When diagnosed with mesothelioma, or any life-threatening illness, it compels the patient, family and contemporaries to face our own mortality. The fact that we are all going to die is something we all know, but no one wants to deal with it. How many of us do not have a will or have not done any estate planning? What will death look like for us? Will we be in pain? Alone? Broke? What matters?
On October 7, “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” by Dr. Atul Gawande, will be released. Dr. Gawande is a New York Times best-selling author and a talented, practicing surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
Below is an excerpt of the overview of the book:
“Medicine has triumphed in a modern time, transforming birth, injury and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying; checking for vital signs long after the goals of care have become moot. Doctors committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.”
Hopefully, this book will open up conversations and actions that will lead to exploring our fears about death and continuing life after there is quality that we do not want.
For mesothelioma victims, the importance of palliative care experts on your team is again emphasized. From the time of diagnosis through the journey of mesothelioma treatments, quality of life issues, and being pain free, palliative care specialists strive to meet the patients’ needs.
Being aggressive with mesothelioma medical treatment is what is encouraged. However, a good quality of life is the goal.
Being Mortal:Medicine and What Matters in the End is available through Amazon.