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Breast Cancer Surgery Part 6: Advance Health Care Directive & POLST

Breast cancer survivor talks about choices for an Advance Health Care Directive and Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment forms.


 

Editor's Note:


This blog is a part of a series written by a local breast cancer survivor, Rui Sasaki.


Click here for other articles in the series.

 

Part #6: Advance Health Care Directive & POLST


This is an extremely difficult topic. And I am in no way saying you have to do this. The choices I made are not necessarily for you. There are no right or wrong answers, and you should only do what you are comfortable with. Here is my experience.


Not only did I have to make life-altering decisions, but I was also facing my own mortality. I have friends who are doctors and nurses, and they were able to help me through some of the most difficult aspects of this journey. My one good friend is a hospice nurse here in Hawaii, and I was able to talk to her. Also, in my case, my very close friend became my designated person to make decisions for me. Why not my boyfriend? Because, at the time, we had only been dating for a little over a year. And this friend had actually gone through cancer herself a couple of years before me, and I was her person during her journey. We had talked about all the hard stuff, and we knew what each other wanted.


It’s never easy having to think about this stuff. But it didn’t seem fair to me to leave things unsaid and to force someone to make these decisions. In my case, since I am not married, the decision would ultimately fall on my parents. And I did not think they would be able to make the right choices for me.


If you decide to have these forms filled out, PLEASE READ everything carefully and talk to people. You will want to bring all the forms with you on surgery day. There are 2: the Advance Health Care Directive and POLST.


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Disclaimer


The views and opinions of our blog writers represent their personal views and opinions and not those of Breast Cancer Hawaii. Through our blog, we merely seek to give individuals creative freedom to share their personal experiences. Do not rely on this information as a substitute for a professional's medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.

 

Rui Sasaki is a breast cancer survivor and volunteer with Breast Cancer Hawaii. She got involved with the organization hoping to help women in Hawaii by sharing her cancer journey. She also just accepted a position working for a medical group on Oahu and hopes to do better for the community.


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