Living with a terminal illness

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Living with a terminal illness

Post by Dreamweaver » 13 Nov 2018, 09:16

Death is something most of us are scared of and that we desperately try to avoid talking or thinking about. In March 2014, we decided to speak to someone with a terminal illness about how it feels to know that you are dying.

Keith Bunker, a man in his 40's with two young children, agreed to speak with us. In mid-2013, Keith was diagnosed with secondary liver cancer that, it seemed, was likely to be terminal.

I spoke to Keith each month about his journey toward an early death. He was incredibly open and honest in sharing his thoughts about how he felt physically, and about how he was coping mentally and emotionally. It was a great privilege to speak with Keith about something so personal and I found the discussions scary, fascinating, profound and, of course, sad.

In what turned out to be his last seven months of life, Keith stopped chemotherapy, attended a World Cup final and moved with his family from Sydney to Edinburgh. And slowly, but surely, he got sicker and sicker.

Keith died on 23rd October, 2014. The last interview in the series is with his wife, Helen.

I want to give more people the opportunity to hear these interviews with Keith for two reasons. First, because death is so rarely spoken about. And second, because he was so open and honest and wise and utterly lacking in self-pity.

Put it this way; I've been on ABC local radio since 1999 and if there's one thing I've been involved in that time that I reckon you should listen to, it's this.

James O'Loghlin
Immigrants from UK to Australia, they were still not citizens, but on working visas. This practically forced them to return, and the differences between medical care in Australia and UK is obvious. There are 8 episodes, the 6th is the last one with Keith, followed by an aftermath one with Helen, then finally one that looks back -
Keith and Helen Bunker
Last year, 46 year-old Keith Bunker was diagnosed with liver cancer. He and wife, Helen, talk about how this has altered their lives, including some surprising upsides. This is a moving and heartfelt interview.

Download as MP3
It is a moving experience to listen to all, but that final one more or less summarises it.
I dream, therefore I am.

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