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Initially diagnosed June 4, 2009 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stage II,Grade II tumor size: 2-3 cm node positive ER/PR postive HER2 Neu - negative Current Diagnosis: Metastatic Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Grade 3 Mets: Scalp/skin, Liver, Spine, Bone ER/PR + HER2/NEU -

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Work and Taking Care of My Loved Ones

Went into work for a few hours today because they were having a Christmas potluck type thing.  I forgot how long that commute was.  It was nice to see my friends and colleagues, though.  It's been so long I wondered if my badge would even work!

I've noticed lately that I'm thinking about all the things that a family has to deal with after the death of a loved one.   We've had several deaths of family and friends this year, and I've noticed something they all seem to have in common.  They have all been in a tailspin just dealing with their loved one's sickness or loss and are forced to make difficult decisions regarding things like whether to resuscitate, whether to leave them on a machine or pull the plug, funeral planning, and even issues dividing out their material items afterwards. I hate seeing friends and family have to go through these things, so I've decided I'd like to get these things completed ahead of time to ease the burden for my family and friends when my time comes.  I think this is a good idea for anyone.  None of us know when our time will end, and having these things in place is a final gift you can give them to ease their burden at a difficult time.

Warning: Stop reading now if this is freaking you out or you are getting emotional, it gets more blunt and more detailed.  You have been warned, don't call me and ask me why I did this to you if you continue reading!  If you understand where I'm coming from and can handle it, click the link to read on.

I already have some of my end of life decisions out of the way due to previous surgeries and such:

Resuscitation - By all means, do it.  Many people are resuscitated and continue to live normal lives

Medical Power of Attorney - My dear husband of course.  If both of us die together, I've chosen my father as the next in line.  I chose him over my mother because of his ability to make decisions without getting emotional and because of his ability to research medical information online.  I also did this to protect my mother from having to deal with anything more.  She is already dealing with a chronic disease herself and taking care of her mother.  I don't want to add additional burden, worries, or responsibility to what she already has to deal with.

Living Will - I don't want to be kept alive only by a machine if there's little or no chance of me being able to come out of it and continue a normal life.  I'd like my medical power of attorney to get a second opinion and do some research before they pull the plug, though.  I don't trust doctors to make the best decisions, so I hope the people I have chosen will do the same research as I would.  I think the people I've chosen will do this for me.

The following are things I'm currently working on or need to get done:

Funeral Planning - I contacted Mount Olivet via the web last week.  Most of my family is buried at this cemetery and I'd like my body to spend eternity there as well. I want to be buried in the ground in casket and not cremated and kept in an urn on someone's mantle.  If you put me in an urn and keep me on a shelf, I promise I will come back and haunt you! A representative came by today and I scheduled an appointment with him for Monday evening when Jesse is off to discuss funeral planning, plots, and payment plans.  I'd like to have everything completely planned and paid for so no one has to do anything but show up (and I don't end up on someone's mantle and have to haunt them, lol).

Last Will and Testament -  I'd like to get this written out and legally filed.  I want to make sure it's detailed regarding anything of value (financial, emotional, or personal) and detailed regarding for whom each item is intended.  My goal is to leave nothing for my family to fight over in court or otherwise.  I want to leave nothing to interpretation and make sure those who are dealing with any medical bills or funeral costs have the money they need.

Which leads to...

Life Insurance - My current beneficiaries are my husband as primary, and my daughter as secondary.  I want to make sure they both have the money they need to deal with life after I am gone. I currently can only get the default life insurance at work due to my condition, so I must remain working until my time comes for them to receive it.  This is yet another reason for the funeral planning and payment plan being initiated now rather than later.

Again, I'm not being negative or thinking I'm dying any time soon.  I plan to fight with everything I have and remain positive.  I just feel I need to get these things done while I'm strong and capable of getting them done.  I don't want to be dealing with the issues of my illness, end of life and all of this later on when my time comes.  Whether it is tomorrow or twenty years from now, I just feel I need to get these things done so I can get them off my mind and not worry about them.  I want to get these out of the way so that I am 100% sure my family does not have to deal with these things on top of whatever emotional crap they may be going through.  It makes me feel better to get this over with now and not dwell on it.  I am not in need of a pep talk, I promise!


  1. I think you are really wise to do this, and don't see a need to pep talk you -- if you say you don't need one, I believe you! No, I get it. You are looking reality in the face, as uncomfortable as it is. And doing it now instead of later -- which actually, if you think about it, is incredibly wise. Right now you know the current chemo is working, and while reality is that's an unknown how long, and it is never a cure like the typical (? I guess typical) cancer patient hopes for, you at least are not wasted away believing anything is imminent right now. So much, much better to tackle this now while it's a for-the-future thing, rather than being an any-day thing. Smart girl. Easier on Jesse to do this now, too. So doubly smart girl.

    Me -- I don't even have a will, and I'm about to lose my only excuse for not having one (Matt turns 18 in January, so I don't have to figure out who to name as a guardian if something happened to both of us).


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