The last days of life
Women with incurable gynaecological cancer are faced with a complex journey. They may undergo both curative and palliative treatments. They are often subjected to a sense of uncertainty. At one time, they may feel better, at other times they may feel very ill. Psychologically, they may have to face the fact of a foreshortened life that may be compounded by the loss of relationships which they had expected to nurture for several years. This chapter focuses on the terminal phase of care. Although best efforts are extended, patients with an incurable disease will face the dying phase and death sooner or later. This chapter examines the developments in the care of the patients and their grieving families. Discussed are the methods of diagnosing the dying; the signs and symptoms of dying; anticipatory planning, including the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual care of the patient and their families; and bereavement care of the families.
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