In Loving Honor of My Sister Paula

Discussing Medical and End-of-Life Care Wishes: A Topic for Everyone

From The Conversation Project

"Talking with your loved ones openly and honestly, before a medical crisis happens, gives everyone a shared understanding about what matters most to you at the end of life. You can use this Starter Kit whether you are getting ready to tell someone else what you want, or you want to help someone else get ready to share their wishes."


New Information Was Added to This Webpage on March 9, 2017
Hyperlinks Were Most Recently Verified on January 10, 2018 

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Filling Out Advance Directives for Medical Care

From National Cancer Institute 
​"Advance directives are legal documents that allow people to communicate their decisions about medical care to family, friends, and health care professionals in the event that they are unable to make those decisions themselves ... The two main types of advance directives are a living will and a medical power of attorney."

Fact sheet provides answers to key questions and a link to state-specific advance directives.

Above information is also available in Spanish.


patient empowerment

Resources are listed in alphabetical order. Resource descriptions in quotes are taken directly from each website.

In All Areas of Life:

Information and tools to empower yourselffor patients, family members, & caregivers.

​>>  Advocating for Yourself  —  National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship

"NCCS advocates for quality cancer care for all people touched by cancer and provides tools that empower people to advocate for themselves." The Resource menu includes the Cancer Survival Toolbox audio program at no cost, as well as information on topics such as "Talking with Your Doctor," "Employment Rights," and "Health Insurance."

>>  Communicating Effectively with Healthcare Providers  —  
Empowered Patient Coalition

Topics include "Doctor Visits," "Speaking Up About Your Medical Care," "Second Opinions," "Preparing for Surgery," "Preventing Infections," "Medication Safety," and "Medical Errors."

>>  Deciding to Quit Smoking  —  National Cancer Institute

"Smokefree.gov provides free, accurate, evidence-based information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of people trying to quit smoking." A large variety of topics include "Making a Quit Plan," "Rewards of Quitting," "Exploring Quit Methods," "Smokefree Apps," "Secondhand Smoke," and "Talk to an Expert [Phone Support]."


>>  Finding or Keeping Your Job  —  CancerAndCareers.org 
"Through a comprehensive website, free publications, career coaching, and a series of support groups and educational seminars for employees with cancer and their healthcare providers and coworkers, Cancer and Careers strives to eliminate fear and uncertainty for working people with cancer."


This information is also available in Spanish. 

>>  Monitoring Cancer Treatment  —  American Cancer Society

"These worksheets can help you keep track of your side effects and medications so that you can better communicate with your health care team about them." Includes chemotherapy and radiation side effects worksheets, pain diary, and medicines list.

>>  Protecting Yourself Against Health Fraud Scams  —  

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

"Health fraud scams refer to products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure diseases or other health conditions, but are not proven safe and effective for those uses." Webpage includes links to "Public Notifications and Safety Alerts," "Recalls," and "List of Tainted Supplements," and to a variety of consumer education materials on topics such as "Medication Fraud," "Alternative Medicine Fraud," and "Online Buying Fraud."


>>  Resolving Cancer-Related Legal Issues  —  Cancer Legal Resource Center
"Cancer Legal Resource Center provides information through its national telephone assistance line, outreach programs, and community activities to educate and to support cancer patients [...] on matters like maintaining employment through treatment, accessing healthcare and government benefits, taking medical leave, and estate planning."