Kari Kolstoe is one of dozens of Grand Princess cruise passengers who have been stranded at sea since last Thursday after a terrifying coronavirus outbreak onboard the ship. To make matters more terrifying, Kolstoe has stage 4 neuroendocrine cancer. She's been giving interviews to several media outlets while she and her fellow passengers wait to dock, revealing her fear that she won't make it back home in time for her chemotherapy treatments.
Despite those odds, Kolstoe tried to remain positive during a phone interview with Fox News's Dana Perino on Monday, as the Grand Princess sailed near Oakland, CA. Kolstoe said that she understands she needs to be quarantined, but she does need additional treatment.
"I am in a lot of discomfort and pain," she revealed. "The cancer is something that has been planned for a year and a half. We did not take it lightly. We had a break in treatment...This is not a luxury cruise."
"We are totally confined to our rooms," Kolstoe said. "They did offer today or yesterday, but it was suspended yesterday to go out for a little walk. We decided it would be best that I do stay in my room. One of the doctors actually recommended that in an interview. So we thought, well, we are listening to what everybody tells us we are supposed to do. So we declined to leaving our room until I can get off the ship."
For those wondering why Kolstoe proceeded with the trip despite her medical condition, she said that she and her husband were torn over the decision, but ultimately boarded the ship for some needed fun and relief in their already turbulent year.
At one point Perino asked Kolstoe how her diet on the ship has been, and her response was just heartbreaking.
"Well, I don't want to complain, because it's not Princess's fault," she began. "But we're basically given two options for each meal, and unfortunately many of them are things that make me nauseous. Right now, I've had to eat small deals to deal with the amount of tumor I have in my liver. Yesterday, I called for a banana or whatever for dinner and they were out."
But she still hopes for the best.
"We're just praying," she responded. "Somehow God will get us through this, and something good will come out of it."
"You really moved a lot of us today," Dana Perino said, choking back what sounded like a sob, as they shared goodbyes.
Both Perino and her guest Dr. Jeanette Walsh told Kolstoe that she was in the "home stretch" and encouraged her to hang in there.
The Grand Princess cruise ship, which docked in California, is carrying 21 passengers infected with COVID-19. This comes just a few weeks after a Diamond Princess cruise ship with over 3,500 quarantined passengers was forced to dock in Japan.
The number of U.S. coronavirus cases rose to over 550 Sunday, with 22 reported deaths.