Game Makes End-of-Life Decisions Easier for Mesothelioma Patients

A new tool, Go Wish, may be able to help cancer patients and caregivers discuss an uncomfortable topic: end-of-life care. Predicting life expectancy can be challenging for most doctors, especially with a rare cancer like mesothelioma. Go Wish is a card game about end of life wishes, focusing on a patient’s goals and priorities no matter the life expectancy.

For patients, it is a great way to understand what is most important to them. For caregivers, it is a great way to understand how patients wants to be treated, who they want by their side, and what matters most to them. For family members, it is a way to understand how to comfort their loved one.

Go Wish

There are a few simple ways to play Go Wish: you can play by yourself, with a loved one, or for free online. Each deck of the game contains 36 cards, one being a wild card. The other 35 cards describe things that patients often say are important when they are faced with illness or cancer. The cards are easy to understand and are written in a positive tone.

The patient sorts through the cards and places them into 3 piles:

  • 1 Very important to me
  • 2 Somewhat important to me
  • 3 Not important to me

The wild card can be used to write down a wish that isn’t listed. The next step is to take the “very important” pile and to rank those in order of priority, choosing only 10 cards. This is the patient’s top 10 list to share with his or her loved ones and doctor.

The creators of the game, Coda Alliance, stated, “The key is to identify the 10 most important things you want to make absolutely sure are clear to anyone who might have to speak on your behalf or make decisions for you.”

Hospice & Palliative Care in Mesothelioma

End-of-life discussions should be taking place whether or not a mesothelioma patient is enrolled in palliative or hospice care. Palliative care prevents or treats symptoms of disease or treatment. Palliative care may be given at any time during a person’s diagnosis, whereas hospice care is given to patients who only have a few months to live.

Due to the nature of the disease, many patients are given palliative care options as their treatment options for mesothelioma. This is common among stage 3 and stage 4 patients whose cancer is unresectable. The goal of each type of care is to improve the patient’s quality of life by controlling the physical and emotional pain of the disease.

Psychological, social, and spiritual distress are often additional symptoms among mesothelioma patients at these stages. Playing a game of Go Wish helps patients decide on what they need and what they should focus on, relieving some of those stressors.

10 Most Common Go Wish Results

MD Anderson Cancer Center recently held a randomized trial with 100 cancer patients who all played the Go Wish game.

The 10 most common wishes that were part of the “very important” pile were:

  1. Be at peace with God
  2. Pray
  3. Have family present
  4. Be free from pain
  5. Not be a burden to my family
  6. Trust my doctor
  7. Keep my sense of humor
  8. Say goodbye to important people in my life
  9. Have my family prepared for my death
  10. Be able to help others

Partner with Montebello Home Care

If your loved one has been diagnosed with cancer or another life-limiting illness and has expressed a desire to receive care at home, let the professionals at Montebello Home Care help. We offer award-winning Port Arthur, TX home health care services, that can be customized to meet your unique care needs. Whether you’re looking for companionship care, assistance with personal care needs, help with light housekeeping, transportation to and from medical appointments, or more, our team of professional caregivers is here to help. Call us today at 409-276-7576 to learn more about our top-rated home care services.