Sex, Lies, Secrets, Endearment Terms–& Dying, The End Game, Part One: The First Day of the End of My Life by Guest Blogger Susan Crain Bakos

Enjoy Life to the End

Enjoy Life to the End

Recently, I opened an email in one of my professional listserves with a link to a very special article by a unique and courageous writer, Susan Crain Bakos. Not only is she defying the typical procedures of the medical establishment but she is choosing to live the highest quality of life she can muster, all the way to the end. And she has chosen to share her end of life adventure with the rest of us. Here is Susan’s story.

 

“A few weeks ago I collapsed at Penn Station, in the throes of a bronchial asthma attack, I thought, and was rushed via ambulance to Bellevue, the nearest hospital. My knowledge of medical facilities being limited, I thought it was a psychiatric hospital. They can tell I’m crazy just by looking at me? But, no, Bellevue is full service; and they had no interest in my therapy history.”

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10 comments

1 jan { 09.10.11 at 4:53 pm }

I just returned from a vacation and read my favorite blog which is SexyPrime. I don’t even know what to say. Like all the other things she handles with class she is handling this episode with the same. Susan you inspire me and many others with your attitude and life. Love you.

2 Nicole Rushin { 09.11.11 at 1:58 am }

What an amazing story. I wanted to leave the comment here and not on her site. (To give you the traffic) Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful blog and her amazing story. I love the ‘Breast Fellow,’ very nice. Maybe she will pull through – with her attitude – why not?
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3 Dr. Erica Goodstone { 09.11.11 at 2:03 am }

@ Nicole Rushin:
Nicole, Thanks for your support. I was amazed by Susan’s courage and willingness to share her process with the rest of us. I agree, she is feisty enough to prove the doctors wrong and pull through.
Erica

4 Dr. Erica Goodstone { 09.11.11 at 3:54 am }

@ jan:
Jan, I was also deeply touched and inspired by Susan’s triumphant attitude to live her days the way she wants, not what is being dictated to her.

5 Kimberly Castleberry { 09.21.11 at 6:22 pm }

What a powerful story and one that, while more drastic, is one I resonate from having told the medical industry that no, death sentence or not, they didn’t have the right to kill me. I of course outlived their “months to live” verdict but there’s no more reason I should have than she should. I’m glad for the decisions I made and I know she will be to. The drugs destroy the quality of life and when we have neither quality of life or a remaining ability to fulfill the things we were sent here to do… usually the best choice we can make is to enjoy the ride.
Kim
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6 Dr. Erica Goodstone { 09.21.11 at 6:43 pm }

@ Kimberly Castleberry:
Kimberly,
I am currently facing an issue where an MD labeled my current “out of balance condition” as a “disease,” “an autoimmune, incurable disease” and they insist that the only way to stop the progression of it is to take this awful drug with horrible side effects, which they make light of. After a powerful 3 day weekend featuring Jack Canfield and other amazing speakers, on Friday afternoon the doctor’s assistant called to cancel my Monday appointment because he had an emergency. To me, that was a symbol and a sign that I am free to make my own choices about my treatment. I met an acupuncturist on Sunday of the conference who recommended a unique doctor, combination of MD, naturopath and herbalist. I spoke to her on Monday and will see her tomorrow. My goal is to get my body back into balance and I know I will be fine – indefinitely – and I will continue to monitor myself rather than becoming dependent on an MD.

7 Yorinda { 09.21.11 at 9:48 pm }

Hi Erica,
thank you for posting this thought provoking article.

In a situation like that it is a very personal choice.

I would have also chosen to live the last days on my terms, since I believe that the wisdom of the trillions of cells in my body can do miracles and I don’t like the suffering and invasion into the body, which can be worse with chemo etc.

People have recorvered the natural way and felt good in the long run, even laughter can be healing.

Cheers,
Yorinda
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8 Dr. Erica Goodstone { 09.21.11 at 10:04 pm }

@ Yorinda:
Yorinda,

I agree. Our bodies are miraculous. I do not like feeding it chemicals and drugs that may weaken the germs and prevent them from spreading but in the process it also weakens the entire body. Many people have recovered naturally and if not, at least they can be spared the discomfort of nausea, vomiting and other discomforts. But this is truly an individual choice. Many people would rather just take the drug and do what seems to be easiest.

9 Jaclyn Castro { 09.26.11 at 4:20 am }

Wow, I haven’t read such an emotional story in forever. And to know that this is a real person and a real life story that Susan chooses to share with the world makes it the more inspirational in my eyes.

I can relate to Susan in her choice to live free of chemo and live (not die) in this world as naturally as possible. There is someone close to me in my life that is (and HAS been for decades) totally and completely reliant of drugs from left to right. I cannot even count the amount of drugs this person takes. And on top of her prescription drugs, she sends someone to buy black market pills to ease her pain.

Mind you, there is a lot more to this story than what I’ve mentioned. But the bottom line is that we all have a choice. Whatever the choice, better be a good one with true PURPOSE. We only have a SINGLE life to live and we cannot take it back once a decision is made.

-Jaclyn Castro

10 Dr. Erica Goodstone { 09.26.11 at 5:06 am }

@ Jaclyn Castro:
Jaclyn,

I agree with your perspective. What I have been discovering is that many doctors immediately prescribe drugs without first suggesting lifestyle changes – improved diet, exercise, stress reducation. Taking drugs with side effects often leads to the need for other drugs to counteract the effects of the first drug. We do have to take control and decide for our own self how we choose to live our life.

I will be interviewing the author of this article on my radio show on Tuesday, October 4.

Dr. Erica