ I don’t know.’ if she doesn’t know she researches until she finds out. She has told me ‘ I will do any testing you decide on - I will give you the info but the decision is yours. So no mammograms, nothing except shingrix to help prevent pain of shingles should it arise.

They will tell you Cynthia that the lymph node biopsy is minimal and not a big deal but it really is. It really is. So my decision was that my quality of life is not such that I would want to fight cancer. The big goal is just living the best way that I know Today.
It’s a tough decision and I wish you well. Thanks so much for creating your foundation and providing a way for us to share.


I know exactly how you feel. While not having a diagnosis of cancer myself, I’m at the age that two of my cousins were when they were diagnosed. One chose a radical mastectomy (both), and one went the traditional route of radiation and chemo. The chemo nearly killed her. A third cousin was then found to be carrying the BRCA gene.

I’ve suffered severe intractable pain for the past 21 years. At first it was horrible, then I had many years where I didn’t improve but I didn’t go downhill. Then the “opioid crisis” fell upon us and my medications were lowered, lowered, lowered some more, and I’m now trying to wean myself off yet another because, after 18 years, insurance is now putting up a stink about it.

I do have a lump, named Lumpy, and while he is almost certainly involved with my lymph nodes going haywire since fighting MRSA for 3 years, it has been suggested that I have it checked. I refuse to do a mammogram as it could squish stuff into my system, causing me more pain and antibiotics. Ultrasound would be ok, but they would want a biopsy - what kind, how invasive? These are the thoughts that the healthy don’t have.

So I may have it checked if it does not continue to get smaller, and I would choose RSO as long as I could tolerate it. Ultimately though, I would welcome a solid diagnosis, simply because it would ultimately get me out of this painful body.


Erin Sullivan

This is such a sad story. Reminds me of my own story. Diagnosed with breast cancer after lifelong ,chronic pain due to numerous accidents and subsequent surguries on my legs feet and neck. Lots of broken bones including a malunion compound fracture of my femur from being hit by a car on the back of a motorcycle at age 14. Im now 62. Been suffering with pain which seems like a lifetime. When I refused more chemo my doctor was furious and said I would most certainly die. Yes, a Kaiser doctor from the west. I live in Nothern California. Not many options for holistic medicine. Because Big Farma (mispelled on purpose)controls our lives, and the doctors we put our trust in. Chemo made me so very sick I almost died after one treatment. I told her that death is preferrable even though I have a son who is very dependent on me. I stay alive for him. Big F controls everything and everyone. They create false flags like “the opiate crisis” which they group together chronic pain patients with hard core drug addicts who buy drugs from the streets that the DEA does nothing to help. Only prosecute. The whole thing is such a [edit]. I have more pain yet they say Im on too many pain meds. This is government completely interfering with how our doctor can prescribe. How is this any of their business??? How is cutting off legitimate pain sufferers going to help this alleged crisis??? IT’S NOT!! Write your congress! Stop these people from interfering! My heart goes out to you Cynthia. I get it. I really really do.

I am so sorry you have to go through this Cynthia. You are in my prayers and I will hope for a very positive outcome. Thank you for all you have done and still do for the CRPS/chronic pain community. Your efforts have provided hope and support to so many. Dr. Cooney

Chris Ward

National Report stop insanity ! SUCICIDE is choking to go way up!


Cynthia: My heart goes out to you. I have fibromyalgia, and from time to time my vaginal lichen sclerosis shows up. But I want to share with you that my niece was diagnosed with breast cancer some years ago. In her town her doctor wanted to do a mastectomy. However, she went to Houston, Texas and they did a lumpectomy. This was about ten years ago. She has since had a child and is doing real well.

