Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mom's Ghoulish Choice For A One-Way Trip

                                                                             
Halloween in Portland, Oregon (www.flickr.com)
                           
                                               
Below is an excerpt from a recent phone conversation with my mom. As usual, it's more kooky than spooky.

Mom: I'm moving to Oregon.

Me: Oh, is it because it's one of the few states that has the "Death With Dignity" law?

Mom: Yes, it is.

Me: I don't think you'll find a doctor who will agree to assist in your suicide, just because your manicurist's rates went up.

Mom: I'll find someone who will.

Me: Okay, in the meantime I'll do some research, and get back to you.

Mom: Are you going to use that Google machine?

Me: Probably.

Mom: Well, be careful. They could use the information against you. Don't mention that you're related to me, and definitely don't tell them where I live.

Me: I'll try to remember that. By the way, do you have any terminal conditions I should know about?

Mom: I'm terminally bored with this conversation. I'll talk to you later.

According to the Death With Dignity National Center, "The Oregon, Washington, and Vermont Death laws allow mentally competent, terminally-ill adult state residents to voluntarily request and receive a prescription medication to hasten their death. This is one of many end-of-life care options available in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont."

Sadly, this news has made headlines as a twenty-nine-year-old woman suffering from terminal brain cancer made arrangements to end her life on November 1 in Portland, Oregon. Brittany Maynard's plan is to be surrounded by her family and best friend, as she takes a powerful prescription to end her suffering. Her family generously offered to relocate with her to Oregon, the first "Death With Dignity" state after she exhausted all of her treatment options. This beautiful, brave young woman will be ending her life on her terms, but she has decided to postpone the date. Thanks to Janie Junebug for informing me of Brittany's recent decision.

I spoke to my mom again later that day.

Me: Since you have a big birthday coming up, maybe we can have a destination celebration in Oregon!

Mom: Why would I want to do that?

Me: You said you wanted to move there a few hours ago.

Mom: Well, I did some research of my own.

Me: And...?

Mom:  And I'm not going.

Me: You couldn't convince your hair stylist to move with you?

Mom: Have I mentioned that you're terminally annoying?


38 comments:

  1. What a conversation, My husband had a terminal brain cancer and passed away 2 months after my mother. I personally don't agree with assisting suicides but everyone has their own opinions and views.
    Hope your next chat will be more cheerful.

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  2. I saw an article yesterday that said the young woman has decided to put off her suicide. She says she still gets enough joy out of life to want to live.

    Love,
    Janie

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  3. very funny and yes, a tad warped/kooky. Glad your Mom isn't planning on moving yet, but I personally think smart to be aware of all options. What a kick!
    Have a great Halloween weekend

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  4. Aside from the very serious topic, your Mom cracks me up! I like her style.

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  5. Yvonne - I'm so sorry about your husband, and it must've been awful losing him, and your mother at the same time. Next time we'll find a more cheerful topic.

    Janie - Thanks for the update. I've just included your latest info in the story. Hopefully, she'll continue to have more good days.

    Joanne - Glad you appreciate our "warped/kooky" ways! I agree that we need to be aware of all of our options when the time comes. Happy Halloween weekend to you too! Thanks Joanne!

    Cherdo - My mom definitely has "style!" It is a very serious topic, and I wish it involved a 110 year-old instead of a 29 year-old. Thanks Cherdo!

    *Note - I'm writing this at the library, as our Internet is down again. We lost our signal late Monday night, and it was temporarily fixed for a few hours yesterday. I apologize for being so far behind on everyone's blogs, and hope it will be up and running over the weekend..Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween!

    Julie

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  6. Oh my! Your mom is one of a kind. Never a dull moment. :-)

    I've been reading about that 29-year-old too. Such a sad story.

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  7. When I returned from the library, my hubby had the Internet up and running again. Fingers crossed it will continue to run smoothly.

    Daisy - My mom likes to keep me on my toes! It is unimaginable to think of such a young person suffering from terminal brain cancer. My heart goes out to Brittany, and her family. Thanks Daisy!

