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Maggie O'Hara


Class of 1996 / Died: 4/98

By Susan McCool (her daughter):

Three years ago my father died of AIDS with Karposi's Sarcoma. Two years ago mom had a string of infections. She worked at a Medical School as head of nursing. Her doctors could find nothing and she felt that they some of the best. Last April after she had changed job to reduce the stress so she would be sick less, she had a bad, bad case of pneumonia and the CAT showed a mass in her lung. At that time she was tested for MM but was negative (maybe a bad lab?) In June she was strong enough for the treatment for the mass but it was gone, she was anemic but they couldn't see anything else. We were turned down for an oncologist by Pacific Care HMO. Two weeks later she broke two ribs. They healed, Sept she broke two more ribs and re-fractured one rib. Dec., she opened a drawer and broke two more ribs. The x-rays showed three holes in the spine.

I made an appointment with a cancer doctor but mom felt they were doing everything needed and canceled. The cancer tests came back negative. Finally, we got a cancer doctor through the HMO. The doctor never answered questions like tumor load, IG or Light chain type - I guess I look stupid. I was the only one who would go to bat for her for her pain leaving little time for her condescending doctor. She was showing a response to the VAD but the cancer had wrecked the bones. Both arms were pinned but within two weeks the pins came out of the bones. Her back compressed and the pain was not controllable. We had gone to three thousand mg of morphine then after ten days of begging we started dilaudid and Duragesic patches. When she died she had 700 mg patches on and was receiving 360 mg IV with 288 mg as a bolus dose, steroids, and 1200 mg neurotonin and many other meds. Her doctor said she was tired - I am praying for the grace to forgive or this will eat me up. If you want to pass this to the list, please do. I will not be surprised if KSHV-8 ends up being a big factor in this disease. She so wanted to get well and help others with this disease. 


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