It was an emotionally draining day at work today.
We provide support to patients and their families at a local hospital, and a case worker came to our office looking for activities for a patient in his early twenties and his parents to do over the weekend. Normally, that’s a common request. However, the case worker explained that the patient had only a few weeks left on this planet, and the doctor was urging him and his parents to get out of the hospital and do something—anything—with their remaining time together.
I was crushed.
I’m pretty good about compartmentalizing patient stories and not letting them affect me too much. Not this time. It hit too close to home, at least conceptually. Of course, the young age of the patient added to my reaction as well.
If your doctor told you to go out and make the most of your last three weeks on Earth, what would you do?
Talk about a reality check on your own mortality.
This blog post originally appeared on Dan’s Journey through Prostate Cancer. It is reprinted with permission.