More reflections on my impending death.

So I still have options for treatment, including immunotherapy and lifestyle changes, like diet and what not. When I informed my apartment manager of my condition, she offered to hook me up with a friend who specializes in cancer treatment utilizing techniques of the latter. What the heck, roll the dice, right? Death is starting to exert a gravitational pull on me, but I owe it to my daughters, 30, 26 and 24 this year, to try to prolong my life. They still need me. If they were married and had families of their own, it might be different.

They have said they understand if I choose to forgo further treatment if I am too debilitated, a condition which I am close to, but for them I will exhaust every option. On May 15 we are getting together to discuss our feelings about my dying, and for me to explain all the arrangements (financial, funeral, clearing out my apartment) that will need to be made. I have organized everything along the pattern of The Five Wishes, which is a legal substitute for a living will/healthcare directive, P.O.L.S.T. (physicians orders for life sustaining treatment, essentially a Do Not Resuscitate order) and durable power of attorney for healthcare, all of which I have on file with my healthcare providers.

If you are reading this, and don’t have these affairs in order, and haven’t discussed these issues with your survivors, what the heck are you waiting for? You could get run over by a truck today, or contract Covid-19 any time, while waiting for your round too-it (I’ll get around to it). Okay, so maybe you don’t have the kinds of relationship with your kids that would allow this kind of discussion, then it’s even more urgent. Rekindle that kind of relationship.

Recently a visiting nurse was in my apartment, to do some wound care. She saw my POLST and healthcare directive on my fridge (for paramedics, just in case), and remarked, “I’ve been in many homes over the years, and no one has those documents prepared.” I asked, “why not, what do they say?” Consider her reply: “They think nothing bad will happen.” let’s see, they mostly need a visiting nurse because they are home bound, not able to get out for treatment, but they think nothing bad will happen??? Woe to their survivors.