My Wishes is the pediatric guide that we used with Sawyer. It was so incredibly helpful in making sure his cancer treatment and end of life experience was what he envisioned. It’s not an easy task to find out what your young child is thinking and feeling about their cancer, and end of life. My Wishes includes sections where children can draw pictures of things that make them feel comfortable and safe.
Sawyer’s wish to die in Hawaii was not feasible at the time, but we were able to turn our living room (where his hospital bed was placed) into a Hawaiian paradise of sorts . . . artwork, sound and light machines, salt water fish tank, etc. Knowing what he wanted helped us make the right decisions for him.
*You can preview a sample of My Wishes HERE.
If My Wishes is too young for your child, Voicing My Choices: A Planning Guide for Adolescents & Young Adults may be the better option to help them share their preferences to friends, family and caregivers. When living with cancer, there are often things in life that are out of your control. Voicing My Choices gives your child a way to express something very important – their thoughts about how they want to be comforted, supported, treated, and remembered.
*You can view a sample of Voicing My Choices HERE
Wiener L, Zadeh S, Battles H, Baird K, Ballard E, Osherow J, Pao M. Allowing adolescents and young adults to plan their end-of-life care . Pediatrics. 2012 Nov;130(5):897-905. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-0663. Epub 2012 Oct 8.
Wiener L, Ballard E, Brennan T, Battles H, Martinez P, Pao M. How I wish to be remembered: the use of an advance care planning document in adolescent and young adult populations . Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2008 Dec;11(10):1309-13.