Letter to the treating doctors

Dear hospital staff,

You told me that I could call anytime and with any question and not to hesitate and that there are no stupid questions in this process.

I would like to make use of this invitation.

What is my main concern at the moment is to get as much clarity as possible on the kind and stage of the cancer I have and what are the real options. If there is a real chance of treatment and healing or not. My feeling is that anaplastic cancer is very aggressive , but I do not know. If there is a real chance, I want to commit to healing and take the necessary steps, but if not, I would rather concentrate on a peaceful farewell and dying process and on as little pain and suffering in dying as possible.

 

I affirm life, but I do not see death as an enemy. It is inevitable and if it comes sooner or later it is only that, sooner or later. I am a spiritual person, I believe there is joy on the other side.

What I fear more is a painful dying process with a lot of physical and psychological suffering.

 

I have lived a fulfilled life, I am ready to go. I am also ready for some more good years on earth if that is a true option. If this cancer is in my life as a wake up call to more fully and consciously celebrate life for some more years that is what I want to do. If it is here to take me to the other side, I do not want to struggle and fight against it and go through a lot of misery.

 

This is the background on which I have my questions to the analysis you are currently undertaking to diagnose the state of my cancer.

 

So here are my questions:

What is known about the behaviour of anaplastic cancer?

 

The first step is the operation. Is the cancer really still local and will it be possible to take out all the cancer cells? How much will you be able to cut out? Can you cut the whole thing out in one go? With clean cut edges? Or will cancer cells remain? Is there a security span/interspace possible?

 

If the cancer is not local anymore and has already grown through the walls and entered the blood stream, what good can a local operation do?

 

What would the process look like if I did not do the operation? What kind of pain reduction and dying support is possible?

 

I realise that it might not be possible to answer these questions before doing an operation or more examinations. If that is the case, please let me know what you do know, and what you do not know and how you can find out.

I would just like to have as much clarity to base my decisions on at each step as possible. I do not want to rush into steps, just to do something. But if something really can be done at this stage to cause healing I of course welcome it. If possible I would like to know at each step what the healing chances are and what risks are involved.

I appreciate very much the caring and respectful attitude I have experienced from both of you on Monday. And I deeply appreciate the openness you have for including my questions and concerns in this process.

Thank you!