By Chandrama Anderson
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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ... (More)
About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background in high-tech is helpful in understanding local couples' dynamics and the pressures of living here. I am a wife, mom, sister, friend, author, and lifelong advocate for causes I believe in (such as marriage equality). My parents are both deceased. My son graduated culinary school and is heading toward a degree in Sociology. I enjoy reading, hiking, water fitness, movies, 49ers and Stanford football, Giants baseball, and riding a tandem bike with my husband. I love the beach and mountains; nature is my place of restoration. In my work with couples, and in this blog, I combine knowledge from many fields to bring you my best ideas, tips, tools and skills, plus book and movie reviews, and musings to help you be your genuine self, find your own voice, and have a happy and healthy relationship. Don't be surprised to hear about brain research and business skills, self-soothing techniques from all walks of life, suggestions and experiments, and anything that lights my passion for couples. (Author and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Calif. Lic # MFC 45204.) (Hide)
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Death with Dignity
Uploaded: Dec 16, 2014
Death with dignity is also known as assisted suicide. I can hardly believe that I am having this conversation with my MIL, the mom of my heart (or mom-in-love, as one of my oldest friends wrote to me).
As the pain from cancer throughout her body increases, she is taking morphine to control it. It makes her dopey, and she doesn't feel like herself. She can not think clearly due to the morphine, and she can think just fine without it (albeit, in pain). So she's on the pain ? dopey continuum, and there is no longer any way off of it. And it will only get worse.
Shall she suffer to the bitter end?
At first she wanted to go through the process and die at home. Now she's not so sure, as the symptoms increase and the outcome is pre-determined. She says she's not herself anymore, and she doesn't like that.
In my role as advocate, I call Mom a couple of times a day to ask how her pain is and if she's taken morphine to control it (she's not tracking well anymore). I go to visit with her a couple of times a week to see for myself how she's doing, and to hang out with her as much as I can, and to give her partner a break from care-giving.
It's also my role to bring up options and discuss them with her, especially when she's not dopey, even if they are difficult topics. California is not a state that allows Death with Dignity. That adds another complication.
Then I go exercise, and cry, and keep taking care of and living life. It's challenging.
I know many of you are going through this, too, and my heart goes out to you.
I don't know the right answer to death with dignity. I just know the questions.
What is it worth to you?
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