Nancy P.: You Should Have the Option to Decide for Yourself

Nancy P. is a tech industry professional in San Jose, California.

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My husband Gordon died on July 21 at the age of 65 from spinal cancer after a 16-month ordeal involving radiation, chemotherapy, physical therapy, and hospice.

Before he was diagnosed, Gordon was a proud man working as a contractor. Watching him waste away to 91 pounds, in pain, bed-ridden, incontinent, and dependent on others to change his diaper, bathe him, and feed him was excruciating to him. He had a hard time processing he was dying as he kept thinking something would happen that would turn things around.

Death with Dignity advocate Nancy P. with husband Gordon

Nancy with her husband Gordon

We’d been together for 44 years. It was the hardest thing in my life to have to sit by his side and watch him suffer like that as his body slowly shut down. This was no way for him to end his days.

That’s why I got involved in the Death with Dignity movement. It makes sense that, when your moment comes as you are dying from a terminal illness, you should have the option to decide for yourself to end your suffering.

(August 2015)

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