Karen Hoyt is a blogger who has a story about hepatitis C, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer, and liver transplantation. This excerpt first appeared on Karen’s I Help C blog.
“Give me the whole truth” I told the doctor. After hearing that I wouldn’t make it to Christmas, I wanted details, kinda. You and I both know that we can’t take it all in at once. Part of you wants to know everything now. Another other part of you wants to bury your head in the sand. What if there were a way to have it somewhere in between? My health care wishes: Prognosis Declaration delivers. With that document, my health care wishes can be known by my doctor, and also my family and friends. It’s your body and mind, and everyone has a right to know exactly how you feel about your medical care.
Why is it important to have a Prognosis Declaration?
Prepared – When decisions need to be made, it’s best to know ahead of time how your health care will be managed. Then, YOU will be in control of how much information you want. Think about it as advanced directive for you peace of mind.
With the initial diagnosis of liver disease and decompensated illness, I started with option 1. because I wanted to know everything. Every med that went past my mouth required an explanation. Then, I had another emergency room run with multiple blood transfusions. After that, I just wanted peace. I told anyone listening that the worry was stressing me out, and I needed a break.
So, I went to option 2. I did what I was told without asking for details. It was a relief in many ways. My sister had permission to get all the information she wanted, and I told her to leave me out of it, until the cancer. This led to my advanced directive during transplant listing.
Following, is the official Prognosis Declarations written by my friend, Steve Scheier. He wrote this after his wife died of liver cancer. It was their respectful way of communicating her wishes to her family and doctor.
Take it to your doctor’s office and ask them to talk to you, and put a copy in your file. Let everyone know how you feel about the important medical concerns in your life.
Click here to the read the rest of this blog, including Karen’s Healthcare Wishes, which you can adapt for your own prognosis declaration.