- Category: Coping with pain and suffering
- Published on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 19:18
- Written by Ron Anderson
- Hits: 1797
While many of us partied on New Year’s Eve, this is how Nancy Quinnell, cancer victim, described her holiday. “I was consumed by nausea. It became debilitating. I had thrown up for five days. The doctor suggested I have the fluid in my lungs drained. The procedure went horrifically! Fifty times more painful than the first time. The Radiologist tried to help but couldn't. I was already taking pain meds stronger than anything he had.”
Today Nancy died after nearly two years of chemo therapy and other kinds of treatment. She leaves behind her loving husband, two sons, and a daughter. Above is a photo they posted on her website on CaringBridge, a place where sharing information about the progress of a very ill person can be made easier on the family, and distant friends that post notes of sympathy. When Nancy first lost her hair from chemo, her husband and two sons shaved their heads in sympathy. What a compassionate gift. But Nancy Q. was a very compassionate person and she brought it out in other people. She was one of the most friendly, warm, and compassionate human beings I have known.
This is the link to her CaringBridge site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/nancyquinnell/journal
Her site had 25,000 visits during her illness. A website may seem like an impersonal way to express sympathies and convene messages to those suffering, but CaringBridge, if used thoughtfully, is a vehicle for compassion.
Some people have said that pain and suffering builds character. That may be true in a few instances, but it just as easily do the opposite. When it is severe, as in chronic illness like Nancy’s, we have a moral responsibility to relieve the pain if it is at all preventable. It is not always preventable, but we could be spending a lot more tax money on research to find cures and to relieve pain. Let’s try to keep so many from horrific, needless, illness-induced torture.