The leadership of NorCal CarciNET Community has known and worked with Mitch Berger of the Captial Cities group for well over a decade. We admire his work and leadership. Mitch has entered hospice care and will be writing about it so that we all can learn and get insights from his experience. Mitch - we will keep you in our hearts always. Thank you for this wonderful gift


"It's no secret to some of you that after 20 years of dealing with my neuroendocrine cancer (formally called carcinoid) we have decided to end treatment and enter hospice care. It's not like there were many options. I was hoping for a new version of PRRT in Germany, but my cancer had advanced too much to withstand the rigors of travel and of the tumors that were there, around 50% were not likely to respond, It was time to step aside and let someone with better chances have their turn. While there are "Hail-Mary" drugs out there, Michiko and I decided long ago that my final days would be peaceful without infusion tubes, monitors and yet more time in the hospital.

For those who want to fight their cancer up until the last second, I offer no criticism, but in comparison, I have spent hours being visited by old friends that treatment would preclude g not to mention the intrusive nature of a hospital stay. Hospice has already given me so much time with family and friends that I cannot imagine any other way.

Over the next couple of weeks, I hope to talk about my cancer and the important lessons I've learned. I'll also be writing about some of the other great passions of my life, like political cartooning so not everything I set down is going to be of interest to you and a fair warning will also be very political. But today's piece is for everyone who has found interest in my struggle with cancer. There are many groups that cover NETS and I would consider it a tremendous favor if you shared this post with them. As a long-time survivor (20 years) I'd like to think that I've helped some of my brothers and sisters in cancer.

I don't like that I'm dying, but I am accepting it. I'm using hospice to shape and control my final days. I leave you with this fact, most people wait too long to use hospice and die within just a few days after entering. Some of that is because of rumors about hospice (if anyone has questions about hospice I'll be happy to answer to them). At this point, I'm told I have weeks, so l should have time to answer questions
I want to use my hospice experience for other NET patients who are facing or maybe coming to face the same decisions I've made. The simple solution is a longer hospice stay, if possible, is better. Your thought's experiences are welcome and don't be afraid to argue. I've lived my life arguing and I'm not going to stop now."