'This is the way that I want to die'

By April 15, 2014 Recent News

NZ Herald 12 April 2014
There’s no easy way of hearing that you’re going to die.
We all know that death is the inescapable price we pay for having life. But for most of us, the end of our lives is not something we need to contemplate too much. Something, we think, we’ll worry about when we get to be 80, or perhaps 85.
So when the physician tells you news so bad you never really even imagined it, it comes as a shock. In my case, the best guess was that I had six to 12 months.
I had been diagnosed with a rare (about five people in a million) and nasty blood disorder which was severely compromising my heart. Around 90 per cent of those afflicted by amyloidosis are dead within two years of having the disease identified.
I remember vividly the progression of thoughts the moment the doctor had left the hospital room. How glad I was that I had been able to retire early; how much I would miss watching my grandsons grow up and being part of their lives; how fortunate and fulfilling my life had been; and perhaps above all, how enriched I had been by family and friends.