“Somehow or other you need to get yourself in a headspace of living in the moment cause it is the only place to be when you have a terminal illness. Living in the moment is the only place to be as that is where all the good things reside. Your friends, your family, your love, your humour, things you like to do and that is the key.” ~ Pat Mackey
Very wise words from a beautiful woman who shared her beautiful spirit with so many including me.
Today marks the beginning of The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association 2018 Hospice Palliative Care Week. It seemed like a fitting time to share Pat’s story.
I was very blessed to have met Pat when through my volunteer work. Despite the return of her cancer, she continued to give back to the North York General’s patient- and family-centred care initiatives. Pat also decided to share her own story about the return of her cancer, the important role of palliative care all while volunteering for the hospital and committing to enjoying every day. Sadly we lost Pat in 2014 but her legacy lives on through an award created by her family as well as the video she created during the final year of her life: Pat Mackey: Living with a terminal cancer diagnosis.
Pat’s wish was that by sharing her experience, patients and families will know that “palliative care is about finding energy and joy in your day, not focusing on the illness.” Please take the time to watch Pat’s video and share it with others.
Pat was an amazing and inspirational lady. She makes one think about what they want their legacy in this world to be. I am so lucky to have met her and will remember her forever. She was truly making a world of difference.
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colon Cancer is highly treatable if detected early and is up to 90% preventable.
Know the symptoms & get screened. Having a colonoscopy can save your life. I have had many people say they refuse to have this test because of the prep. My family history requires early screening and the prep in Canada is easier than ever before. If you have been putting this procedure off, please do not be afraid of having a colonoscopy. Talk to your Doctor about when screening should begin for you and if you have any symptoms, please see a doctor immediately. Colonoscopy screening saves lives. Don’t let fear or embarrassment get in the way of getting this important screening and maybe saving your own life.
“Assumptions Can Be Deadly.” Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day. Please take time to learn the symptoms of this cancer that is often found when the disease has already metastasized. Thinking of my Junior League of Toronto friends Bryna and Shelley who recently lost their husband and brother Kevin. Kevin was committed to helping provide a greater awareness of pancreatic cancer and its symptoms – as well as increased research funding. A wonderful legacy to leave this world. Please take time to read this article – http://www.cp24.com/mobile/lifestyle/health/partnership-hopes-to-make-progress-on-pancreatic-cancer-with-research-network-1.3680012 – and share with those you love.
Palliative Care is about living well.
Dr. Desmond Leung is a Palliative Care Doctor at the Freeman Centre for the Advancement of Palliative Care at North York General Hospital. I have known Dr. Leung for the last six years and am lucky to be able to volunteer with him on the NYGH Palliative Care Steering Committee. For National Hospice Palliative Care Week, Dr. Leung was interviewed on CBC’s Metro Morning with Matt Galloway as he works to change the face of Palliative Care. Amazing interview. Please take time to listen to it.
Today is World Cancer Day. Thinking of all those currently battling this awful disease and the many loved ones that are sadly no longer with us. Talk to your Doctor about screening and when it should begin for you. Learn what symptoms to look for and listen to your body when things just don’t feel right. Early screening can save lives. Try to adopt healthy lifestyle changes. Little changes can make a big difference. Advocate for someone who can’t. If a family member, friend or someone you know has cancer, show up. Call, visit, drive them to their chemotherapy or radiation appointment and keep them company, drop off a home cooked meal, send them a card, a care package or do something that just brightens their day. Please don’t disappear because you are feeling uncomfortable and don’t know what to say.
“What Cancer Cannot Do – Cancer is so limited … It cannot cripple love, It cannot shatter hope, It cannot corrode faith, It cannot destroy peace, It cannot kill friendship, It cannot suppress memories, It cannot silence courage, It cannot invade the soul, It cannot steal eternal life, It cannot conquer the spirit.” Unknown