Dori: Woman battling brain cancer denied surgery by Inslee’s ban says her ‘life should mean something’

Jan 25, 2022, 3:21 PM | Updated: Jan 26, 2022, 7:36 am
(Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)...
(Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

The lime-sized tumor in her brain stripped her of sight in one eye while causing blinding headaches. An even larger tumor in her ovary has spread to her colon, so she vomits, struggles with fatigue, and cries for relief.

And yet, Angee – a Western Washington wife and mom of three who has been seeing cancer specialists for months — is currently being denied treatment.

Why? Because of Gov. Jay Inslee’s statewide emergency order that restricts hospitals from performing “non-urgent” surgeries, procedures, and other health care services.

“Doctors can’t go in right now because there is a mandate on my situation – my tumor – (because) it is not looking that my death will occur in the next couple of weeks,” Angee told the Dori Monson Show.

Gov. Inslee says his order is designed to slow the surge of COVID-19 cases. There are exceptions, but they must go through a process and be approved by a state medical board.

Angee’s story came to the Dori Monson Show after she posted on social media. Dori originally shared her post last Friday. Today, Angee and her husband Brian (who asked that their last names be omitted while they deal with her illness), came on the show to talk about their situation.

Her cancer is terminal, she told Dori’s listeners.

“If left untreated, (my life expectancy is) months to a few years – depending on how quickly things grow and spread,” Angee said.

In her original Facebook post, Angee wrote: “I don’t post a lot. I’ve been keeping a lot of personal stuff private (mostly my battle with brain and now other cancers) and I’ve been staying away from politics. Until now. Some of you lucky ones have witnessed drastic changes in me lately. The loss of my hair, extreme weight loss, memory loss and how exhausted and drained I am. How I’m so d— tired of hiding this tremendous pain and fear behind some stupid smile acting like it will all be okay and that the doctors are wrong about this past Christmas being my last.”

When the governor originally announced that elective surgeries were on hold, Angee says, she thought it was for cases involving issues like cosmetic surgery.

While praising her doctors, Angee says “their hands are tied” by the order.

“I would have never thought that my neurosurgeons — doctors who are treating tumors inside my body — (would have to consider this) an elective procedure,” Angee told Dori’s listeners. “For me, this is not elective, it’s a necessity. Without these surgeries, I am going to continue to decline, and my life should mean something more.”

After reading her social media post, Dori told Angee and Brian that their strength and courage are inspiring, but Angee says many days are difficult.

She wrote:

How I literally break down and bawl my eyes out night after night in the shower, or how I’ve planned my funeral and written letters I thought I had YEARS to prepare for. You haven’t seen the pain and agony in my husband’s eyes as he lays beside me when the pain in my head is too much to bear and I’m crumpled on the ground with icepacks covering inch of my head, neck and face waiting for the extraordinary burn I feel to subside. The sadness on my children’s faces as they stand there helpless not knowing how to say goodbye. The loss my mother feels preparing to let go of another child. Or the uncontrollable vomiting from the painful ovarian tumor that is so large, you can see it bulging out of my abdomen.

We have a governor with a God complex that issued our hospitals, our talented surgeons and experts that unless it’s a medical emergency (as in you will die within 24 hours) that anything else is considered an elective procedure. Elective??? Let me make that easier to understand … my lime sized brain tumor that has caused blindness in my right eye, that has robbed me of my memory, my balance and has caused physical noticeable changes that is messing with my hormones, is an elective surgery, how due to those high/low hormonal (high estrogen, excessive growth hormone, low cortisol) changes actually caused the yam sized tumor in my ovary, which spread to my colon, elective, because it doesn’t look like I’ll die in the next day or two.

So my surgeries via Inslee need to be presented before a surgical board and from there, I may or may not be offered the surgery I desperately need to try to outlive the timeline I’ve been given. I’m supposed to sit here gracefully while the “Big Man” gets to sit behind his desk calling me a “Washingtonian” and dictates whether I get to live or die!! Good job voting for that (deleted) again. That vote quite literally is COSTING ME MY LIFE! Who does he think he is over our professional medical staff who are ordering these procedures because life DOES DEPEND ON THEM! MY QUALITY OF LIFE DEPENDS ON THEM.

Dori told Angee and Brian that his show is sending a copy of her interview to the governor’s office, and that listeners were texting their best wishes and prayers to her while she was sharing her story.

“Once again, thank you for those who have rallied around me, lifting me up and being such a comfort in my time of need,” Angee wrote in a Facebook post. “Your kindness and support carries me through. I feel your love daily.”

Hear Dori’s entire interview with Angee and her husband here:

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Dori: Woman battling brain cancer denied surgery by Inslee’s ban says her ‘life should mean something’