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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 home care services in Orange and the surrounding communities 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.

Acupuncture for Hot Flashes Following Breast Cancer

Best Treatment Option for Hot Flashes

At Montebello Home Care, we offer a full range of ways to help breast cancer survivors.

For so many survivors of breast cancer, the irritation of ongoing hot flashes – sometimes as often as multiple times each day – makes day-to-day life a struggle. And even though there are various treatment methods available, one surprising treatment is starting to gain acceptance: acupuncture.

In a recent study, 120 women were given a variety of treatments, reporting the frequency and intensity of their hot flashes over periods of 8, 16 and 24 weeks. Not only did acupuncture surpass medications in its ability to give sustainable relief, but even a “mock” version of the acupuncture scored almost as high.

Right now, it’s unclear whether acupuncture is recommended (and effective) for menopausal hot flashes. The symptoms are usually more severe in breast cancer survivors, who also do not have the alternative of hormone replacement therapy that other women may be able to use. Anyone considering acupuncture for relief from hot flashes should first check with her physician on whether or not it could be the best treatment option for hot flashes.

At Montebello Home Care, our Beaumont, TX senior care team is knowledgeable and experienced in bringing relief in a full range of ways to breast cancer survivors, and anyone else who’s recuperating from an operation or experiencing difficulties from the effects of a chronic illness or aging. Just a handful of examples of how home care services can help include:

  • Transitional care from hospital to home
  • Assistance with personal care needs, such as bathing/showering, getting dressed, and using the toilet
  • Planning and preparing healthy meals
  • Medication reminders
  • Safe transfers and ambulation assistance
  • Household chores and laundry
  • Companionship
  • And many others

Contact the Beaumont, TX senior care experts at Montebello Home Care for an assessment, right in the comfort of your home, to discover how our caregivers can best help with your particular circumstances. Call us any time at 409-276-7576. To learn more about all of the other areas we serve in Texas, please visit our Service Area page.