Kris Aaron

I’ve come to the same decision after nearly 20 years of chronic pain due to a neuro disorder. Husband and I have been together nearly 40 years, but should I be hit by a diagnosis like cancer — and with the current opioid hysteria resulting in so many instances of untreated, severe pain — I’ll kiss my family a loving goodbye.
I have NO intention of going through the hell of medical BS used to disguise the fact that doctors often don’t have a “cure” and not much of a treatment, but they sure don’t mind charging us a LOT of money to tell us that. I’ve seen what chemotherapy does to people, and I don’t care to suffer through explosive diarrhea and convulsive vomiting only to hear that my cancer has metastasized.
Most important: I won’t allow myself to go through any additional pain. Promises made by medical caregivers aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, especially if they involve opioids. No doctor is going to put her license to practice medicine at risk for a patient, no matter how horribly they’re suffering.
Thanks to Derek Humphry’s book Final Exit I’ve developed a plan to ensure an “easy out”, should it become necessary. Gentle hugs to you for all the help you’ve give us and your wonderful columns.


How many of us have actually wished we had cancer just to be put out of the misery we are in, being denied pain relief?
Cynthia, you must put this in God hands. Just pray for guidance to make the right decisions. My prayers are with you.

J. V.

Seems to be a tragic story. But..

Toussaint says she gets annual mammograms. IF…… she and most women knew the truth about mammograms they’d know that she had most likely this what seems to be a real cancer in her breast BECAUSE of having received them regularly —read the book ‘The Mammogram Myth’ by Rolf Hefti.

Many women SAY they want to know the facts about mammography (and so many other things) but when they are presented with real factual data opposing the official medical narrative, they are quick to dismiss it or completely ignore it. It’s why few women question, or have questioned, what’s really behind the war on cancer and the endless calls for breast cancer awareness.

Most people would be much smarter and better informed if they had awareness of what this movement or the war on cancer do NOT raise awareness about.

Bruce Stewart

So sorry, Cynthia. If there’s anything I can do to help you, please let me know. I live in Vegas. I have CRPS, neuropathy. But I feel so damned lucky after reading this, that I don’t have any other major problems. The last female to leave me had her both breasts removed on what I considered a dubious diagnosis and treatment recommendation. This happened before we got together. We had known each other since 3rd grade. The doctor was a total [edit], bent on billing her into oblivion. He said “why do you want your breasts reconstructed, just leave them the way they are”. It’s a good thing I wasn’t involved at the time, or else he would’ve been getting parts of his body reconstructed. I couldn’t help her, maybe there’s something I can do for you. Please let me know. National Pain Report has my email address. I lost a daughter to a terminal condition when she was 1 1/2. Her prenatal doctor was a macho [edit], I’ll just leave it at that.
Please let me know.

Ellen Lenox Smith

Thank you for the courage to share the horror one faces with medical issues. They are not always black and white and one has to make difficult decisions that we have to live with more than those around us. I, too, wished to have been diagnosed with cancer due to facing a pretty unknown condition with few to turn to for help. It felt so weird to feel that way but was feeling so isolated and thrown out in the wash. You are clearly a fighter but this is your fight and decisions to make - may your decisions bring you peace, in time. I respect you and wish the best.


Opioids didn’t make the News today. But we did learn something. The little girl that got tossed by the buffalo couldn’t run as fast as mom and dad. Good news was that she wasn’t badly hurt.


The American criminal justice system holds 2.3 million prisoners. 85% of Federal and 45% are in for drugs. Incarceration costs more than $30000 per inmate.

Dear Cynthia,

I am so sorry to hear that you are facing this situation. Living with CRPS is extremely challenging, facing such a choice is heartbreaking.

Readers who are unfamiliar with CRPS, may not understand the real fear of having surgery as a CRPS patient. CRPS is a neuro-inflammatory condition believed to be caused by damage to the peripheral and central nervous system. The National Institute of Health states that “The most common triggers are fractures, sprains/strains, soft tissue injury (such as burns, cuts, or bruises), limb immobilization (such as being in a cast), surgery, or even minor medical procedures such as needle stick. CRPS represents an abnormal response that magnifies the effects of the injury.”

The pain of living with CRPS is severe, ongoing, incurable and disabling. Avoiding injuries and medical interventions is built into how we cope and prevent spread of our symptoms. This is serious.

