Then I remember a visiting palliative-care physician’s words about caring for the fragile elderly: “We forget to ask patients what they want from their care. What are their goals?”

From the Washington Post >>>

ON THE DAY he was born in January 2004, Conor was just on the third percentile for both weight and height. By his fifth birthday in 2009, he had made it up to the 10th percentile, which means only one in 10 children of his age was smaller and lighter than him. While he had a healthy diet, he was always very reluctant to feed himself. Nevertheless, Conor generally had good health apart from an eye infection when he was two years old.

By April 2009, Conor had just completed his second term of junior infants in St Mary’s National Boys’ School, Booterstown. For about two weeks before the Easter holidays, he had complained about relatively mild tummy aches and he had begun to sweat very heavily through his head in bed at night. However, on Good Friday morning in 2009, Conor complained of a very severe pain in his stomach and this resulted in a mid-morning trip to the family GP. From there he was referred to Crumlin Hospital for further investigation. (Read more in Irish Times >>>)

Michael and Gerardine Reidy have written a book in Conor’s name, based on their experiences, A Lot Can Happen in a Year and a Half. All proceeds from the sale of the book will help fund cancer research and treatment at Crumlin Children’s Hospital. >>> http://originalwriting.ie/bookshop/non-fiction/memoirs/a-lot-can-happen-in-a-year-and-a-half/

At Five in the Afternoon is a memoir about experiencing cancer. It is a literary work, illustrating all aspects of the cancer theme – traumatic assault, mortality, endurance and redemption – through the lives of the personalities, and in particular the women, who grace its pages.

The author draws on his unique background in psychoanalysis, in the art of constructing television programmes, and on his broadcasting experience as newscaster where the human voice is privileged, to write about the importance of saying, about putting the world of the imagination into words.

The book is courageously truthful, and speaks of the masculine quest for the father, the necessity of freedom, of what it means to be a real man, the value and strength of women, and of how to cope with adversity, topics which are narrated against the background of a changing Ireland.

“At Five in the Afternoon is] a beautiful, layered work about the importance of saying, about putting the world of the imagination into words that are true. The welcome home in [Michael’s] book is for all whose lives have been touched by the many forms of cancer. It is a true house of the gathering, where the strands and themes of his narrative congregate to offer hope and a way forward out of the darkness that surrounds.”

Mary Robinson first woman President of Ireland and former United Nations High commissioner for Human Rights, currently President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative

Buy the book here >>>