166. Finalizing Death with Dignity, End of Life Washington

The reason that Death with Dignity applies to my situation is that, with no treatment, my diagnosis leads doctors to statistically agree that I would not live six months. Without treatment. No chemo, no intervention.

What a long process!  Death with Dignity is not something that you can plan for on the short term.  There are so many steps.  Today, mine are complete…well, complete for the next six months, and then there will be parts to repeat.  It doesn’t take most people six months to get to this point in the process.  I just haven’t pushed the envelope.

Last week, the final doctor visit of the approval process checked off the list.  Today, I contacted End of Life Washington.  They provide a volunteer that helps family and friends, and the Death with Dignity patient, in the last moments of life.  Who does that?  What an incredible and sacred contribution!  Julie, who handles Death with Dignity for Kaiser, recommended I snag myself a volunteer, just to finish the list.  So, I’m ready to go!  A volunteer will be assigned to my exit now.

It IS a strange conversation.  I have no idea if Death will be visiting any time soon, scythe in hand, waiting to start me out across Terry Pratchett’s black desert.  I have no idea whether Death with Dignity will be a benefit in the process, because that is a matter for the specific situation. Hospice may be enough.  

The reason that Death with Dignity applies to my situation is that, with no treatment, my diagnosis leads doctors to statistically agree that I would not live six months.  Without treatment.  No chemo, no intervention.

I was pondering the Grace and Frankie episode; Babe chose her date of death during a cancer battle.  She used a suicide method to create her path, yet California is a Death with Dignity state.  The show must have chosen the plot line to match the majority of the country.  Only eight states have legislated Death with Dignity.

One of my questions for Julie was about the prescription.  Can the Supreme Court remove this right?  Will I be informed before the prescription is pulled from the pharmacy?  She assures me that they will know, and I would be warned.

Endless variables.  I just added an option, and wrapped it up with a (volunteer) bow.

Author: Michele Plumb Stowell

Michele Stowell was a teacher, a hand holder, and encouraging voice. Born an early Gen Xer, she has lived in Western Washington for the duration. Her children, two spectacular genetic daughters and an uncountable number of marvelous scout and school sons and daughters, shine as her biggest impact and her greatest blessing. Just before her 54th birthday, Michele was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her writing and art work are expressions of the drama and the joy of living earth bound. On October 24, 2021, Michele was released from her physical body, transported to continue her work on other realms.

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