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Yup, still homeless. And now I have a cancer diagnosis.

Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by CandleLight, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. CandleLight

    CandleLight Well-Known Member

    I'm still homeless. This homeless shelter, which promises housing, refuses to meet my disability accommodation needs. So they've made threats to kick me out for saying, "the unit you offered me IS NOT DISABLED ACCESSIBLE. I can't live there."

    Do I have a legal case? Yes. Do I have the energy left to fight a system intentionally set up to fail people like me? Nope.

    And now I've apparently got spindle cell soft tissue sarcoma. It's so rare, there are no designated sarcoma specialists at the big research hospital I go to. I've got to laugh, frankly, if I had breast cancer there would be like 13 specialists I could see.

    My surgeon? Well he works a lot with gastroenterology cancers. Guess he's doing me a solid, practicing sarcoma surgery on my leg.

    Aaaand they have to put me out for the surgery, of course. So I'm terrified. They last time they put me under, it was after I hurt myself last year. I barely made it out of that alive.

    I feel often, that I did die last year. I'm in hell. Homeless. Huge losses on top of losses. A cancer that can't even do me the favor of being common enough for the doctors to have a solid plan. To my questions, the nurse oncologist said "we'll know more during surgery." Talk about feeling powerless, you know?

    Powerlessness on top of powerlessness.

    I'm pretty sure next to no one I can think of would trade lives with me.
  2. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Hi hun, I am so sorry to hear this, this saddens me a lot. You are going through some rough times, you have a lot of courage. Brave woman you are. Sorry there is nothing I can do to help. I just wanted to let you know that I care.
  3. gk25353

    gk25353 Member

    Hi there, I was an RC at a homeless shelter my last job and have seen how hard it can be for people with disabilities - there's always limited space so it's hard to get in and then even once you do get in they stick you on the top bunk! It's terrible, right? But in terms of what you can do, do you have any friends at the shelter who could help you get around or get to your bunk? No matter how hard it is, even if you've gotta sit on the floor, it's better to be inside at night, right? Especially at this time of year. Don't give up and keep fighting to get in!

    That's really rough with the spindle cell soft tissue sarcoma diagnosis. But since you were able to remember that long, complicated name it sounds to me like you really care about knowing what's wrong with your health and getting better. I used to be afraid of going under too back when I had kidney stones, but when you think about it it's not that hard - just a few seconds of powerlessness. It sounds like you're fighting in other ways though so, at least to me, it doesn't sounds like you're completely powerlessness. I hope you keep fighting and make friends who love you and who you love back. That's something even the wealthiest people have trouble doing and what we all need to do most. You're clearly an intelligent person given how clearly you write so I have no doubt you'll find a way. Keep on going!!!
    betteroffunknown likes this.
  4. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Seeing is Believing Forum Pro SF Supporter

    When is the surgrey supposed to happen
  5. wow i hate being homeless although i live wit my so called "family"(i dont like my sister she has no respect)im close to being homeless and im helping the house,etc i been looking for a job just hard now a days.I been homeless before,i can't imagine being homeless again im afraid ill have to die/kill myself then be homeless again it was a living night mare and i got the energy to do it again(well i got the energy)i just cant do it again though im better of dead.
  6. CandleLight

    CandleLight Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies. My surgery was yesterday. I feel like an infant, having to ask for medicine and help walking and every other little thing adults usually do pretty well on their own.

    That being said, it sounds like the surgery went pretty well. I also have two caring friends who can let me recover at their place for a couple days before I go back to the homeless shelter.

    It feels worth mentioning that my friend even brought my dog to the hospital. Twice. I was even going to have my dog spend the night in the Adult Acute Care unit tonight with me, but I had to get my friend to come all the way back to the hospital to pick my dog back up. My dog and I were just not able to make it work, I have a walker and am in pain still so feel I couldn't meet any big needs she could have in the middle of the night.

    Not that I sleep much! I get shots in my stomach, I'm often close to throwing up and of course, the surgical site is really tender.

    But I'm doing OK. I'm OK for now...
    DrownedFishOnFire likes this.
  7. Joseph Baker

    Joseph Baker Member

    BUT THE POINT IS THAT YOU ARE NOT HOMELESS; SO PLS PLS DON"T PUSH YOURSELF OUT THE DOOR. As a chronically depressed person, I want others to feel my pain. I have found thete is a limit yo what others can tske. It is a natutal human reaction to flee from others' desperations. I am new to this, but a friend advised me the sbove and that helped me so much, bec it eased the anger I felt towards those who shut themselves off from my grief. It is a human reaction, a self-protection measure. Furthermore, about 5 minutes after doing my confesdion I feel worse than before. One step foward, three backwards
  8. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Seeing is Believing Forum Pro SF Supporter

    How r u doing Candles?
    Brian777 likes this.
  9. Joseph Baker

    Joseph Baker Member

  10. Joseph Baker

    Joseph Baker Member

    Oh candelight you are loved and cared for. And your cancer makes me cry,,,really. Are there no friends who will take you in until you can get more permanent housing? You ate worthwhile, that may sound silly but I do know quite a bit about feeling worthless. Depending on the state where you live, there are a host of civil services. Wouldd going into a mental ward bide you some time? Most public hospiitals have social workers? Truthfully I empathize more than you know. You have friends wi the forum who care for you.
  11. Joseph Baker

    Joseph Baker Member

    Candlelight, you are very brave and I think having a dog to care for iss a life line. It certainly has been that way for me. My little Nicky intuits when I am sad, which is almost every second. The fact that you are communicating is a very powerful life line as well. Praying for the best for you. Joe
  12. Denise69

    Denise69 Well-Known Member

    Your one brave lady cancer is not easy to deal with I know that pretty well are u in the uk the reason I'm asking if you are you could go to maggies and I'm sure they would help you on your journey but here if u wanna talk
  13. CandleLight

    CandleLight Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies. To make a long story short, I know what is available to me and what isn't. I realize the suggestions come from a place of true compassion, but suggestions make me really frustrated right now. Case in point: my social worker/ case manager told me I HAVE TO stay at the SPECIFIC shelter I am in for the housing department to get me into supportive housing. I truly am stuck. I know that I am stuck. So just being heard, matters the most to me. Thank you all, for that. Just know that, of course, I know myself and my situation much better than anyone else, and again- there are literally zero other alternatives to what I am doing for myself right this minute already.

