“Palliative care is not what happens when all treatments have failed. It does not mean “giving up” or “stopping the fight.” If you are fighting cancer or Lou Gehrig’s disease, palliative care means a team of people — such as doctors, nurses, social workers and others — will help make sure you have what you need to continue fighting.” Dr. Jeff Myers – University of Toronto
“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.
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.