The end of life
A medical student recalls the communication surrounding her husband's palliative care
It was the last week of September, week four of my medical degree. The week's case was about bowel cancer. I was sitting in one of the doctors' offices in the centre for cancer treatment.
“Do you already know the results of the scan?” asked the registrar, shuffling through her notes. “No, it's just a routine check-up scan after leaving hospital. I had a lot of complications. I was in hospital for three months,” said my husband.
The registrar looked up. “Well I'm afraid it's not good news.” She let that filter in for a moment and continued. “The cancer has returned, and we're not going to be able to cure it now.”
Silence. I felt my palms become clammy and my chest tighten. “Right. So what do we do?” “Are you the sort of person who likes to