One Monday in February, 65-year-old Karen Endicott-Coyan gripped the wheel of her black 2014 Ford Taurus with both hands as she made the hour-long drive from her farm near Fort Scott to Chanute. With a rare form of multiple myeloma, she requires weekly chemotherapy injections to keep the cancer at bay.
She made the trip in pain, having skipped her morphine for the day to be able to drive safely. Since she sometimes ?gets the pukes? after treatment, she had her neighbor and friend Shirley Palmer, 76, come along to drive her back.
Continuity of care is crucial for cancer patients in the midst of treatment, which often requires frequent repeated outpatient visits. So when Mercy Hospital Fort Scott, the rural hospital in Endicott-Coyan?s hometown, was slated to close its doors at the end of 2018, hospital officials had arranged for its cancer clinic ? called the ?Unit of Hope? ? to remain open.