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We lost Sam, a long term member of our PCa support group early last year. Sam was a very likeable fellow. A proud atheist, which he professed to almost anyone within earshot. He was also very meticulous, even in arranging the final aspects of his journey. He chose to utilise the nearby hospice facility and died a seemingly pain free dignified death surrounded by his loved one’s and friends.
Sadly we now have another member Ken who is also nearing his journey’s end but unlike Sam, Ken is anything but organised, nor apparently accepting for what may lay ahead.
Despite also being a long term member of our support group. Ken has never been one to engage in frivolous conversation. Essentially he has led the life of a recluse. He has no family and only maintained minimalist interaction with neighbours. Ken had not been to any support group meetings for a few months, so we dropped around recently to see how he was. It was indeed a shock to see the state he was now in.
Ken had not seen a doctor for over six months. His GP was tragically killed in an accident last year and he did not have any confidence in the other doctors at the surgery. His last PSA taken was over 1200 and that was ten months ago. He now has difficultly in mobility due to pain and tends to sit about in a darkened room. His only support service is meals on wheels which his late GP organised for him. He has no medication for pain relief nor any desire to receive same. Ken is deeply religious and spends most of his waking time in prayer. He will not discuss his situation other that to say, “I am ok”, which clearly he is not. He has at least given us a key to his back door and we are taking turn’s checking on him each day. Our only plan of action currently, is to call an ambulance should he be found unconscious.
Each of us in the group would like to do more for Ken given that he has been one of us for such a long time. However we are basically powerless to do so. If anyone has any bright ideas, we would be delighted to hear them?
Ken, like Sam before him, completed his journey this day. He did so without any medical intervention whatsoever. His journey was vastly dissimilar to Sam's but they both had the same destination. Who's trip was better, I can but wonder?
How sad to hear of Ken's plight! Since he is religious, would a visit from his clergy help him? Perhaps having communion would be of help to him. As with this disease, everyone has their own way of dealing with things, even death J.R.