So when you think about cancer, everyone tells you about all the scary stuff. Doctors instill fear inside of you. Even though you are already scared, they don’t make it much easier. I had an 11cm mass growing in my chest that was causing me an unbearable amount of pain. So in my best interest my doctor prescribed me Fentanyl and Hydrocodone. I just went with it and followed through what my doctor was giving since he was the one who was saving my life. So I begun these medications and it did help while I was in active treatment. But as time passed, I went into remission and yet I was still on these high doses on medication. What my doctor failed in telling me, that the medications that he was prescribing was highly addictive. He did not mention the fact at all that I could potentially become dependant on such medications. I continued following my doctors plan of treatmet, until my second doctor in Ann Arbor had made the statement that I needed to get off these meds. I didn’t listen because my local doctor was not making these choices. It wasn’t until after I seen a neurologist and had a full body work up to come to the realization that the pain that I was feeling was just made up in my head. The doctors could not find a single reason for the pain I was feeling. The medications that I was prescribed was causing me pain, because it wanted more of the drugs. I became so reliant on them and I didn’t even realize. I was a walking zombie for months, all my friends and family were genuienly concerned for me. I had to come to self realization about how I was living my life. So 9 months post chemotherapy I made the call to my local doctor to immediately get me off of these medications. I had to make that call myself, even though it should have been my doctor. He happily agreed and started weeening me off my medications slowly and the safest way possible. I had to learn for myself from cancer groups that most of them had stopped their medications right after their last chemotherapy. That thought did not sit right with me, and most of these other cancer patients never were prescribed highly addictive medications. So why was I? This got me looking into the bigger picture. Did you know most addicts started with a doctor handing them a prescription? I know it’s always up to the person whether they choose to continue that life style after their doctor stops handing out scripts. But now I can understand why they do. I personally will never choose that life. It was so hard mentally and physcially to remove that highly addictive substance. The withdrawls I had to go through for months felt like I was reliving cancer all over again. This is the part of cancer I’ve never heard about. How to the government we are just walking and breathing money. I learned that every time my doctor prescribed me a new script, he was just making gains in his wallet. That’s all my local doctor seemed to care about, which is sad because I was counting on him. This same doctor almost sent me for 2 more chemotherapys and a stem cell transplant. But my Ann Arbor doctor completely took over my case. This local doctor was killing me, quite literally with the poison he decided to put in my body. Almost pushing more poison for no absolute reasoning. He was focused on the money, unlike the Ann Arbor doctor who saw me as a person. She put an end to all further treatments because she believed in me. She saw more in me than just a fat pay check. She saved my life, and saved me from so much. I probably would have died on the path my local doctor was preparing for me. If it wasn’t for my insurance, each week long visit in the hospital was 175000 dollars. I had 6 of those stays. It cost that much just to have poison pushed through my blood, for a simple price. The price of living a long life. So now as I’m clean away from those highly addictive drugs, I feel stronger than ever. I started a battle with cancer, only to leave me in another battle against addiction. I wish my doctor had explained this to me, or took away the medications sooner so I would have never became depedant. I’m am so grateful that these medications helped me, but that can’t help the anger instilled in me either. The cancer world is corrupt. It should not have to cost that much to stay alive, doctors should care more about your health then having a nice pay check coming to them. But luckily this doctor didn’t know that I may be a small woman, but the fight I have inside of me is much larger. I hope I can shine some light about this topic, as a survivor and my personal expierence. It’s not a light topic, but it’s a real one. I needed those drugs to help me get through cancer, but I don’t need them in the after cancer life. The main goal I hope you take from this, is ask your doctor questions. Just because your doctor is okay with it, does not make it okay. Trust your instincts and follow your heart. Do not let cancer take anymore than it has to from you. Do not be the reason your doctor gets more money than he has to. Get a second opinion, it might just save your life. Also don’t be scared, take on the fight and I promise it’ll all be worth it. Thanks for reading, I hope with my story you might be able to change yours. XOXO Courtney Leonard.