Lynne Watson, a celebrant, has brought to our attention a powerful and poignant article in the Daily Mail. Thank you, Lynne.
It’s about a doctor, Kate Granger, who is 29 and dying of cancer, has said no to any more chemotherapy. Here are some extracts to give you a taste:
As a doctor, I am very realistic about what treatments can achieve. I am not hunting for a miracle cure, because I don’t think that will happen for me.
I’ve seen a lot of needless suffering, severely ill people flogging their bodies to death with different treatments or more chemo in pursuit of something that is never going to happen — possibly just to please their families.
This has crystallised for me what I want for myself: a dignified and peaceful death. I hate all the emotive language used around cancer. It’s always a ‘battle’ and sufferers are always ‘brave’ — words for wars. But when people like me decide not to prolong life, does that mean I am not strong or fighting to stay alive?
As well as not wanting to prolong a poor quality of life for myself with brutal cancer treatments, I made it clear from the earliest days of my illness that there is no way I want to be resuscitated. And there has to be dignity in death. I have led crash teams, done chest compression, seen hundreds of people being resuscitated. It is not like Casualty on TV — it’s brutal, undignified, a horrible process.
Dr Granger’s husband Chris is finding it very difficult to accept what is happening to her:
I don’t know how to help him. Chris can’t accept that the situation is way beyond our control. He struggles with my matter-of-fact attitude and gets upset at the smallest of comments. I am perhaps not as sympathetic as I should be, always telling him: ‘Pull yourself together, darling.’ When he is upset he talks about what life will be like without me and how he won’t be able to cope. This is very difficult to listen to, and is a source of great annoyance for me. I need him to be strong so he can shore me up.
Read the whole piece over at the Mail here.