HOUSTON -- Raul Rivera took his family to dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Houston to celebrate a new lease on life. His oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center had just told him he'd probably survive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"We were so happy because it looked like he'd beaten cancer," Rivera's wife, Barbara, says of the dinner on May 21, 2008.
Instead, it was Rivera's last sit-down meal. Over the next seven days, he got so sick with diarrhea, fever and stomach pain that his wife had an ambulance take him to St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston.