I spoke Thursday to a completely new kind of audience: the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, which is involved in palliative care.
Palliative care is not a synonym for hospice or end of life. It’s about making life with a disease more comfortable, which can be combined with curative care – it does not mean you’ve abandoned hope of a cure. But many doctors, nurses and insurance companies don’t know this yet. Be informed, and speak up!
Although it was a new topic, the talk was a tremendous success. Here’s the video, which was captured (at no cost!) by @KSAust (Kris Austin) on Twitter using Periscope. (Email subscribers, if you can’t see the video, click the headline to come online.)
It’s about changing our cultural conversation
I compose every talk for the individual audience. There’s often a lot of overlap with previous talks, but this one was very different: I’ve never talked about this subject. It ended with an enthusiastic standing ovation, which always means the message got through.
Thanks to my barbershop singing hobby, especially my chorus, the Nashua Granite Statesmen, from whom I first heard this arrangement of the song that was the title of this talk: “I’m gonna live until I die.” At the start I pointed out that Frank Sinatra introduced this song the year I was born (1950), and at the end I said that we pass our culture down to the next generation: the talk ended with a performance of the song by one of the Harmony Explosion summer choruses, where we barbershoppers pass the tradition along to the next generation.
Seriously, spread the word, because hardly anyone knows: Palliative treatment can be combined with curative ones. It’s not a synonym for hospice, and does not mean giving up hope – it means making it easier to cope with the effects of a disease or its treatment.