Friday, July 24, 2015

Terminal Technology


So. I write to my friend who is, to all intents and purposes, terminal. In the hospital. With bags and tubes and discomfort and pain and anger and frustration and fear.

These are her wishes. This is her e-mail from last night exactly as written:

Not a great day

Cleaning draining

Dr visits

Intravenus injections daily now - no oral

Learned how to check blood

Endericonolist testing gor cancer now

Sugars still up but coming down

No visitors please right now

No calls

Cannot answer easily

Easier to communicate by email

I am not going anywhere

This is my reply:

I hope today is less painful for you.

I hope your spirit can take little journeys inside you to better places.

I remember an A-Frame near Tweed where we had such a happy weekend sitting by the water. I was knitting. You were cross stitching. And we talked and talked.

I still have your needlework (in a frame) hanging on my wall.

{{{{{Dxxxx}}}}}

I thought to send a shared memory every day. I think that would help me if I were her.

Who's to tell? Who's to know?

I know I wouldn't want anyone around me. Email is good. Very, very good. The right distance.

And PS - this blog is anonymous, otherwise I would never breech her confidence.

16 comments:

  1. My husband died of cancer. In his last month, he could not enjoy visits. We had no meaningful conversation. It took all his strength to focus on his need, his pain, and dying. It was very heart breaking for me. I kind of feel your pain. I feel very sad each time I hear that someone has cancer, whether I know them or not. I'm really sorry that your friend is fighting the cancer battle. Your love for her will always be strong. Nancy

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  2. I am so sorry for your friend.
    So pleased she has you for a friend.
    This one
    understands her wishes.

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  3. I am so very sorry Nancy, heart breaking. Cancer knows no favourites or enemies. My mother had an awful death from it and many loved ones too. It seems like every year I lose more loved ones.
    I learned so much from my friend D - as I've learned from all those who have touched my life.
    Thanks for reaching out.
    XO
    WWW

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  4. OWJ:

    Yes, I know you understand. I don't know what I'd do in her position. I remember one time I had escaped death (quite narrowly) in the hospital and the crowds in my room became so overwhelming I had to ask a good friend (now deceased too) to get them to leave. Now.

    Being alone might be the way to go, every effort costs so much and so few understand the need for quiet.

    XO
    WWW

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  5. How I hate this disease. it has robbed so many and now it is robbing me.
    I do feel for you and all others in this situation.
    Maggie x

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  6. Yes, the visits can get overwhelming for the patient and her family too. I'm sorry you are losing another friend. What a lovely goodbye you are giving her, though -- with your daily email and your understanding.

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  7. Maggie: I sympathize with all you are going through, it is so very rough.

    And I'm appalled at the trillions spent on a "cure" which makes me such a cynic when the industrialization of Big Pharma with all the heart-breaking medical interventions that never work in most cases. I've seen too much extraordinary (read expensive) measures that agonize the patient both physically and mentally and don't add an extra day to life. I saw this with my BFF from last September through December. She went through hell.

    I'm an advocate of dying with dignity and with choice.

    XO
    WWW

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  8. SJG:

    I am so hoping she will make the best decisions for herself. I so feel for her and the overwhelming surgeries she has gone through and what her future must feel like to her - a woman whose personal vanity about her appearance was pretty high.

    XO
    WWW

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  9. That's hard. I think you're idea of sharing memories by email is a good one.

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  10. The losses mount up. My sympathies to you and your friend.

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  11. Keeping in touch by email, when actual visits are unbearable, seems very sensible. And I like the idea of recalling happy memories that might lift her spirits a little.

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  12. I love your idea about the e-mail and I am sorry for both your friend and you. Watching people die of cancer is hard but we will never cure it because the medical and pharma make too much money from it. I know that that view is supremely cynical but after seeing friends and relatives die from that, that is what I know.

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  13. SAW:
    And being supportive of all the decisions she's making. It appears I'm the only one :( Why are patients treated like toddlers or imbeciles?
    XO
    WWW

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  14. Hattie:

    I would be lying if I didn't say it is an effin' bleak time. D and I have a lot of correspondence going at the moment.

    I can't imagine what it' like for her. But I try.

    XO
    WWW

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  15. E:

    I absolutely agree with you. The trillions raised and spent in collecting more trillions for some "cure". No cure with so much to be made in the medical/pharma industry.

    XO
    WWW

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  16. Nick:
    And supporting her decisions also as I mentioned to SAW. It's meaning a lot to her in the face of opposition.
    XO
    WWW

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