A blog about and for agnostics with a terminal illness.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
It has been a while since I blogged here. I see some people have signed up on the blog, but I do not see any messages and don't know how to find them. I am pasting in a note I wrote to one of the people who are on the EC blog.
I had a real set back in my thinking and feelings yesterday. I have been having more trouble eating and I am not sure how fast the cancer is progressing, but the hospice nurse thinks it is more aggressive then we suspect and that I should start getting prepared for greater limits on my activity. She really dropped a bomb on me when she started talking about when I will have to make a decision about turning off the tube feeding when my quality of life begins to ebb. As she points out the feeding is keeping me alive and feeding the tumor too. There will come a time when the tube feeding is counter productive; IE: the tube feeding just prolongs existence. The frightening thing about that is that they are saying I have to pull my own plug. That is down the road I know, but it is something to think about. I am still churning over the thought. But I gather that when I am in a situation where the quality of life has deteriorated to lying in bed in pain I will not be is such a conflict as I am now. Basically I will be starving and dehydrating myself to death. The book Final Exit does not have a very pretty description of this way out. I can only hope that hospice provides sufficient drugs to limit that form of agony. I also feel that when the decision has to be made I should move into a hospice setting. I do not think Marian should bear the brunt of not feeding me. The discussion with the nurse was pretty hard on her also.
Two guys and a women from the mid-west Atheist group came over last night and we had
a great hour and a half discussion. It was a great lift for me.
Hope to work through all of this feelings stuff. Maybe I have not accepted the situation the way I thought I had. Right now I am going to try to focus on one day at a time.
I'm a retired psychology professor. In January 2009, I was diagnosed with Stage III esophageal cancer. I underwent radiation and chemotherapy. In June 2009 the surgery to remove a stomach tumor and the esophagus was unsuccessful. After researching my options (additional chemotherapy or hospice), I decided to follow the palliative care path of hospice.