Starting Conversations: Getting Your Ducks in a Row
Talking about the end of our life can feel taboo, but the fact is we will all be in that stage of life at some point, and having a plan, or at least making our wishes known, can make a better end of life experience for yourself and your loved ones. Having these discussions can be extremely helpful in identifying what we want, and just as important, what we don’t want through the different stages of life.
Having trouble getting this conversation started? That's okay! This can be a tricky topic to approach. Try asking yourself or a loved one some of the questions below to get the conversation flowing.
Questions to consider:
- What does quality of life mean to me? Reducing symptoms, being comfortable, living longer with the risk of side effects, being around loved ones, etc...
- If my time were short, what would a good day look like? Spending time with family and friends, fighting for a cure with my care team, reducing symptoms and being comfortable, etc...
- What do I need to do to get my affairs in order? Finances, property, relationships, pets, etc...
- What worries me most about the future?
- What do I want to happen to my body? Do I want to be an organ donor?
- If I can't achieve my plan A, what is my plan B?
Communication is key in receiving the care you and your loved ones want.
Have you started conversations with loved ones about what you or they want their care to look like?
There are services and legal documents available for end of life planning.
Are you aware of the services and legal documents available to make your or your loved one's end of life wishes become a reality?
The purpose of some treatments may be curative and others may be life-sustaining.
If a curative treatment is no longer an option, where would you or your loved one like to spend time at the end of life?
Power of attorney
It is important to find a loved one you trust to make medical decisions for you if a time comes when you can't make them for yourself.
If you or your loved on becomes unable to make decisions, has someone been identified to make these decisions on behalf of the patient?
Join the conversation!
Talking with others about their experience having similar conversations can also be helpful in approaching this topic. Share your thoughts or read other's thoughts about starting conversations about advanced directives.
What type of blood cancer are you or your loved one diagnosed with?