Posted by: To El-Jo : Re posting 11689 - Husband with cancer | 2004/10/13


Though I am really lost for words in this instance, I simply could not get myself to exit from your posting (11689) without at least saying something. Understandably, even the very best of the world’s top councillors would find it challenging to assist in the alleviation of your pain. The one part of life for which we are never well prepared, is death - especially when it is aggravated by prolonged suffering – an agony that readily manifests itself among relatives and loved ones. A situation like this requires the Strength of Samson, the Wisdom of Solomon and the Faith of Job – a tall order by anyone’s standards, but never the less, not an impossibility.
Actually, whilst lying in his bed, one of your husband’s main concerns must also lie with your quality of life and your well-being once he no longer with you. He probably also has much trepidation for the distress that his illness is causing you. But it is you who can make all the difference to the psychological calibre of his remaining days. Your hands may well be tied as regards his physical destiny, but no so for his mental anguish. You and God are the only pillars of strength he now has. Show him that your unconditional love has grown even stronger – it is surely one the best psychiatric medicines that one could administer at this stage.
A relative of mine, whose mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, spent every night sleeping in the same bed as her mother until the very end, including the last two weeks in a hospital single bed.
Perhaps you could have a favourite photograph of him or of the two of you enlarged really big and have it mounted or placed strategically enough to serve as a solacing constant reminder to him that good memories are already permanently immortalised.
Preparing yourselves for his inevitable fate and living through the trauma has got to be one the most taxing demands ever bestowed upon mankind. Many have been - , many are -, and many will be subjected to it. Try to find some consolation in the fact that, although the changes in life are permanent, the struggle you are enduring now is only temporary.
Euthanasia is an option that often crosses my mind. Is it still illegal in our democracy, Doc? How do medical professionals feel about euthanasia? How do terminally ill patients feel about it? How does the general public feel about it? What is the theory behind criminalising it?
El-Jo, allow for more participation, load-sharing and involvement from friends, family and professionals. I commend you for your strength and encourage you to continue your stalwartness and bravery. God Bless.

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Our expert says:
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On your specific question, yes it is still technically illegal. Though doctors have moved towards understanding that relief of pain and symptoms must be the major priority, even if it might on occasions shorten life.

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Our users say:
Posted by: El-Jo | 2004/10/14

Dear Spooky
Thank you so much for your thoughtful message.

Reply to El-Jo
Posted by: JM | 2004/10/13


Goodness, that was really words of wisdom. Was talking to my colleauges yesterday. Also stumbled across Euthanasia. (was telling them how my gran was doing, had breast cancer, masectomie (hope it is the correct term), diagnosed with stomach cancer again this year, had an op July, still in hospital, in and out of ICU, had to remove more than her stomach).

Apparently it is still illegal here by us, but the general thought was that every person should have the right to decide. Yes I know whe are not suppose to decide when we die, but what about people that really suffer?

Reply to JM
Posted by: A | 2004/10/13

Very well expressed, it has to be the most taxing period anyone has to go thru.

Thinking of you.

Reply to A

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