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What this book does

What this book does

This book fills that gap. It’s a manual for all those who know someone making the journey through a terminal diagnosis and its treatment to its ultimate end.

Since it’s filled with first-hand stories, experiences, short tips and lists that anyone can dip into at any point, it’s one that will actually be read instead of sitting in the guilt-laden unopened pile. It will be particularly helpful for the fulltime caregiver, as it gives both practical specifics and emotional encouragement for those who are making this intimate journey.

A terminal diagnosis can be isolating.

It produces an automatic category-shift in attitude by the people around the diagnosee from person to patient, from us, who are healthy and staying here for a while longer at least, to those who are not (which is why so many choose to keep a terminal diagnosis secret and as a result, isolate themselves and their caregivers). Some people will look at the patient with smug sympathy, or even fear, as though a terminal diagnosis were contagious. Others avoid the person, afraid to embarrass themselves or worse, hurt them by saying or doing the wrong thing. Neither is useful or welcome.

The person is a soul who needs human contact.

The person who has suddenly become a patient still wants and needs to be treated first and foremost as a person, a soul who needs normal human contact – laughter, conversation, smiles -- and as close to a normal life as he or she can manage despite changes in abilities, energy levels, appetite, interests and more. A smile, particularly, a genuine, I’m-glad-to-see-you, we’re-all-in-this-together smile, is something that anyone and everyone can offer at no cost but with great benefit.