The Talk

Author: Shannon Miller

By guest blogger Tammy Badida

You may be in the midst of the biggest battle you have ever had to face right now, and the thought of talking about certain things that tend to make us all uncomfortable is the last thing you want to deal with. But as someone who is now on the other side, I urge you to try and talk about anything and everything. 

Nick and I made a pact that no subject was going to be off limits for either of us. We were free to ask any questions that we felt led to ask. It took me a while to become comfortable doing that. One of the things that really helped us a lot was called Five Wishes. We got it from our palliative care doctor. It is a guide that helps you talk about and make plans that can be very difficult to make. Look at this tool as a helpful investment in long term planning for you and your loved ones. Terminal or not, Five Wishes can give you an immense peace of mind if the unexpected should ever happen.

Five Wishes lets your family and doctors know: who you want to make health care decisions for you when you can’t make them, the kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want, how comfortable you want to be, how you want people to treat you, and what you want your loved ones to know. (Source: Aging with Dignity Five Wishes).

In addition to those five very important things there were many other questions, more on a personal level, that Five Wishes also had written out to help you plan. Many things that are very difficult to discuss became a little easier, because of this guide.

Many of those personal talks will at times feel heartbreaking, but looking back, I will always treasure that time. We cried and laughed our way through many of them. Be ready to listen when your loved one wants to talk about things. Look at it as though these are sacred times because they are! As a caregiver, I never saw this as a burden at all, because it was truly more like a gift. Caregivers in any circumstance, I urge you to get a copy of Five Wishes. It will help you and those around you. You are stronger with each day you conquer. You too are a survivor and you can do this!

“Sometimes it helps to know that I just can’t do it all. One step at a time is all that’s possible — even when those steps are taken on the run.”  Anne W. Schaef

Next Tuesdays Topic: The Roles of Others

Tammy’s story of “Learning to Live” during a life-changing battle has encouraged and reached so many already and can be found at:

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