Monday, September 18, 2006

Coping with dying

I find it easier to cope by reading and learning about death and dying, so I can prepare myself. I may never be able to prepare myself emotionally, but at least I can do so intellectually – and I think this will help. Friends tell me not to be morbid – but I am not being morbid. I am just being realistic !

Being a Hindu helps . Religions are always helpful when dealing with the unknown. I don’t have too much faith in the “power of modern medicine”. I am not a cynic, but often the weapons are better at hurting than at healing.

We have received medical care in one of India’s leading hospitals, with some of of India’s best doctors, and not all of it has been pleasant. Doctors tend to hide facts and sugarcoat reality , and this can actually be a disservice. There seems to be a conspiracy of silence - and they don’t use the “C”( for cancer) word – as if it’s the diagnosis which kills !

Also, they do not refer ill patients for hospice services. While no one can predict when death will occur, a good doctor's job is also to prepare the patient to die - and hospice services can be extremely helpful in doing so. A hospice referral is not a death sentence - just a fact of life ( and death) which needs to be treated as such !

I have found that doctors often tend to abandon dying patients, and you need to create your own support services. Thus, we had to approach V-Care, a cancer support group , and I have often wondered why the doctors did not refer us on their own.

We are trying hypnotherapy too. I agree that we may not be able to influence the biology of the disease , but we can influence your attitude and how you choose to deal with it.

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