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Season 3 Episode 5: Die As You Lived

Die As You Lived: One Family's Experience with Terminal Illness and Preparing for Death

This week Mary and Alex sit down with Dr. Randall Bradley, a dear friend who lost his wife of 36 years, Brenda, to stage four pancreatic cancer. Randall is transparent about the highs and lows of dealing with a shocking diagnosis and the deliberate decisions he and Brenda made together in order to allow her to “die as she lived.” Randall shares intimate details of their conversations, the choices they made in the midst of heartbreak, and the community that walked alongside them.

Episode Highlights

  • Welcome back! [0:56]

  • Dr. Randall Bradley intro [1:08]

  • April 2019 [2:40]

  • Constipation [3:30]

  • Delays in diagnosis [4:10]

  • Devastating diagnosis [4:48]

  • Dim Prognosis [6:30]

  • “We decided we needed more time.” [7:00]

  • Open and honest sharing [8:40]

  • “Determined to be positive.” [9:15]

  • “Die as she had lived” [11:20]

  • “Not live in a vacuum” [11:30]

  • One last trip to Kenya [12:55]

  • A Few More Minutes: A Poetry Collection, by Brenda Livingston Bradley [14:40]

  • Bradley Family Recipes: Bread for the Journey [15:19]

  • Brenda Bradley Memorial Scholarship Fund at McLennan Community College [16:24]

  • A premonition, of sorts [17:18]

  • How am I going to die? [18:40]

  • Getting finances in order [20:43]

  • Funeral planning [21:45]

  • Obituary [22:25]

  • Notes to the children [23:13]

  • Precious,2 helpful notes scattered about [24:00]

  • Cleaning out personal items [24:20]

  • Journal entries [25:17]

  • Continue to live as you have lived [27:15]

  • Continue to be who I fell in love with [29:00]

  • I need time alone [29:40]

  • Live life intentionally every day [31:10]

  • Discuss death with family, proactively and periodically [35:00]

  • CaringBridge [36:25]

  • Transparency in sharing your journey[37:56]

  • Living and dying in community [40:37]

  • Take the opportunity to help others understand[41:45]

  • Should we always do what the deceased person wanted? [42:32]

  • It’s ok to laugh with people who are dying [45:10]

  • No guilt in being ready to someone to die [46:04]

  • Hospice [47:00]

  • Responsibility and privilege to share [49:25]

  • Thanks for listening! [50:23]

Stay Connected

Twitter: @downthereaware

Links Mentioned in the Episode

Summary Keywords

Podcast, Spotify, Anchor, research, advocacy, humor, pancreatic cancer, transparency, honesty, funeral planning, chemotherapy, CaringBridge, terminal diagnosis, death and dying

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