Suddenly, there was just blood everywhere.
It erupted from my father's mouth as we sat watching television. I was still struggling to process this horror when my mother, too shaken to drive, asked me -- 17 years old and still on my learner's permit -- to get us to the emergency room.
Somehow, we made it. But the ER was crowded with folks like us, poor and bearing loved ones in distress. The hospital couldn't get to my dad right away. They didn't even have a room to put him in.
Instead, my cancer-ravaged father lay for hours on a gurney in a hallway crowded with gurneys, just one more stick figure huddled under a thin blanket. The air reeked of misery and rotting...