Making Choices At The End Of Life

Task 1

Remember that you are in charge of your health

My family doctor said, “I’m looking at your chart and your blood levels are dropping every report. They’re dropping lower than they were before. So I think you have Pancytopenia.” And he then referred me to the hematologist. And the hematologist talked to me about it and said, what we’ll do is we’ll test your blood and then I’ll tell you what to do next. When it gets to a certain level we start therapy. And he said at any time you can choose not to have any more treatments.

So this leads to task number one. Remember, that you are in charge of your health.

Almost the first thing the doctor told me was I have choices to make about my own health. It’s not just the doctors. I think this is fairly new. I think 100 years ago doctors didn’t say that.

My sister in law Fran had many cancerous lumps, which were operated on. After one treatment of chemotherapy she told the doctor she’s not going to take anymore. They were reluctant to accept her decision, but had no choice. Fran led a relatively comfortable life, even flying with her cat to spend her last days with her daughter in Ohio. It seemed that she was absolutely right to turn down any further treatments. She had a good last few months of her life and a peaceful death.

We all have a power to make this kind of choice. And exercising that choice is an important task at the end of life.


Remember this week that you are in charge of your health and notice what this shift in perspective bring up for you.