(Forgive the bad photo of the beautiful Ukrainian Catholic church, Immaculate Conception. Hamtramck, MI. )
Last week I attended a funeral. My Aunt Donna’s husband, Myron, passed away. I wish her and her family peace, comfort and good remembrances. Myron was a good, kind, funny and fun loving man.
After the funeral, I had a chance to talk with my Aunt. She spoke about the last few months of Myron’s life. She said that doctors, today, give the patient too much information. Things like their prognosis, life expectancy, disease progression. Her husband had a rare blood disorder, and the doctors told him he had just a few weeks, maybe a month left. He was still feeling fairly well, and this information took away all his hope, his will to live. He always had “the end” hanging in his consciousness.
I think of another story…..when my MIL was in ICU up in Marquette, we got to know some families with loved ones there too. I remember Tom, whose wife was seriously ill. He had been there day in and day out for a couple of months. I wonder whatever happened, she was very sick. But anyways, we talked about his bout with colon cancer. He instructed his doctor not to talk about his prognosis, test results, etc. All he wanted to know was WHAT he had to do. He put all his energy into that work, free from all the thoughts of “the odds”. During chemo, he focused on his work, and taking care of himself, didn’t allow himself to mope around. And he had been cancer free for more than 5 years.
Perhaps a sick person has a sense of their prognosis, but hearing it from a doctor is just too much, and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I know there comes a time when the end is in sight, and a whole different itinerary is set in motion for the patient and their family. What if the patient is the strong one, what if he needs to shield his family? No easy answer. I know I’d need to know all the facts. The unanswered questions would drive me crazy. At times I view this as a character flaw, at times not!
As a simple and wise woman told my MIL…”While you are living, LIVE!”. I have faith, there is life with the Lord after death, but there is much to do, enjoy, love and be while still here on earth. But, what do you or your loved ones need, would the facts be a positive or negative force? Maybe this is something to give some thought to.
Hey, we all have today! Lets make the most of it,