Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Quality of Life

Wednesday January 13, 1993

Don't feel well. Didn't sleep well. Take a pain pill. Arrive at doctor in Hollywood about 9. It's a long morning. We finally see Dr. Semrad about 12:00. He thinks my tumors have softened and shrunk. He expects to see a big difference in 3 weeks. However, he would take me off the pump if I thought the quality of my life is so poor due to my side effects. I say no. I can live this way with pain pills.

I am hungry and nauseous on the way back to Simi for lunch at Subway. I feel better after I eat. I take a pain pill. Later, I eat a piece of pizza for dinner.

I think it is admirable that Dr. Semrad opened up a discussion about the quality of Mom's life. I'm sure it is not a topic that is easy to broach. I wonder if most doctors, specifically oncologists, assume that their patients want to keep fighting for their life, no matter the side effects of their treatment.. I found this interesting Quality of Life model for cancer survivors on the internet. In the top box Physical Wellbeing & Symptoms, Mom is definitely beginning to struggle with pain, fatigue, lack of sleep, nausea and constipation, but she is determined to keep fighting for functional ability. In the second box Psychological Wellbeing she seems to struggle very little with anxiety and depression and still seems to be enjoying her life for the most part. She always put on a brave face in person, but a journal is the place to write down real feelings and so far her feelings and attitude seem to be positive. In the third box Social Wellbeing she exceeds most of us in that she has very strong relationships with family members and friends, received lots of affection and support from her loving husband Frank, took pride in her appearance, and seemed to have no financial problems whatsoever. In the fourth box Spiritual Wellbeing she continued to put her faith and hope in God. So in the psychological, social and spiritual realms Mom receives much of her strength, even while her body is beginning to betray her.

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