Coping with Big Illnesses & Planning for the Last One
It's easy to feel a slight sense of panic when health crashes – or starts looking like it might. In the middle of all that's going on, it can feel like you're all alone with your questions and feelings. That only makes things worse.
So many things can come up when we have to face a difficult diagnosis.
• If it’s someone you love, you may not know what questions are okay to ask. Or what you need to know so you can care for them or help make decisions. More info here. (If your loved one is your animal companion, click here for a special page of information.)
• If you’re the person who’s ill – or you sense your body reaching the end of life – you may not know who you can talk to about this heavy subject without upsetting them. More info here.
• And if you’ve seen this happen to others, you might be ready to think about what you would or wouldn’t want done if it happened to you – and get that on paper. More info here.
I can help you with all that, and even some aspects that you might not have thought of. Contact me or read more first.
Coping when someone you care about is seriously ill
Help with exploring your situation and how it's affecting you.
Understand what's ahead: What will happen as your "someone" gets sicker? What if they die? Create a plan for how to cope.
How and when to say what you need to say to your "someone."
And whatever else is coming up for you as you experience this.
Facilitated Peer-Support Groups
If you're interested in this option, let me know. If I get enough interest, I'll create a group for you!
Consultations on Specific Situations
• Talking and being with the ill person: What if I say the wrong thing? Can they still hear me? What if I don't speak my heart in time?
• Communicating with medical staff: What can I ask the doctors? What do their answers really mean?
Talks and Workshops
To learn about talks and workshops related to coping with someone's serious illness, please contact me.
Facing your own serious medical situation
You likely have so many thoughts, feelings, and questions tumbling
around. And it's hard to know who you can talk to about
I've helped hundreds of people explore this and get clarity. I'm pretty hard to faze.
Help Talking with Your Family and Loved Ones
Expressing yourself fully to important people in your life can feel incredibly difficult. Yet, there are things you want them to know. Or you might want to record it for later.
I can help you think through these conversations and the timing for them.
How to Talk with Your Medical Team
How much do you want to know? How much should your medical team tell your loved ones?
Let me help you understand what your doctors may be waiting to tell you – and why.
Death with Dignity
If you want to consider the idea of using Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, and your family isn't comfortable having that conversation, you may want a sounding board as you explore what might lead you toward or away from that choice. I've been that sounding board for many people about facing their death and am pretty hard to faze. (Plus, my mom used DwD to die.)
Planning – based on what's most important to you
If you became unable to speak for yourself, would others know what medical care you would want? Or what other plans to make for you?
By yourself, or together with your family, we meet to identify the values you’ve based your life on, and weave them into documents and plans, making things much easier on your loved ones later. This can include your Advance Medical Directive, an Ethical Will, letters or recordings to be delivered later, and so on.
Oregon Advance Directive
This form helps healthcare providers understand the goals you have for your medical care. Its use can go far beyond the list of check-off choices and should be reviewed whenever your medical circumstances or desires change.
I was trained in this process by the Director of Ethics of a regional medical center and have helped hundreds of people document their wishes on the official Oregon form.
Note: This is not the POLST form .
Planning an End-Of-Life Gathering or Ceremony
It can be quite meaningful to consider how you'd like to mark the ending of your life. You might want to invite your friends and loved ones to join you for a farewell. Or specify directions for a funeral, memorial service, or Celebration of Life.
On your own, or with loved ones, let's sort out how to perfectly represent what your life has meant – to yourself, to others, and to the greater world.
If needed, many of these services can take place in a hospital or other care facility.