by Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson
From no care …
It’s been exactly a year and a half since Virginia prison officials had clinical evidence from PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood tests that I have prostate cancer and 10 months since my cancer was definitively diagnosed by biopsy at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV). The biopsy found that the cancer was then spread throughout my entire prostate. To date my treatment has still not begun.
Not only that, but the option for receiving the course of treatment that doctors advised me is the least dangerous and most effective has been now scrapped for the MOST DANGEROUS and likely LEAST EFFECTIVE plan of treatment.
When I elected radiation treatment over surgery during early January 2023 it was a desperate move to finally get some regimen of treatment underway, in the face of hospital and prison medical staff repeatedly denying and delaying my access to care. I didn’t want to give them any more pretexts to falsely justify refusing to set me on a course of care as they had already done for over a year.
At that time, the radiologist, Dr. Alfredo Urdaneta, explained to me the course of treatment that he recommended as most likely to eliminate my cancer and cause me the least physical harm. This four-stage plan of care consisted, he said, of my first receiving a month’s prescription of an oral medication that would suppress my body’s testosterone levels and thereby shrink my prostate, to make the gland a more effective target for radiation treatment. This would also stop the cancer’s growth, he said. During the time that I’d take the meds I would also, second, receive two injections of a testosterone suppressant. Third, they would inject tiny radiation pellets into my prostate gland. Then, fourth, I would undergo about 20 sessions of external radiation.
Dr. Urdaneta explained that this plan of care offered the most effective option for targeting the cancer with radiation while minimizing the amount of radiation beamed into my body and in such a sensitive region where damage to other organs and vital functions might occur.
But it was a case of bait and switch.
On Feb. 14, 2023, I was ordered to take oral meds by Dr. Urdaneta, but the prison never administered them despite my repeated written complaints at the prison.
On Feb. 23, I called the hospital for confirmation that I was supposed to be receiving the meds but was told by MCV staff that they could not give me any information about my own care. I then called back with a journalist, Carole Seligman, then a lawyer, Noelle Hanrahan, on the line to witness this claim, but they then sent us to voicemail.
When I went to the hospital two weeks after the meds were ordered, on March 3, for the first shot, the shot could not be given because the meds were never administered. The meds were then reordered and the entire plan of treatment was rescheduled.
To worse care …
I began receiving the meds on March 5 and returned to the hospital on March 20 for the first shot. After that the plan of treatment suddenly changed. The second shot was never given and the oral meds ended. I was seen again on March 27 by Dr. Urdaneta. At that time he informed me that my plan of treatment would now be nothing but some 40 sessions of external radiation. 40 SESSIONS! That’s 40 times of having organ-frying radiation beamed into my body without any precautions or protections. He would not give any explanation for this sudden change or the choice of this admittedly more dangerous course of treatment.
He did rush to have me sign a consent form acknowledging that I recognized the treatment I was going to receive might not cure my cancer and there may be serious side effects and injury. I had to sign the form as a condition to receiving any treatment at all.
Throughout the year and a half that I have been known to have cancer, the hospital visits and acts of initiating treatment that did happen were solely the result of persistent outside protests against my denied treatment that occurred throughout this time. Yet even now when a course of treatment has been planned, it has been scrapped for the worst and most dangerous choice, a choice that will likely not cure my very curable form of cancer and will likely cause severe internal injury to my body. This is the state of prison medical “care” in Amerika and especially that given even by force of public pressure to the politically imprisoned.
Dare to Struggle Dare to Win!
All Power to the People
Send our brother some love and light: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 1007485, Sussex I, 24414 Musselwhite Dr., Waverly VA 23891.