It matters to those who love me how long I have to live but, except out of concern for them, not to me. To me each day is a gift, since I’d have died long ago had I not been able to have my current treatment.
I have learned from With The End In Mind by Dr Kathryn Mannix not to be afraid of death itself.
I must put my affairs in order while I am still able to do so, including will, EPAs and DNR.
In due course I must think about how I should like to say goodbye to each of my family and friends. I hope we’ll all manage to be magnanimous!
I am planning ahead only in a very general way. There will be a time for everything, including palliative care when I need it. I intend to let my partner choose where I die.
About Gaby Charing
Gaby is a long-time LGBTQ activist in Southwark in SE London, where she has lived for more than 30 years with her partner Liz Day. Ten years ago, on retiring from her job as a lawyer, she volunteered as a public and patient voice in her local NHS, working initially on community health and later on cancer. She has a particular concern with the health of LGBTQ people.
Six years ago Gaby was diagnosed with bowel cancer. The cancer is no longer curable. Gaby is well at present thanks to palliative treatment with a targeted therapy. She knows her good fortune will not last, as the drug will not continue to work for ever.
Gaby spends too much time on social media, where she describes herself as opinionated, funny, kind and grumpy.
Gaby and Liz have written a paper Living with dying and bereavement which is free to download here. They would love to know what you think about it.