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A delicate subject

luz del lago's picture
luz del lago
Posts: 452
Joined: Jul 2010

As Caregivers our goal is to always be there. To love, support and accompany our loved ones on this journey. We take note pads and pens, we take snacks for them during chemo, we anxiously wait in waiting rooms.

At about the middle point of my journey with my love, I began to read about Hospice, and when his time to depart this world would come. I did not believe that it would be as soon as it ended up being. Looking back, I am glad I did. Not that I knew everything there was to know, but enough to not be so afraid of what was happening in the end, so that I could be there for him.

Recently, I came upon a couple of articles and posts, and found them to be very enlightening. Please, do not be hurt or offended by my suggestion to read these. I wish I had read them even before his diagnosis.

As his Oncologist once told me, after getting to know us, she said that I was the type of person that used the knowledge and information to better understand the situation, and that helped me cope in the difficult times. She also said, that some folks did not want to know everything. They coped better with not knowing all the details.

If you are one, as I am, that can use the information to better cope with the situation, then I really think you may find these articles worth reading. I tell you in advance, they deal with symptoms of the end of life, so again, if you don't wish to go there, please don't.

A wonderfully written post by Dr. West on cancergrace.org, here is the link:

A very insightful, well written article by Atul Gawande, featured in The New Yorker,

I know that as Caregivers it is our daily fight, our daily prayer and hope, that we never have to deal with the passing of our loved ones. So again, I say, not everyone will have the need for this information, I know that some of your loved ones will be the ones that beat this beast! And I pray for that, for all of you. It just felt that so many Caregivers were and are going through these most difficult moments recently, I felt moved to suggest reading these articles.

With a sincere heart,


mswijiknyc's picture
Posts: 421
Joined: Oct 2010

I read the second article a few weeks before hospice was brought up as an option for Patrick. But I always knew quality of life would win out long before quantity of life.One month of good time where he was awake, could communicate with me and friends, could get up and down the stairs and to the fridge, sure as he'll beats 6 months where he is so sick and miserable that he won't do any of the things I mentioned.

I agree to never give up hope, but sometimes putting self respect and dignity first makes everything worth it.

Thanks for posting these, Lucy.

luz del lago's picture
luz del lago
Posts: 452
Joined: Jul 2010

First, you and Pat are in my heart and prayers. As many here, I truly feel what you are experiencing. There is a reason for what we have to see, what we have to feel, what we are called upon to do. If I close my eyes, I can see you. Being there, by his side. Comforting him, seeing that he is not in pain. Through your words I feel I have come to get a sense of you, your humor, your strength. Your faith. All of these things will help you through this time. All of these things will help Pat through this time. My prayers continue to be with you, both.
Thank you for reading my post. I really felt it was something important to share. You do strike me as someone that can make use of information, and knowledge helps you cope with the situation, so it doesn't surprise me that you had already read the article.
Take care and let us know how you are doing. If you wish to ask for special prayers, don't hesitate.


karenbeth's picture
Posts: 194
Joined: Sep 2010

Thank you Lucy, I am going to read these articles.

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2011

Thank You for posting the articles to read. I am taking care of my spouse and looking for idea's of things to read and do to make this easier for both of us. I can get a better understanding of things by reading books and looking at articles on websites.


lovingwifedeb's picture
Posts: 184
Joined: Aug 2010

Thank you Lucy

Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi Lucy:
Thanks so much for those links to those articles. I have read them both and the one from the NY Times really resonated with me.

luz del lago's picture
luz del lago
Posts: 452
Joined: Jul 2010

I debated long and hard about posting these, but it warms my heart to know that it may be of comfort to some of you to read. If I can say or do anything for any of you, do not hesitate to ask. I don't know everything there is to know, but I know what it felt like, what I saw, what I was able to do.

I wish peace for all of you during these times of uncertainty.


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