Category Archives: end of life care

A MOTHER’S DAY GIFT

Only yesterday did I read the story of the woman who is given credit for creating Mother’s Day. It’s a rather sad story, this woman who was never a mother herself, but loved her own mother and recognized that mothers … Continue reading

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HEART TO HEART

I was reading an article about the ethical dilemmas surrounding persons in a minimally conscious state, which is not the same as a “persistent vegetative state”. Minimally conscious state is sometimes a grey area in medicine, and recovery may or … Continue reading

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THERE ARE HEROINES AT WORK

  People do get tired of fill-in-the-blank: national day, week, month. These are often prompts for us, though, historical events and acts of altruism and courage, to remind us and teach us— now and in the future. Another one: March … Continue reading

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A RIVER STORY

When I open my eyes, I see the river flowing out to the sea, as it continues to do, day after day, regardless of what else the day brings with the sunrise. It brings a sense of permanence that steadies … Continue reading

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WE ARE LINKED

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” Chief Seattle An eventful beginning to a … Continue reading

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AULD LANG SYNE

Tradition says that a new year brings with it new hope and new goals. Some of us even write these down, placing a slip of paper carefully in a carved wooden box to bring out next year, the talisman of … Continue reading

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DUNGEONS AND KNOWLEDGE

While visiting with my English host, who teaches religious studies at an all-girls school in the UK, we bemoaned the truth together as we had both experienced it: that sharing one’s knowledge and actually teaching another person is not the … Continue reading

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WE’RE NOT THAT KIND OF FAMILY

November is national hospice month…an opportunity to honor all the patients, families and cohorts throughout the years. Over the years, I have been truly privileged to work with amazing families, of all kinds, as they walked through the loss of … Continue reading

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THE LAST DOSE

It’s been nearly 30 years since the evening as a fairly new nurse I had been assigned to the oncology floor. I still remember my patient (a young woman in her mid thirties with advanced ovarian cancer) the mother of … Continue reading

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DEATH, NATURALLY

  I meet my patient, and think to myself, death by a thousand cuts.  Incremental loss of mobility, independence, then slowly parts and pieces of his body, appendages removed, organs no longer functioning and blood vessels filled with sludge.  I … Continue reading

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