That being said, there are things you can do to prevent the spread of CRPS when medical procedures are necessary. When I was facing a simple colonoscopy I researched and wrote about that here on the National Pain Report. Research does show that patients with CRPS are at risk of a spread of their symptoms with surgery. Some preventative measures you and your anesthesiologist can take to reduce those risks include taking Vitamin C, local and/or regional nerve blocks, ketamine during and after the procedure, medications to manage increased pain levels after the procedure, and working with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to manage the increased stress.

I have read your book and follow your activities. By sharing your story you have touched many lives. Your fortitude and persistence are inspiring. As a person living with CRPS I feel I understand the complex rationale you face. I hope the references in my article help with that decision.

Rose Montgomery

Cynthia, your bravery, whether you’re feeling it right now or not is inspiring. When I think about all of the surgeries I’ve survived, some which now seem unnecessary, and I have survived cancer, I too wonder what choice I would make if cancer appeared again. I am so in love with my grand-children the thought of abandoning them breaks my heart, but I live with a husband who has mental health problems and is not helpful to me, so the thought of being disabled by cancer treatments might leave me also feeling like no treatment would be better. The daily struggles we pain patients deal with are overwhelming enough without adding more blows — insult to injury to injury to injury… I hope you will continue to inspire us with your writing which ever decision you make.


Hi Cynthia!
I have enjoyed your many posts and would be sad if you choose to leave your partner, & your CP family early. You have every right to live, or not, on your own terms, your own way. I do finally understand this.
However, without ample information, it is too soon to make any logical decision. It is like you are inside a Tornado with things coming at you from every direction. Simply overwhelming.
‘Try’ to just breathe for today. ‘Try’ to absorb this new information….then have a lovely dinner with your partner, put on your favorite music, gaze at the moon & enjoy tonight simply because you are HERE.


Please “Google” Maia Szalovits and or Ted Talks and send links to your Congressman, Senators, the President. They are the ones we need to sponsor on National TV.

It would be useful for people in Cynthia’s predicament, if someone would figure out how CRPS forms and how it spreads. Western medicine gained all of it’s credibility when Joseph Lister and Robert Koch proved that bacteria cause infections and removing bacteria from the skin is what makes surgery safer. Cause and Effect drives our reasoning in Western medicine.

On CRPS, and also on cancer, we lack that cause-and-effect understanding and are guessing at what to do for people. There are lots of things “associated” with cancer but we don’t know the cause. Some lawyers advertise on the TV that there’s money in suing over the label on baby powder because there’s a slight correlation between wanting to use baby powder and developing ovarian cancer…but nobody knows if the discomfort that drives women to want baby powder is a symptom of the developing cancer, or if the baby powder itself actually causes the cancer. The lawyers ignore this important question in their rush to cash in. The question lacks a proven answer. It’s those proven answers that enable us to predict if a treatment will treat cancer or cause a CRPS flare. Until we get some proven answers, a white lab coat is as meaningful as a shaman’s mask…it’s a symbol, nothing more.


About cancer — I have a friend who had Stage 4 breast cancer for many years, outliving others in her situation by a long time.

At her last test, she showed absolutely no sign of cancer. Her oncologist said that if she were a new patient, he’d send her home as healthy.

She is continuing with her monthly chemo to be on the safe side, but what happened to her is another example that you never know.

And, unlike others with cancer that I have experience with, she never adjusted her diet in any way and never stopped using foods and other products loaded with chemicals and artificial whatever. She sought no alternative treatment to supplement the chemo. She did nothing except get her chemo.


This is certainly one of the most heartbreaking stories I’ve ever come across.
It’s so well written, and tells the tale that so many of us live through parts of.

At the end of my neuro-psych exam last week — scheduled due to recent cognitive problems and all physical testing such as brain MRI coming out negative — I had to fill out a form which is only for chronic pain patients. The form asked many questions about my partner/SO/person I feel closest to.

