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An oncologist grapples with letting patients suffer when there’s an alternative

"For some people facing a terminal illness or the end of life, transitioning to palliative care (care given to improve quality of life for patients with life-threatening diseases) can signify quitting. They see it as surrendering to what’s ailing them and giving up the fight. But Dr. Isaac Chan, a medical oncology fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital, wishes people would look at palliative care differently. It just might provide the blessings of time and peace, he believes."

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"Knowing ahead of time which hospice services are available and the tasks you may be required to take on can help you make the right choices when decision time comes."

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"Hospice is not a decision to die. It’s a decision to live well with the time that you have...When your family needs this help, please accept it, and don’t wait too long."

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Do you know parents of a grieving teen? This article may be helpful.

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"Being a caregiver is a challenging role, and one that can easily result in isolation or despair. But being a caring friend can help create a bright spot in what could be a difficult time."

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“Thanksgiving arrived just a few weeks after my husband died.”

Happy families, togetherness, celebration and joy are just some of the expectations of the holiday season.  These are the images surrounding us online, in movies, on TV and in our own memories, if we’re lucky. Yet, it’s hard for most families to live up to these images, even under normal circumstances. 

So, what happens when we are grieving the loss of a cherished relationship, a marriage or worse—the death of someone dear?  Personal losses become magnified at this time of year when we’re supposed to be happy, which can leave us feeling alone and depressed. When a loved one has died, their missing chair at the holiday table may seem like more than we can handle.

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