Although it is diffcult to think about what will happen after you are gone, you may find that taking practical steps now to deal with future concerns can bring you peace of mind and a sense of empowerment. It may help those around you to know they are doing things that carry through your wishes. This is true for your care and treatment and the handling of your financial property. This may not be something you want to do immediately. Take your time and go at your own pace. In this section you will learn:
About Palliative Care
Making Endof-Life Care Decisions
How To Take The First Steps Towards Estate Planning
Palliative care aims to help improve your quality of life, manage your symptoms, and provide psychological and spiritual support. You are receiving ‘palliative care’ at every stage of your illness. Pain management, for example, is a very important part of palliative care, as are medicines to help with nausea.
When you decide to receive only palliative care, this means that you are choosing to stop taking treatments that can control the growth of cancer.
When you move to palliative care is a very personal choice. It might be appropriate for you at any point in your illness and can help to reduce the burden of living with cancer.
! Most importantly, palliative care takes into
account your values, decisions, approach to
diagnosis, and wishes for you and your family.
Palliative care can be provided in a number of settings, including at home, in hospital, in a nursing home or a hospice. Care teams consist of a range of healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, and social workers – much like your treatment team but with added expertise in palliative care. Many dierent services can be included within the umbrella of palliative care such as nursing care, counselling, bereavement support, complementary therapies and respite care.
Many people find it helpful to take time to consider how your individual values relate to your idea of a good ‘end-of-life’ experience. You can help reduce your fear and anxiety by thinking this through.
It may help to think about the care you would choose to have at the end of life, rather than what you don’t want. There is no right or wrong plan, only what you would like.2
It may help to talk this through with someone you care about or a healthcare provider. Discussing your thoughts, values and desires will help you understand the best care for you.3
Talk with your doctor or other healthcare provider before making any decisions about end-of-life care. That way you will have a better understanding of what types of decisions might need to be made.
As hard as it might be to talk about your end-of-life wishes, knowing your preferences ahead of time can make decisions easier for your family. Together, you will make choices that respect your values. And you have the comfort of knowing that those close to you will make the right choices when the time comes.
Pre-planning for when the time comes is a choice that only you should make. It may help to have these conversations with your loved ones and to let them know your decisions about how you would want your life to be celebrated and remembered.
! These are difficult conversations and it may
help to have support from professionals in
making these decisions.