I told the doctor that there is no such person. That at age 62, it’s pathetic, but I feel really close to no one. That’s my life due to my pain. She told me that she hears that from many people.

I lost my long term relationship due to my pain. My former SO came to view me as only an invalid. Thankfully, our relationship declined so gradually that it was easy to remain friends, and it’s only due to his help with grocery shopping and more that I can continue to live independently. But I don’t feel close to him any more. Our relationship is virtually all transactional now. Except for extremely rare occasions, we only spend time together if he is delivering groceries or we are doing errands together, etc.

When I die, no one will really miss me. So, I truly will be dead and gone.

Cynthia is incredibly lucky that, in spite of her health issues and loss of friends, she has someone who loves her. But yes, that makes her current predicament more difficult in terms of her wishing to die.

I’ve googled CRPS and what I’ve read focuses on limbs. I dont’ understand how it can spread to a cervix, but I certainly believe Cynthia.

I don’t know how she was able to write such a well written column while under such duress.
Best wishes and please keep us posted.

Debi Bohannan

I’m right there with you. My faith in Jesus Christ assures me of my future outside this body & life without quality of health & liberty is no life at all.


Cynthia, and any others that are facing possible terminal health issues, please, at least, find out what is going on before making the decision not to seek an answer. You are very intelligent and such an inspiration to us who follow you through this network, and your partner, who has been with you through this journey, needs to know, as well. Yes, LIFE CAN BE HARD and UNFAIR, I have cold CRPS in my left side, from my toes through the back of my leg and it is spreading, but I cut a note out of our newspaper when all of this started that said that Pain is hard, but worth the joy that lies ahead, and I have it taped by my mirror, so I see it everyday and try not to become depressed. Yes, there are impossible times, CRPS is the suicide disease, invisible, like other chronic pain, but we muster the strength to continue to try and take special joy, more than others, in life’s greatest blessings. Life is a gift, although it might not seem like one right now, but, at least, get the facts of what is happening and then make the crucial decisions that you must make. I know friends scatter when you can’t be who you once was, but you have a tremendous amount of love, respect and concern from those of us who feel close to you and your trials and joys. Yes, I believe in prayer, and I too, will be sincerely, praying for you. Don’t despair, get facts then follow your path that you choose, nobody else is living in your body but you. Please keep us in the loop, we might not be there with you in body, but we are in loving spirit. Blessings….


I also will probably not undergo medical treatment even to the point of death for the exact reasons you wrote here. All of them.
I would try Graviola, Dandelion Root and Proteolytic Enzyme Therapy and lots of prayer for Cancer, to start.
Look them up.


Well, I’ve learned at least find out what it is and then make an informed decision.
I, also, do not care to go thru their “cut, burn and poison” treatment and would allow myself to succumb to it.
Still trying to find a doc to even inject the Botox into my spasming muscles+ (gasp) prescribe my pain meds. I feel like a hot potato.
It’s a damn merry-go round ( without the merry).
I just don’t after 30 years of this have much patience with the awful medical industry in this country, esp since they are pretty much taking away the ONLY thing they can used for chronic pain.
Nope, if something else goes wrong, I’m outta here.

PS: I don’t think we should get yearly mammo’s anyway with all the radiation from them, who knows WHAT starts the cancer! I haven’t gotten one since a nurse squashed my breast into a paper thin sheet of tissue because SHE said I moved. I did not, but was punished for it anyway.
Hey, stay sane Cynthia. Sometimes life is really not worth living no matter what your boyfriend wants…to avoid the grief.
But, really, do the biopsy, find out. Maybe they can just cut the thing out


