Can you and your loved ones answer these questions? 1. On a scale of 1 to 5, where do you fall on this continuum: 1 = Let me die without medical intervention; 5 = Don’t give up on me no matter what, try any proven and unproven intervention possible. 2. If there were a choice, […]
Lessons learned about hospice care
A loved one recently went over the cancer waterfall and I dove in after him, keeping his head above water long enough to say goodbye to everyone. It was an intense four weeks of caregiving – two in the hospital and two at home, in hospice. I am sharing one segment of our story to […]
Elegy for A. and M.
I grew up rich in cousins. I spent holidays with my first cousins and lived, starting at age 11, in the same town with second cousins (the children of my mother’s first cousin) AND a first cousin twice removed (my grandmother’s first cousin – each generation that separates us is the “removed” part). Don’t worry, […]
Project management for caregivers
I am a caregiver. I help coordinate the health and home care for an elder loved one who, for the purposes of maintaining a bit of anonymity, I will call “M.” He is a healthy, happy octogenarian. We have known each other for nearly 40 years, but we are not related by blood. I am […]
Public Q&A: Peer support for parents of teens with cancer
Helen Burstin, MD, reached out to ask if I know of an online peer-to-peer support group for parents of teens with cancer. For anyone who knows Helen: Don’t worry, it’s not for her own family. She is asking on behalf of a friend, who writes: “I’ve been able to find groups for parents of children […]
What’s your advice?
My dad was a survivor — of a heart attack in his 50s, kidney cancer in his 60s, and an initial diagnosis of melanoma in his 70s. Melanoma recurrence and complications of treatment are what finally got him. A lifelong runner, Dad kept meticulous notes about his mileage and heart rate on paper. He bought […]