I’m not even sure how one would go about delivering a grim prognoses like this.
Delivering it, or tending to it day-to-day, really.
See, we have this friend/acquaintance that is a pediatric nurse. She’s in our Sunday school class and has a bright beautiful family.
But here’s the thing: She works at Hospice.
I asked her how she could possibly do such a thing day in and day out.
Do you know what her response was?
She said: “I have no idea. It amazes me everyday. I think I was just born for it.”
I mean, palliative care, for children?
I just can’t even.
Agreed. Under the age of 40 – there are few words.
During my residency, I had sat with countless patients and families to discuss grim prognoses; it’s one of the most important jobs you have, as a physician. It’s easier when the patient is ninety-four, in the last stages of dementia, with a severe brain bleed. But for someone like me—a thirty-six-year-old given a diagnosis of terminal cancer—there aren’t really words.
-Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air (Amazon)