Your story startled me as I read it, it mirrors my present medical dilemma. My CRPS has me deciding whether to live or die. I was placed on a forced-taper 3 years ago and I have not been able to do much more than lay in bed with only a sheet touching my skin 23 hours a day, most days. After explaining my hardship to several doctors who agree to get back to my effective dose, they have, I have asked my Primary Care doctor to resume my effective dose, yet I get a swift refusal, with reasons which have nothing to do with me, my health or my well-being. “But the CDC, FDA, fear of medical license lost, or State interference, etc.”, is her reply.
Where is my Liberty, my right to choose? This Nation’s strong belief a woman’s right to choose what she does with her Body” seems to refer to only abortion rights (where the outcome is Certain Death). RSD is a Neurological Condition which I can’t control. I can’t even pull the trigger on the gun located by my pillow next to my bed, loaded with one bullet meant for my head the next time I reach a 10 on “the scale”. With years and the proper dosage of time-released medicine, working full-time and enjoying active outdoor life in Montana, since my diagnosis 21 years ago. I have been told by several pain specialists that the Country nor my doctor could not be harmed in any way if I were to return to my original low dosage, and would benefit my health immensely. I have also expressed to doctors my strong desire to die, that this ‘crisis’ has destroyed my life, not the disease. My sincere prayer every night to is to obtain a deadly and fast-growing cancer, or the strength to pull the trigger, along with a prayer of Hope and for Liberty for all chronic pain sufferers due to our Nation’s mis-handled “crisis”. My County won’t let me choose to Live, or choose to Die, so who will make this decision for me?

Alice Carroll

I too had chronic pain before I got a Breast Cancer diagnosis. I know, you think, “How much more can they hit me with?” All I can say on that is I learned to NOT pray for strength as it seemed more stuff just got heaped on me to make me stronger!

I may say at this point you really don’t have enough information to make a life and death decision. IMO have the biopsy and find out what kind of tumor, what stage and what the prognosis is before chucking the whole thing and refusing treatment. I had a stage 2B Metaplastic Carcinoma, which at the time, 2005, less than .5% of breast cancer patients had. Almost no research was available on the stuff because it was so rare. I was treated with 8 chemo treatments spaced 2 weeks apart and 35 radiation treatments. None of it was fun and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

I got through it with help from a great oncologist, my Mother and friends. I’m still here 14 years later fighting my latest pain flare up (unrelated)! One thing about cancer is because it’s so obvious when you’re in treatment and you lose your hair and it’s so widespread that hardly a family is left untouched it seems people are very willing to offer help and encouragement. There are support groups, people to help with food and cleaning houses, people who knit booties, make pillows, offer hair for wigs and many volunteers willing to push wheelchairs or just be there to talk to.

It’s totally different than chronic pain where many don’t believe you or treat you as an addict just because you’re in pain, you take pain medication and you never seem to get better. It was baffling to me at first. But chronic pain is a hidden disease. It’s not really talked about. I never knew it existed until it was me that had it!

Hang in there Cynthia. It’s too soon to make a decision without more information. You always write a good column with pertinent information that helps those of us living with chronic pain.
I for one appreciate you. Thanks.


I understand. The last few months I was diagnosed with polythemna vera a rare bone/blood cancer. After going through many many test it turns out not to be this painful deadly cancer. They are now saying my CRPS and other illness have cause my thermostat in my body to break. What ever that is? Back to square one.
My prayers are with u all that are suffering. God Bless

Gail Honadle

So sad for you. Like you lots of health issues for 30+ yrs I’m 71 in 25 days, I’ve had Painful Fibro Cystic Breast since my teens, of us 3 girls I’m the oldest, shortest, and biggest breasted, Fibromyalgia since 40. I a Dense D and a Mammogram is very painful, I don’t fit in the machine, breast wise, height wise, nor can I turn my neck spine damage or lift my arm due to a small unrepairable Rotator cuff tear. I don’t like passing out from the pain. Or the 2 weeks of painful bruises to very fair skin. Then 42 lbs of foot pressure coming down on my breast and told to stop being a baby and crying from the pain. It Freaking Hurts. Men ought to have their genitals squashed by one to see What Torture they are. They are not 100% accurate, have false positives. Why can’t I have a MRI instead that doesn’t cause pain? Because I’m Medicare and Tricare Life who won’t cover one. I do my checks so far so good.

