Greetings from the Abyss by Jack (Part 16)

Jack is serving life without parole, and has terminal cancer. Throughout my incarceration, Jack was a positive influence. He encouraged me to keep writing, to enter short-story competitions, and we proofread each other’s chapters. Jack is seeking pen pals, so anyone interested please email me at for his details.

I was called to medical and seen by a nurse, the closest we usually get to a doctor. The first thing he asked me was why my Facebook page indicated I was dying. I told him that because of the level of pain I was experiencing there were times when I felt as if I were dying. I explained where my pain was and how it escalates throughout the day until it’s so debilitating that it is difficult for me to do anything other than lay on the bed.

The nurse is the person who terminated my pain medication last year and didn’t put me on anything else to bridge the gap. He didn’t actually threaten me with disciplinary action but he didn’t leave much room for me to infer otherwise. He indicated that it didn’t matter that there had been a previous order for my pain medication written by an outside consultant (ER doctor/oncologist) and that it was necessary for the oncologist to rewrite the order each and every time I went to his office.

When I pointed out that this had not been a requirement before, and had not been enforced prior to Wexford and Corizon taking over providing healthcare, he just shrugged his shoulders.

I also asked him why I wasn’t told this considering that I have had three oncologists appointments since the prison cut off my pain meds. Again, he just shrugged his shoulders. He did tell me that the oncologist I have been seeing for the last three years no longer has a contract with the Arizona Department of Corrections and that I will be seeing a different oncologist now.

Also, I was sent to St Luke’s hospital for an appointment with a dermatologist concerning the possible melanoma lesions on my arms and chest. They were going to do a biopsy so the oncologist would know how to structure my treatment. Well, the dermatologist never showed up and I spent the entire day sitting in the waiting room. I am supposed to be rescheduled but who knows now there is a different oncologist involved. Ok, enough of this.

Congratulations on the publication of Prison Time, Shaun. I’m sure it will do well. You have talent, desire, and drive, a hard combination to hold back. Your idea for a novel involving some of the events of my life does hold some appeal to me, but I’m unsure the protagonist would garner as much sympathy as you might hope. Then again, I’m sure you can make it work. I will help you in any way that I can.

A quick update for my pen pals. I have written back to them all, at least once and some twice. They all seem very nice and have expressed concern about my health. I am overwhelmed and at a loss as how to express my gratitude. 

Click here to read Jack's previous letter.

This Thursday evening, I'm speaking for 2 hours in York for Amnesty International, and I will be quoting from Jack's letters about the prison illegally denying him pain killers. Click here if you wish to attend.  

Click here for descriptions of all of the prisoners I write about at Jon’s Jail Journal ranging from Mafia hit men to giant transsexuals.

Shaun Attwood  

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