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Monday, 13 April 2015

Palliative and Hospice care versus Curative treatments

I know. 3 big words on a Monday morning can be a bit early....

When discussing medical treatments for our love ones, it can be sensitive. You know why? One word - Guilt.

We don't have to be Buddhists to know that all of us will get old, get sick, and die one day. But we get all fluster up and emotional when we discover we or our love ones have contracted a "serious" illness.

This wake-up call makes us guilty for the life we have lived up till now. Always making plans but never acting on them... It also forces us to re-examine the priorities in our lives; now that you are conscious of your mortality for the first time. No, we are not forever young. 

Loved ones

We know that early detection of stage 1 cancer is more likely to be treatable than stage 4 terminal stage. Yet we act and behave in a way that focuses on turning a blind eye to early signs... (My next post will elaborate more on this selective focus)

We let things drag and when the truth hits, we lash it out on everyone else. How doctors are blood suckers... Big daddy heartless... Why private hospital better because can get same day appointment or next day surgery... No long waiting like in public hospitals... We start throwing money at the problem.... As if the above will help when we discover we have stage 4 terminal cancer....Guilt gets in the way of rationality...
Deep down we know if the cancer was discovered earlier at stage 1 or 2, waiting 6 months for a medical appointment or surgery ain't going to make things worse. We can look on the bright side since it's now not a medical emergency!?

You die; I die; we all die

This post from CW provides a real life example:

You die. I die. Doctors also die???

Of course to be able to make such a decision may depend highly on our spirituality, how we have lived our lives till now, and most importantly, the wisdom to make choices.

Yes. There are choices. And its not all about curative treatments.

Prayer and Zen

Serenity prayer for the spiritual:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 
The courage to change the things I can, 
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Alternatively, there's this Western quotation that I find quite Zen:

For every ailment under the sun, 
There is a remedy, or there is none, 
If there be one, try to find it; 
If there be none, never mind it.

P.S.  You may have noticed I like to use the word "spirituality" instead of "religious". That's because atheist and agnostics can be spiritual too. I am inclusive.  


  1. When we are seriously sick, we feel we should be treated with the best in class; but every other day, every other year how do we treat ourselves.


    1. CW,

      We can behave totally irrational and illogical; I guess that's what make us humans?

      And precisely so markets can function. If not, where to find sellers when we want to buy? And buyers when we want to sell?

      Not strange ;)

  2. Hi SMOL,

    I think the ultimate wisdom is to know when to fight and when to give up. It applies to everything we do, including life.

    1. LP,

      Yes. That's the essence.

      I would prefer the use of "let go" instead of "give up" though ;)

      For eg:

      吕战吕败 sounds so demoralising...

      Use a bit of wordplay and snake-oil marketing spin:

      吕败吕战 now sounds a lot more motivating and uplifting!


    2. You're right :) let go is better than give up!

      Let go implies that you're in control of the situation, while giving up has a flavour of letting the situation overwhelm and take control from you :)

    3. Once again the grasshopper and butterfly are in a jamming mood :)

  3. it could be a filial act or act of love that we want the best for our loved ones. Thus the spurging of medical fee at top specialists at private hospitals which may not make any diff sometimes

    1. Jimmy L,

      During the peak of my corporate life, these words did come out of my mouth: "Anything money can solve is not a problem."

      Thank goodness I woke up from my delusions.... Not one of my proudest moments...

      When I were young, I was brought up by my maternal grandma and mom. So how I react now is a natural reference to my upbringing.

      If a child is brought up by a maid, then the same child will have no problem hiring 1 or 2 maids to take care of his/her aged or sick parent. "Anything money can solve is not a problem."

      Filial act or love? Emotional feelings can only be felt by the vested parties. It cannot be deduced by what we see or hear.

      Often the things we do are not because of how we feel; but what we want others to see (or don't want others to know)....

  4. It's true some doctors when diagnose with 4th stage cancer(especially fast reacting cancer) may not want any treatment but let "nature takes its course". The only treatment they want is how to treat the pain caused by the cancer. That's really they know how to let go and go "happily".

    1. temperament,

      Thank you so much!

      I wanted to weave what you said into the blog post but decided to let readers fill in the blanks themselves. It's a sensitive subject after all.

      Unknowingly, some caregivers submit their love ones who are sick through unnecessary pain and discomfort in the misguided attempt to use "money to solve" an inevitable... If only they stop and REALLY listened to what the doctor has to say....

      Sometimes the cure can be even more devastating than the disease...

      Hence it's important to let our love ones know our intentions like having an Advanced Medical Directive when we are lucid and well.

      It's better to make the tough decision on ourselves than to procrastinate and let our love ones agonise who wants to be the one to pull the plug on us... Imagine the guilt we put on them...

      We Asians don't like to discuss such things with our family, but sharing our intentions (like lao Lee had done) can be as necessary as planning our insurance needs.

      When most people think of financial literacy or freedom, they mostly focus on the dollars and cents.

      But how can we be "free" when we have holes in our hearts?

      No, the matters of the soul are just as important.

  5. http://ordinarytraders.blogspot.sg/

    1. you can learn a lot from this guy, quite competence trader who knows what he is talkig about and write well!

    2. coconut,

      Agree. Gives me a good impression at first glance.

      A refreshing change from those I made $10,000 in one day part-time "traders" cum full-time snake-oil salesmen.

      Will also check out the systematic blogger he interviewed.

      They seem to be the more educated ones. One of them is scholar and working inside the industry some more!

      Will try to say hello. Hope they don't mind bo-tak-chek retail traders like me. If they want to be left alone, I respect that too.

      Never one to impose on others.

    3. sorry somehow i gave you the wrong blog, this should be the one;


      i'm not sure they are the same trader but equally good.

    4. coconut,

      Both of them use the same Blogger template so it's not surprising you mix them up ;)

      One of them is trading full time like us.

      The other is working inside the industry yet "dares" to show his pic on-line!?

      Immediately both of them have something in common with me:

      One can let it go; the other can blog without use of masks.


    5. oh! you mean one is not a full time independence trader?

      ok! only read those that belongs to full time independebce trader who trade their own $$.

    6. otherwise better to go to the libery.

    7. coconut,

      They very cute. Interview each other.

      Now finished reading both blog interviews.

      Oh! They both scholars! My bad.

      The full time independent trader got 2 Masters degrees! Wow!

      I have a naughty thought. Those retail traders who have spent $3K attending trading courses should go read these 2 blog interviews. If they no clue what talking them, then that shows the level of the course they have attended... LOL!

      I know. I so terrible plus horrible!


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