Providing for a comfortable death

Edgar's picture

He was my neighbor, a guy my age, a man of many talents and interests, and a dear friend. He was one of those fellows who would give the shirt off his back to help you, if needed. When he was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas spread to liver, he, his daughters, and his friends knew how this was likely going to go. But we didn’t realize how graciously he would handle his dying process until it happened.

He was treated and truly helped by chemotherapy for a while, but gradually the tumor cells developed resistance to the drugs and the oncologist suggested no more chemo. He was ready to have only pain meds and hospice. In the end, per his direction, with the help of hospice and the caring people at the small town nursing home, he shuffled off this mortal coil comfortably, surrounded by his family and friends.

Fortunately, he had a compassionate and grounded primary care doctor and oncologist team who were realistic and knew when to stop intervention; loving daughters and friends to surround him with support; plenty of ready-to-heat-and-eat tater-tot-like hot dishes; an advanced directive that said he was not to have medical intervention if pointless; and plenty of pain medicine for comfort.




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