    Julie

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  8. You mean your mother changed her mind?! I am reminded of the film 'Little Big Man', where Custer pondered whether the momentous step of "reversing a Custer decision" was justified by a particular incident. She must have discovered something pretty ugly in Oregon!

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  9. Your Mom's a hoot but, this is a very serious topic that has a lot of folks confused.

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  10. Julie, I agree that this is a serious topic, but I also have to say that stories about your mom make me smile. She's one of a kind. : )

    I hope your internet stays connected.

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  11. I enjoyed your conversations with your mom. I am not sure about assisted suicide but if you are terminally ill and in great pain it seems you should have the choice.

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  12. I have 2 moms somewhat like that. One's my mom-in-law. Gotta love 'em! Happy Halloween!

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  13. You have to record more conversations with your mom, as they are a riot.
    So sad about that young woman.

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  14. Every conversation I have with my mom is kooky LOL! Happy Halloween :)

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  15. I'm happy the Oregon woman has postponed her date.

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  16. Gorilla - I've only seen clips from Little Big Man. I'll be on the lookout for the Dustin Hoffman movie. I think my mom was just monkeying around with me.

    Delores - It is a very serious topic. Hopefully, we'll never have to worry about being in that position. Thanks Delores!

    Susanne - My mom is "one of a kind," and she doesn't let me go a day without remembering that! The technician never showed up yesterday, so I was thrilled my hubby managed to solve the problem. I hope it stays connected too! Thanks Susanne!

    Jo - I agree that it's nice to know there are options available for terminal patients. Thanks Jo!

    Cathrina - Sounds like you really have your hands full with your mom and MIL! Holidays must be a blast at your house! Happy Halloween!

    Alex - I try to write down the gist of some of our conversations, as I know I'll probably forget about them later. It is very sad about the young woman. Thanks Alex!

    Keith - The kookier the better! Happy Halloween!

    Carol - I am too, and I'm sure her family is treasuring every moment.

    Julie


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  17. First of all - that is a great picture. Second - I'm laughing my head off at your conversation with your mother. It's so typical and so funny. I'll have to check with my daughter and see if she finds me talking in circles! You are a stitch Julie.

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    1. Mary - I also thought it was a beautiful fall scene in Portland. It really makes me want to visit someday. Thanks for the kind words about our conversation. We're both so used to talking in circles, it's hard to tell who started it! Hope you're staying warm. It's actually snowing here. Thanks again Mary!

      Julie

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  18. Your mom has always been a laugh. The "terminally bored" comment left me laughing. On a serious note: I'm really glad to hear that Oregon Washington Vermont have those laws now. I know my father campaigned in Arizona for Death with Dignity after my mother passed.

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  19. Hi Julie - I love your conversations with your mother ... so crazy, but so much fun ... I'd have crazy conversations with my Mum, but nothing like these, and the staff too - then we'd all be laughing uproariously as we updated others ... such fun times - made life worth living ... looking after my Ma, and for her - cheered her up all the time.

    Assisted suicide - I admire people who can do it .. and I think I'd feel that way - I can however understand why everyone is anxious about it ... I'm glad the youngster has stayed her departure for now ... pain is so debilitating ...

    Love your stories .. glad the connection is fixed - mine goes on and off .. cheers Hilary

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  20. Rhonda - I can only imagine what your mom went through if your dad fought to have the law passed in Arizona. I'm so very sorry for you, and your family. Thanks Rhonda!

    Hilary - I'm sure the entire staff always looked forward to your visits, Hilary! I feel the same way about assisted suicide. Though we would never want to be in that position, it's comforting to know that those options exist. I was also relieved that she was feeling well enough to postpone the date. Sorry you're also having sporadic Internet problems. Thanks Hilary!

    Julie

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  21. I am shocked at how much of a smart ass (excuse the term, but nothing else quite describes her with any accuracy) your mom is - being "terminally bored" and "terminally annoyed" and all. She is my new heroine.

    Enjoy the season, Julie.
    Many broad hugs to you and high-fives to your terminally sassy mom. xo

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  22. That may be true about Oregon, but if it were up to me, I'd go to Vermont.
    They have Ben & Jerry's, you know.