    I did send my therapist a really frustrated email tonight, because the shelter I am staying at (and again, the "housing department" says I HAVE TO STAY THERE FOR THEM TO HELP ME) has gotten really bad. In the specific "dorm" I stay in, everyone was talking about stealing bikes. It made me really upset. I don't do anything against the law, ever, and I get that people do what they can to survive but SORRY, WORLD- I DO NOT WANT TO LIVE WITH CRIMINALS. Furthermore, one guy kept spraying cologne in the enclosed room, which is the exact kind my abusive ex used. So I started having bad flashbacks. The same guy also talked about losing his knife and how he was looking around for it. I can't keep sleeping night after night around people who would steal from me given half the chance. I also had to file a police report like a week ago after something bad happened to me there. And recently a woman offered me a cigarette, and when I declined, she tried to hit me with a broken broomstick. I looked up just in time!

    Again, NOOOOO SUGGESTIONS PLEASE. I don't mean that to be rude at all. But please understand how horrid the shelter staff usually are, how the police are often no help, how my therapist always tells me how many clients she has and shows up way late to the only TWO times I get to see her a month... And yet I'm STUCK with her because if I change even the TINIEST thing on any official housing paperwork, like if I try to get a new case manager or if I leave the shelter for the street where it's literally safer (which, again, I was EXPRESSLY told was my only way to get the housing I want and need- staying in that horrid place) that could EASILY confuse some "government agency" idiot who has no idea what to do with any changes and therefore my file gets chucked. That actually happens to people, so it's not even just feeling like I'm walking on eggshells- I AM walking on eggshells.

    As for the cancer, the type is basically unknown for sure, they just know whatever it is, it's rare (there's more to it then that but I don't feel like getting into it right now). There's also a chance of it coming back, which I'll know in another 2 1/2 months at the earliest.

    I use a walker still. So I was literally targeted for being a slow-moving disabled women in front of the shelter ON THE WHEELCHAIR RAMP. What kind of person hurts women like that?! So that's why I filed the police report. Did it get me anywhere? No, of course not. And now whenever I need to use the ramp to get anywhere, I have shelter staff get all of the people always blocking the path, to move. So you can imagine what the a******s out front think of me NOW. It's like I'm an even bigger target. I call for taxis and Paratransit and they HATE coming into my horrible neighborhood. Whenever we hear gunshots we just count them, and estimate if and when the police sirens will be audible.

    I went to an urgent care clinic for psychiatric help, the other night. They would have referred me for more treatment, "but there is only one female bed in the whole city". And it wasn't one with an elevator. So the walker limits me a lot in where I can go for help.

    The urgent care clinic told me to come back November 1st. But right now I type this from a casual buddy's room around the corner from the shelter, with the full knowledge that being at the shelter one more night would be very damaging to me. I see my therapist tomorrow for the 2nd of our only 2 sessions a month (lucky me!) and I will make sure refers me to the crisis clinic again. If I have to keep going back there, fine. It's not MY fault that they just tell you "we have no treatment beds to refer you to" before they kick you out (you can only stay there for 24 hours max, and usually they only give you like 12 hours).

    I'm really, really, really angry but I am CERTAIN it's fully understandable. I had really bad PTSD and other mental health issues way before the homelessness. And now I have cancer/ have to worry about cancer coming back, too. I don't personally know anyone who's dealing with more horrible circumstances than I am, frankly. Which makes things tough with friends, because they either disappear when they hear the word "cancer" or they insist you will be OK and they can't bear to listen to a word you say otherwise.

    It's like, the biggest things I need right now I can't have!! SUPPORTIVE HOUSING. And someone to just LISTEN without thinking I want them to make it all better somehow. :(

    Oh and my friend told me I lost a ton of weight. I don't care that much anymore. I saw some laboratory results lately and I've got some numbers that are in line with malnutrition. But, frankly, if getting food means locking up every single one of my belongings and going into the awful shelter cafeteria for horrid food that tastes like wet cardboard while they blast a very loud TV nonstop, well then I'll just stay on that damn cot and starve to death.

    It would also be nice if the shelter would just go ahead and give me a second mat for my cot so my back and leg that got the surgery wouldn't hurt so much. But they make you get a doctor's note to ask for that tiny bit of humanity and kindness.

    I ran out of medication with no way to go and get more too, by the way.

    I'm in really, really bad shape. I hate my life. I really hate my life.

  14. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Seeing is Believing Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Am sorry that you are feeling this way Candles. Thank you for giving us an update wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. don't give up ride it out and are you allowed to have defensive weapons for yourself
    CandleLight and Denise69 like this.
  15. Rockclimbinggirl

    Rockclimbinggirl SF climber Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Hugs. Thanks for updating us.
    CandleLight likes this.