Then you have my set of cousins, they are all gene tested at a early age, the Breast Cancer Gene goes down the Male line, not the female line, Two brothers married 2 of my aunts, Breast Cancer ran in their family, but not on our side. But according to artificial guide lines they are not offered a Mammogram at 20. It is hit and miss, but 20 seems to be the age it starts.

We are individuals not a herd of animals. Those who are Gene Positive should be able to get a Mammogram at 20 and every year there after. Then I read the story of a woman who had a double Mastectomy because of Wrong diagnosis and when through the whole Chemo process.
or my former DIL whose nipples looked odd and she was to Under Educated to go have them checked ended up with a walnut size tumor, took a kick to the chest to discover the lump. She wasn’t doing her monthly checks either.

Barbara Snow

I feel like I know you agree reading your many writings. Well doesn’t that just suck, or not. But I understand how you feel, as the same prayers have passed these lips also. I hope you will let us know what you learn from the doctors when you find out. With love from Florida.🙏

Judie Plumley

It seems so heartless doesn’t it? I kind of understand.
I survived all these years, through mental illness as a child, through an abusive marriage that broke my spirit as well as a few bones in my twenties.
In my forties, I made it through the horrors of transvaginal mesh, the stigma of doctors not believing what it was doing to me and finally it’s removal in 2013..
I had a spinal fusion 7 months later that gave me MRSA and made me a chronic pain patient.
In April, I learned I had broken the rods in my back, and thankfully, they were replaced. Yet the pain has not gotten better and I continue to lose weight.
A few weeks ago, I realized something was wrong with my eye. I was terrified it was a torn retina and I had no idea how I was going to lay on my face while it healed with my back the way it is.
That wasn’t it. I have ocular melanoma. It’s treatable, but I will lose sight in my eye. Thank God it isn’t both.
Now I am waiting to see if oncology will find the funds to do my PET and MRI as I do not have insurance for that. They want to make sure this is the first cancer.
The hardest part was telling people. I don’t want them to be sad, or feel bad for me, or even try to cheer me up. Most of all, I don’t want to be any more of a burden than I already am.
I am at a total loss…….. so, please accept a hug I am sending you. I don’t know what else to do. I am so sorry this is happening…..


May the Lord bless you with wisdom, my dear one, Cynthia. May He comfort, guide, and give you the peace the world cannot give through Christ our Lord. Only God can take our mess and turn it into a message, and you truly have sent us out here many good and inspiring stories of hope, comfort, and encouragement. May I offer that you are free already, Cynthia, free as a bird, for you have been set free already, and have set free many of us out here with your courage, strength, and proven fighter instinct. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers her out of them all. Psalm 34:19 {emphasis mine}. I have, and will pray for you, dear one. I send this weeping with you.


I do hope everyone here gets the pain medication that they want and I mean WANT. Are we free or not? None of us should have to make a case for why and clearly that doesn’t work anyway. I have a lot of pain and I think about dying ever hour of every day. I am used to being alone. In my condition am not good company and worse if people have to listen to me suffer. Do your friends a favor, don’t make them suffer with you.

Marion Brady

I just feel devastated, sad, depressed and angry about Cynthia’s horrible predicament. I have had full body CRPS since 1998 and was already disabled by severe Degenerative Spinal Disease since 1980. So at age 72, with CRPS pain rapidly progressing, the person who is my only source of caregiving and financial support is slowly dying of congestive heart failure. All that my future holds is a Medicaid nursing home. I have already decided not to have treatment for cancer if I get it. Imagining chemo when taking most any supplement makes me nauseated and vomit. I support any decision Cynthia makes. But I have one question: Would having a ketamine infusion before, during and after the biopsy and any other invasive surgery keep the CRPS from spreading? There is lots of positive information about this out there so I’m sure Cynthia knows about it. Why doesn’t this seem to be a possibility for her? ( I know it wouldn’t help with chemo and radiation.)