Letting Go Requires Love

August 31, 2010 by  
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Today I read Theresa Brown’s “A Dying Patient Is Not A Battle Field” on CNN.Com.  Theresa is an oncology nurse in Pennsylvania. She is a leading contributor to The New York Times’ blog Well and the author of “Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between.”

In this particular piece Theresa discusses the end of life of a cancer patient who encouraged by family and doctors decides to continue a losing battle with his illness.  The end result was a more brutal death than if the patient had chosen to go home and live what was left of his life the best way possible.  Theresa writes if the patient had been given clear information of the consequences of continuing chemotherapy he would have chosen to go home.  Most people knowing there is almost no chance for survival would move forward with chemotherapy especially when their bodies are already so weak and fragile.

Nurse Brown, you are so right and wise.

In the last couple of months of my husband’s life it had become clear to me that the end was coming.  In the last couple of weeks it was clear the end had arrived.

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How To Be A Friend

August 27, 2010 by  
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heart on the beach

When I was eleven years old I participated in my first but modified Secret Santa.  The difference between the traditional game and ours was that; 1- it wasn’t Christmas and 2 – we had to add to the gift a letter letting our friend know our thoughts about them.

I don’t remember what my gift was but I remember what I wrote because of its consequences.  On a piece of paper I wrote the words “I like you. You are nice but not very smart.”

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Learning To Let Go; Magee Lessons

June 12, 2010 by  
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Shai 002Magee was my first dog. He came with my wife. In fact, it is very possible that had he not jumped into my lap and knocked the glass of white wine out of my hand and spilled it on my beige sports jacket, my wife and I would never have gotten together.

I was not a unique child. I wanted a dog as a pet. My mother was desperately afraid of animals. I never knew why. To my knowledge she had never been attacked, and neither my brother nor I had ever an unpleasant moment with a pet. But who is to account for anxieties? They are often untraceable to real events. So, we never had a dog. We visited people who had dogs, but they had to be locked out in a yard or inside in a room or my mother wouldn’t come into the house. Every time we visited my Uncle and Aunt, Bill and Sally, I would go down to the den, close the door behind me, and play with their dog that was confined during our visit.

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