But then he cared for a patient who was expected to die in a matter of days. When days unexpectedly turned into weeks and then months, the intensity with which the patient tried to live his "last" days was exhausting.
The notion of not wasting precious time burdened that patient. "He longed for a minute that didn't matter: perhaps for time to take a nap or watch something silly on television without feeling guilt or regret."
Dr. Campbell's wisdom for Healthy Survivors is that moments that don't matter are valuable, even at the end of life.
Healthy Survivors are encouraged to take holidays from survivorship, as long as doing so doesn't jeopardize their care. It is healing to carve out a week or day or hour when you don't think or talk about anything serious. It's healthy to have times of relaxing and letting go. At times, just being is the best way to live as fully as possible.
Thank you, Dr. Campbell.
[Note: When Minutes Matter was published in JAMA November 3, 2015, which is available online to subscribers.]