Boedo Flophouse, or What Poverty For A Cancer Patient Looks Like

An old friend commented on my last batch of photos that he didn’t realize that modern hospitals had stairwells. So I think there might be some confusion as to the state of the system I’m being treated under, particularly for Americans who are used to a certain and consistent standard of living.

I’m not being treated in modern hospitals. I’m being treated in buildings and facilities that could be a hundred years old, where there is no soap or toilet paper in patient wards, where a shower could be a tube stuck through a hole in the wall, by underpaid and overworked doctors, where homeless people sleep in the corridors of emergency rooms and feral cats roam free inside, in an overburdened system in which I might wait 6 hours simply to get a prescription written, where there are shortages of chemo drugs, etc.

But for all that, without public care I would be long dead.

There have been some photos of the hospitals I’ve been in in previous posts. When I get around to it, I’ll compile and upload them.

If my hospital situation is bad, my living situation is even worse. Check out the photos below. I realized as I put this together that I don’t any pictures of the army of slugs that comes out at night. I’ll get to that eventually.

There is another bathroom to use with a toilet but it’s shared and I’m still quite embarrassed by my colostomy and the accidents that could and do happen coming from the shower back to my room. Last week I shit all over myself.

For some background as to how I ended up jobless, go here.

I rely on donations and charity to stay above water. My only independent source of income is the art tours I do. I’ve conducted tours with chemo-blisters on my feet and in the midst of chemo and radiation therapy; so, I’m no slacker. But, my ex-boyfriend from Chicago paid my rent last month. Thanks, Kev.

I’ve no savings to find another place to live. Previously, prospective roommates turned me down or chose someone else when I explained my situation and that I have cancer, which is understandable. But I felt I had to be up-front.

So on top of struggling to stay alive and take care of myself, I’m also dealing with the stress of poverty. And Franics Conyers Thompson still owes me USD $2000. And he still has all my possessions.

Without donations from friends and strangers, I wouldn’t even have a single change of clothing and I wouldn’t eat.. All Thompson left me with were the clothes on my back. And he’s an American, too, which should come as no surprise.

At any rate, here’s where I’m living now.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedback
View all comments
10 years ago

Wow. Again, wow. Do I ever need to learn something about being grateful, appreciative, and thankful.

I often complain about when I was hospitalized a couple years ago about the care I received. In a state of the art, modern, well-equipped facility. I was in a “step-down” unit (meaning one level down from ICU) and everything about me was monitored, and transmitted to the nursing station, which was right outside my door. I had a private room, with its own bathroom. Cable TV (which I believed to be the only thing that kept me sane, although watching the Food Channel 24 hours a day while you are on a liquid diet is not recommended) and private sitters attended to me around the clock. (Private sitters are required by law, when you are very sick and have no family around). Then there was the heart catheterization, which was performed in a heart cath lab that seemed to be on a spaceship of sorts. There were about seven huge TV screens above me, showing videos, fluoroscope video and internal images of my procedure, and cameras above that would automatically move around the table, whirring and adjusting themselves about me. (The best moment of my stay: when the doctor doing the heart cath leaned down into my ear and said “no heart damage”….)

All the best to you my friend; you just changed my life forever. I have been such an ungrateful wretch… Peace, love, and bliss to you, forever.

10 years ago

I have no words 🙁

Hate my guts? Say it to my face.x
Scroll to Top