Time is an intangible item that we all want more of. According to Miriam Webster’s definition, “time is the measured or measurable period during which an action, process or condition exists or continues.” As Americans we are all very busy and would love more time. When one is diagnosed with an illness like mesothelioma, time becomes even more important. Questions like how much time do I have left become a focus.
Many reevaluate how time has been spent and how the future will be spent. Recently I was surfing through social media and a woman was asking what she could get her loved one who was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He would be receiving treatment during the holiday and she wanted to ease the burden. She was looking for suggestions to make him feel better, a device, or an idea that would help.
My advice? Give time. Spend time with your loved one. Help those endless hours pass a little easier. If your loved one can be involved in a board game, or any activity that can assist with the passing of long days at the hospital, use those devices.
Many people who have been faced with their mortality like to reminisce about previous days passed. This can be a feeling of safeness and happier days. Allow your loved one to take the wheel and go where they would like.
Older patients often like to plan for the future, their death, burial, and financial arrangements. Please allow your loved one to speak about their wishes. This is a chance to offer respect and acknowledge their wishes.
These conversations can make us feel uncomfortable and unsure of how to respond. Most of the time, just listening and being respectful is all anyone wants. When we listen and respect their thoughts and wishes, the conversation will move to the next topic. Refusing to hear the patient can just become more upsetting.
Time spent with your loved one will never be a regrettable act. A smiling face or a warm hand to hold will be tokens of love and moments that will never be forgotten.
One thing is for certain, no one knows how much time we have. With that in mind, try to stop and offer the one thing that cannot be bought – it makes for a priceless gift. A gift that has continuous rewards for all of you.