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Remembering Paul Marshall

San Francisco, CA

Story

Paul passed away on February 2, 2021, after a 9+ months battle against cancer. Following is the original story post: At the beginning of May 2020, Paul was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell lung carcinoma. This is truly strange because he's not the typical SCLC patient his oncologist described (i.e., old, out-of-shape, life-long smoker). He's relatively young, rides his bicycle to work every day, has been a healthy vegan for years, hasn't had alcohol in a couple of years (was never a heavy drinker), and has never smoked. We don't know how long he's had cancer, but during the shelter-in-place order (begun March 17, 2020, here in SF) due to COVID-19, he began to feel bad on and off. He did not have COVID symptoms, but when a lump formed under his jaw, his doctor agreed to see him. That got the ball rolling—x-rays, blood work, CT scans, PET scans, MRIs, more blood work. Paul began chemotherapy ahead of schedule on May 14, after a scary trip to the ER. He was checked into the ICU with fluid around his heart, which was causing his oxygen levels to dive and affecting his kidneys. Thanks to the ICU team, his heart is pumping normally again. Today, May 18, after almost a week in the hospital, the doctors let him come home! His family (Lulu, Renzo, and Olivia) had missed him so much! He'll continue chemotherapy over the next few months. It's been tough being this sick during the quarantine and a pandemic. (By the way, he did get tested for COVID, and his test was negative, woohoo!) There are some benefits. For example, he was able to get an appointment with his oncologist pretty quickly since it had to be a video call instead of in-person. In other ways, it's been really hard, as expected. He could not have visitors in the hospital, which can be really demoralizing and isolating. Overall, Paul's determined this will be just one enormous, scary thing that happened to him during his very, very long life.


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