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“When you love someone, you will do anything to keep them from dying,” said Shaun, the main character in the hit TV medical drama, “The Good Doctor,” when conversing with a fellow colleague following a sudden terminal diagnosis given to his mentor and good friend, Dr. Glassman, during an episode in Season 1. As I heard those hauntingly familiar words, my eyes began to water.  It brought back vivid memories of the… Read More

Based upon the nature of a terminal prognosis, generally speaking, the patient will more than likely die in six months or less regardless if they receive any form of treatment or not. This is a very important factor to consider when addressing the issue of conventional vs. alternative medicine options, quantity vs. quality of life, etc.  Regardless as to which treatment options, if any, are chosen, it is important to keep in… Read More

‘Living while dying’ is a term or phrase that I have always used while caring for TiLOs (an acronym that I use to affectionately refer to “terminally-ill loved ones”) as a reminder to help them make the most of each day, one day at a time. As I have noted in a previous blog, the final life journey for each person may be very different compared to others depending upon a variety… Read More

Quality of Life refers to focusing on the palliative care aspects of a TiLOs daily life with any treatments limited to minimizing symptoms and discomforts including among other things pain management to maximize comfort. Quantity of life is essentially focusing on the extension of survivability of a TiLO by administering treatments in an effort to cure the underlying medical condition that warranted the terminal prognosis. Remember, a terminal illness, in medical terminology,… Read More

Before we get started, here are some key points that I learned with each loved one. Please note that this listing is not meant to be all-inclusive but, rather, to provide some basic guidelines upon which to start to form a caregiving foundation. Additional details on the following points and much more will be included in future posts. This is about living. “I may have a terminal prognosis but, I am still… Read More

Terminally-ill? Terminal prognosis? Advanced stages? What are you talking about? I just came in for a simple scan and now you tell me that I only have so much time left to live? It would be best to start getting my affairs in order. Really? You must have the wrong records, right? There must be a mistake. I am going to get another opinion! What do you doctors know anyway? Only God… Read More

In June 1992, I received a phone call that would forever change my life. My younger brother, Jimmy, called me to share that he had just been diagnosed with AIDS, which was unexpectedly discovered during the early stage of an elective surgery procedure that he was undergoing to resolve some minor issues with his sinus.  Only four months earlier, he had tested negative for HIV.  Without hesitation, I agreed to be his… Read More