My mother was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer after spending months in the hospital with complications, including an antibiotic resistant bacterial infection and a feeding tube, after a series of operations. Back surgery for which she was not really a good candidate–osteoporosis, 50 years of smoking, decades of heavy drinking were all overlooked or downplayed–left her pretty much home bound and in as much pain as prior to surgery, just different pain, a year of her life lost to hospitals where more than once she was left tied to the bed moaning and thrashing from a urinary track infection until I got there and raised hell, where a rapid intubation (performed by a doctor in a hurry to get to Nancy Reagan’s house and check on her broken hip) caused Mom to be unable to swallow correctly for a month; ICUs; nursing facilities, and home health care.