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  23. Sarah - I never know what to expect! Thanks Sarah!

    Robyn - My mom is " terminally sassy!" She will love her new nickname, and that she's your "heroine!" Sending broad hugs to you! Thanks Robyn!

    Al - Ben & Jerry's is the best! Vermont it is! Thanks for the sage advice, Al!

    Julie

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  24. Funny approach to a topical issue of a very serious nature. Oregon is a pretty place, but I'm not sure I'd want to live there since I don't know anybody in Oregon. Hope I never have to deal with the prospect of considering ending my life.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  25. You (and your mother) are terminally entertaining. LOVED this post.

    On a serious note, it's absurd how we euthanize our beloved pets to end their suffering as an expression of our compassion and humanity, and yet are supposed to let the people we love suffer and die a "natural" death.

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  26. Lee - I agree it would be extremely difficult to move in that situation without a support system. We just have to live each day, and hope for the best. Thanks Lee!

    Susan - You are absolutely right. Nothing is worse than watching our loved ones suffer. Hopefully, the "Death with Dignity" law will be passed in more states.

    Oh, and I think you're "terminally entertaining" too! Thanks Susan!

    Julie

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  27. I chuckled all the way through this... your mom is hilarious. So are you, by the way. I think she's rubbing off on you since you are coming back quicker with the one-liners.

    The topic itself... controversial... I logged onto FB briefly today and my newsfeed was lit up with everyone disagreeing about this young woman's decision. I think it's easier to judge when it isn't you. We believe in a humane end to suffering for our pets...

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  28. For being such a dour topic, this whole thing made me smile. I especially love the "I'm terminally bored with this conversation" line. Is your mom available as a consultant for snappy one liners? We are desperately in need.

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  29. Snork and a chuckle. Hey, I work hard at being terminally annoying with my family, lol!

    As far as choosing to end your life on your terms when terminally ill and all other resources for a cure has been exhausted? Why not? Better to go to sleep before the horrendous pain starts in than to suffer months of the dying process. I've watched that dying process and it's not pretty. I believe in putting my animals to sleep if there is no hope why not for humans? Like many have said, it's a controversial subject, but I believe it's a personal decision.

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  30. I understand the young woman has gone through with the termination of her life. Through all the controversy, I cannot help but think it is not my place to tell another person what to do with her precious life. Very sad.

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  31. Robin - It is hard for me to keep up with my mom. Thanks for giving me extra points for trying!

    You're absolutely right that it's always easier for people to judge others. I also believe in a humane end to suffering.

    Beer Boys - My mom will gladly work as a consultant for your blog, books, radio appearances, TV shows, movies, and future child-rearing. In return she'll require just a few minor things like her own hair stylist, make-up artist, valet, driver, and personal snack maker to name a few. Oh and it must be specified in her contract that she doesn't work when there's even the slightest hint of humidity EVER. Thank you for your consideration..

    Sia - I'm glad you also pride yourself on being terminally annoying to family members!

    I wholeheartedly agree about putting an end to needless suffering when there's not a cure in sight. I read today that Brittany's wish was to have her mother continue to campaign to pass the death with dignity law in every state. I really hope it happens in our lifetime. Thanks Sia!

    JJ - For a while, there was talk of her postponing the date. Though I do agree that it's a personal decision, it's still incredibly difficult when it happens at such a young age. Very sad indeed.

    Julie

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  32. Your mum sounds hilarious! I'm the funny one in my immediate family, so most of the time if any of them make me laugh, it's by accident.

    The idea of voluntarily taking my own life and the rest of my family being supportive of that scares me a lot. I don't think that's how our family works. I understand how someone else can make that decision, though.

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    1. Michael - Sometimes people who aren't even trying to be funny get the most laughs, because it's unexpected! On the other hand, there's a lot to be said about being naturally funny, and you're one of the lucky ones, Michael!

      It's a terrible decision for anyone to ever have to make, but it's a valid option for terminal patients. Thanks Michael!

      Julie

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  33. Hahaha, funny family bits. Glad to find your blog today. That Alex is one good egg.

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