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11 Jul 2005

Dear Cybershrink
I’ve tried to get help, but my efforts only confirmed what I’ve known all along. He is not terminal so they can’ help. There is no one who can help us really no one. I’m going home now and will look after him. Try to help him. He has seen no one all day. Not a soul. He just sits there, hardly able to walk. No more than a step or two at a time. Tonight he will still sit there because he can’t lie down anymore. I clean and bandage the sores on his legs every night. It takes such a long time. I’m not trained for it, but I try. The wound care people have given up on him. They say it will never get better, but I try to make it better. He has so much pain it makes him cry. He will take anything to make the pain go away. Nothing helps. Not even the morphine. I’m scared. We are all alone so alone.
Answer 506 views

01 Jan 0001

Hello El-Jo,
I find it really hard to understand this. I had understood that the problem was cancer, and that it has been progressing, and has seriously incapacitated him with multiple problems including very severe pain. When you say they tell you that he is not terminal" I wodner what they mean ? That's he's not likely to die within the next week ? If the cancer is going to kill him, and it is not curable, then the onl option is for what is called terminal care or Palliative Care, which is a nicer term for the same thing --- a concentration on the skillful use of drugs and other methods to control pain and symptoms, physical and psychological, for the entire duration of the illness. I can't believe that anyone at the Cancer Association OR the Hospice programs in and around Joburg could be so incompetent as to be unable to help control the pain and related problems, or so heartless as to refuse to try their very best to do so. I can well understand how frighteningly alone this would make you feel. hey should be able to provide volunteers to share the burden with you, and to give you some respite, including possible admissions of your husband to their beds to give both you and him a break.
Try and see if Dr Selma Browdie, the wife of the lawyer Jules Browdie is still extant and around town, as she has expressed great interest in and expertise in the provision of palliative care, and could advise both personally and should know of others who could get involved. If she hesitates, tell her Prof Michael Simpson recommended her as someone he remembers as being passionate about providing the sort of care you and your husband need.
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