Think Ahead…

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Slightly different post this time and it’s something I completely forgot to mention in my previous posts. Maybe not appropriate for this time of year but when is the right time

I support 3 charities when I can, even though I am working I am paying back a loan I got for medical treatment. The financial strain of medical procedures in Ireland is expensive but nothing compared to the US. Between 2016 and 2018 it cost me €24,500 and this year in my second year clear has cost me over €3,500 outside of private medical insurance.. the 3 charities in no particular order

Cork Cancer Care Centre (Blankets of Hope)

Simon Community

Irish Hospice Foundation (Marymount Cork)

Cork Cancer Care Centre (Blankets of Hope)

This is a voluntary organisation, funds are raised by volunteers and donations- they receive no government grants. I met the founder in 2015 Ann Dowley Spillane- such a beautiful caring funny person, always smiling and cracking jokes, Ann was taken from us in 2017 RIP but the centre is still working hard to support victims & their families

Simon Community

An organisation set up to help the homeless and vulnerable, their work is endless at helping the poor. They provide shelter and housing. But mostly they provide food and clothing

Irish Hospice Foundation (Marymount Cork)

In March 2017 when I relapsed, my oncologist made two suggestions based on a terminal diagnosis. First was to contact the Irish Hospice Foundation (Marymount Cork) to visit their facility and discuss my diagnosis with them, if treatment failed my oncologist would have sent me to this facility. But I had decided not to visit them. The second suggestion was to do a living will (part of “get your affairs in order”) I never heard of one of these before.

Basically it’s a document created by the Irish Hospice Foundation called Think Ahead. It’s not a legal will but more a documented account of what you want to happen if you died. I decided to complete this with Anita & my Solicitor. It covers topics like where your financial accounts are, what social media accounts you have & what your user names & passwords are, what IT systems you have like phones, tablets, laptops etc. It covers DNR ( do not resuscitate) It goes into where your actual Will is and if you have appointed anyone with the power of attorney. The best part is you can tell people how and where you wish to be buried or cremated, who you want notified of your death and who you don’t

It is a fantastic document but very private, basically when completed it should be sealed and placed in a safe or left with the lawyer. I took a copy of mine but left the original with the lawyer along with the enduring power of attorney (which was only valid for 1 year). The form cost me €4 plus legal cost, you don’t need to go legal on this but I decided to. I have posted a link to this form below. The form cost €4 to download.

You see sometimes when we die people think they know what we want but in reality it’s more either traditional or what others wise for. With a living will your stipulating so much. I even placed what songs I wanted at the funeral.

Prior to my Dad dying in 1994 I never realised how much was involved in someone passing away. It took years to take care of the finer details. However my Mum was quiet specific about what she wanted, I had advised her on different issues & stopped her making changes that would have been problematic after her death. But I honoured 99.9% of her wishes, every thing down to the last pieces of furniture. The .1% was that she did not want her death published but under Irish law this is not an option. Her living will was through me and it could have been easily misinterpreted but it wasn’t.

My living will removes misinterpretation completely. I fully intended to redo this in 2020. I’m not been morbid I’m been realistic

On the mental impact side of this. It obviously commences with a decision to download the document or seek legal advice. Two things are absolutely guaranteed in life – been born & dying. Death is inevitable it’s just a matter of where when and how. Considering the inevitable is always difficult as we get older this becomes more important . Cancer itself has nailed mortality – we know we have a chance to beat so many cancers now but when your told “You Have Cancer” the options to ignore death become less and less. I have had a life that has had more than enough situations that placed me in harms way but it was only when I was diagnosed in Feb 2014 at the age of 51 that I really started to get everything in order.

My solicitor actually got the Think Ahead Living Will for me. Due to personal issues in the event of my death I needed everything done right. I recall entering her office thinking “am I allowing negative into this battle” you see on one shoulder I have an angel on the other a demon but I listen to both of them

But once I had commenced the document I knew I was doing the right thing. Stuff you would really never consider. It is very cleverly put together. Starts with personal details, moves to your social media account details and if you wish to have them closed, goes into IT items like mobiles, tablets and computer access. It covers financial like bank accounts savings investments etc. It enters into medical history and the all important DNR. The document concludes with funeral arrangements how and where you wish to be buried, it covers many different details like who you want at the service and who you don’t. You walk away with a great peace of mind. It’s not just for terminally ill people it can be completed by anyone at any time

Excluding legal cost which is not necessary the THINK AHEAD document cost only €4 and is available on The Irish Hospice Foundation website below, all funds go towards this fantastic organisation


GoFundMe Account:

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