Learning how to speak with patients about end-of-life topics is often anxiety provoking for medical trainees. However, it also provides a unique opportunity for personal growth. The surprising reward of having such a conversation is presented in this reflection.
It tickles me to report that I live with incurable cancer and I am expecting. I am expecting that the cancer will take its toll, that I will need to make choices about my health and care, that I will need the support of my family, and that I will need resources.
From my experiences at hospice I learned that much of the suffering that I had witnessed earlier as a friend and as a family member, could have been prevented if we had integrated hospice palliative care principles, practices and philosophy in their care.