SAMPSON, Sarah Cather­ine

Cape Breton Post - - In Memoriam/World -

I, Charles Sampson, hus­band of the late Sarah (Sally) Cather­ine nee Far­rel who passed away May 1, 2017, am tak­ing this op­por­tu­nity to try to ex­press what words are in­ad­e­quate to do of how valu­able my wife’s life and her love was to our fam­ily for 48 years.

Born De­cem­ber 4, 1943, Sally was the sec­ond youngest in a fam­ily of 12 chil­dren of the late John and Sadie Far­rell of Syd­ney Forks. Sally’s early fam­ily rear­ing from her par­ents was the ma­jor mould­ing fac­tor to her sound char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment that she trans­ferred in her ap­proach to her own fam­ily. Although she didn’t get the op­por­tu­nity for a col­lege or univer­sity de­gree, that didn’t pre­vent her from self-ed­u­cat­ing her­self as she at­tended to be­ing the re­spon­si­ble CEO of her well-run house­hold. She gave birth to two boys: Glen and our spe­cial child Scott, for which she de­serves most of the credit for how well both were reared. Glen lives in Van­cou­ver with his wife Cather­ine Syms and their two boys, Ben­jamin and Maxwell.

Sally most of the time was a gen­tle per­son but on a few oc­ca­sions would demon­strate her mother’s pro­tec­tive de­vo­tion to her chil­dren that would not shy away from even chal­leng­ing peo­ple in au­thor­ity. One such in­ci­dent in­volved the head of Or­thopaedic Surgery at the IWK Hos­pi­tal who was in the process of chastis­ing some young med­i­cal doc­tor in­terns for not men­tion­ing Scott as a Downs in­di­vid­ual by in­form­ing him that one of his col­leagues, who also at that time was a prac­tis­ing or­thopaedic sur­geon, didn’t rec­og­nize Scott’s de­vel­op­ing and crip­pling arthri­tis, which within a rel­a­tively short time pe­riod had pro­gressed to de­stroy­ing his im­por­tant joints. That doc­tor re­ported to our fam­ily doc­tor that any arthri­tis claimed by his par­ents was all in the par­ents’ heads.

But Sally’s real strength of char­ac­ter, dig­nity and courage was man­i­fested in her strug­gles with a num­ber of med­i­cal af­flic­tions through­out her life: rheuma­toid arthri­tis, colon can­cer, hip surgery and fi­nally as a non-smoker 4th stage lung can­cer while al­ways fore­most in her thoughts was the con­cern for her son Scott.

There is some med­i­cal re­port­ing that sug­gests her long time use of methotrex­ate for her arthri­tis may have con­trib­uted to her later lung can­cer, be­cause even a radon test­ing of our home proved not to be a prob­lem.

Doc­tors gave her two weeks to two months to live in late 2015 and were not too en­thu­si­as­ti­cally sug­gest­ing treat­ment. She was re­minded by one doc­tor that she was not a young women and re­peat­edly told her can­cer was not cur­able. I, not Sally, would usu­ally con­front that prac­ti­tioner over his un­ac­cept­able and un­wanted bed­side man­ner.

Not will­ing to give up, Sally sought the pro­vided chemo and ra­di­a­tion treat­ments while also even­tu­ally later ac­quir­ing med­i­cal mar­i­juana from a doc­tor also in­ter­ested in her qual­ity of life. It helped to ease her arthri­tis pain and swelling. She was very ap­pre­cia­tive of the ef­forts of Dr. John Rit­ter and his very sup­port­ive and ca­pa­ble nurse Wendy Simp­son.

Un­for­tu­nately, how­ever, the mar­i­juana oil be­ing sup­plied un­der the govern­ment’s med­i­cal mar­i­juana pol­icy is not to the strength that some knowl­edge­able ad­vo­cates sug­gest is nec­es­sary for hav­ing the chance to pos­si­bly achiev­ing the best med­i­cal out­comes in fight­ing can­cer. The reg­u­la­tion and use of med­i­cal mar­i­juana is in­ten­tion­ally be­ing ma­nip­u­lated to en­sure vested in­ter­ests are pro­tected re­gard­less if the med­i­ca­tion pre­scribed and sold and taxed to pa­tients is in­ad­e­quate for achiev­ing that pa­tient’s best pos­si­ble med­i­cal out­come.

Although med­i­cal treat­ment for can­cer has re­port­edly had some re­mark­able re­sults in trig­ger­ing an in­di­vid­ual pa­tient’s im­mune sys­tem, the costs of such drugs are pro­hib­i­tive for most pa­tients as the in­ter­ests of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and its share­hold­ers are still the fore­most con­sid­er­a­tion of our au­thor­i­ties.

Un­der such an en­vi­ron­ment, my wife lost her bat­tle with can­cer on May 1, 2017.

Fu­ture ar­range­ments to cel­e­brate her life will be left un­til sum­mer time.

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