A new tool, “Go Wish,” may be able to help cancer patients and caregivers discuss an uncomfortable topic: end of life care. Predicting life expectancy can be challenging for most doctors, especially with a rare cancer like mesothelioma. Go Wish is a card game about end of life wishes, focusing on a patient’s goals and priorities no matter the life expectancy.

For patients, it is a great way to understand what is most important to you. For caregivers, it is a great way to understand how the patient wants to be treated, who they want by their side, and what matters most to them. For family members, it is a way to understand how to comfort your loved one.

Go Wish

There are a few simple ways to play Go Wish: you can play by yourself, with a loved one, or for free online. Each deck of the game contains 36 cards, one being a “wild card”. The other 35 cards describe things that patients often say are important when they are faced with illness or cancer. The cards are easy to understand and are written in a positive tone.

The patient sorts through the cards and places them into 3 piles:

  • 1
    Very important to me
  • 2
    Somewhat important to me
  • 3
    Not important to me

The wild card can be used to write down a wish that isn’t listed. Next step is to take the “very important” pile and to rank those in order of priority, choosing only 10 cards. This is your top 10 list to share with your loved ones and doctor.

The creators of the game, Coda Alliance, stated, “The key is to identify the 10 most important things you want to make absolutely sure are clear to anyone who might have to speak on your behalf or make decisions for you.”

Hospice & Palliative Care in Mesothelioma

End of life discussions should be taking place whether a mesothelioma patient is enrolled in palliative or hospice care. Palliative care prevents or treats symptoms of disease or treatment. Palliative care may be given at any time during a person’s diagnosis whereas hospice care is given to patients who only have a few months to live.

Due to the nature of the disease, many patients are given palliative care options as their treatment options for mesothelioma. This is common among stage 3 and stage 4 patients whose cancer is unresectable. The goal of each type of care is to improve the patient’s quality of life by controlling the physical and emotional pain of the disease.

Research shows that cancer patients who communicate their emotional needs have an improvement in their quality of life.

Psychological, social, and spiritual distress are often additional symptoms among mesothelioma patients at these stages. Playing a game of Go Wish helps patients decide on what they need and what they should focus on, relieving some of those stressors.

10 Most Common Go Wish Results

MD Anderson Cancer Center recently held a randomized trial with 50 cancer patients who all played the Go Wish game.

The 10 most common wishes that were part of the “very important” pile were:

  • 1
    Be at peace with God
  • 2
    Pray
  • 3
    Have family present
  • 4
    Be free from pain
  • 5
    Not be a burden to my family
  • 6
    Trust my doctor
  • 7
    Keep my sense of humor
  • 8
    Say goodbye to important people in my life
  • 9
    Have my family prepared for my death
  • 10
    Be able to help others

A Common Wish of a Mesothelioma Patient

Independent of Go Wish, a common wish among mesothelioma patients, is to make sure their family is taken care of financially. Medical bills tend to become an issue after receiving mesothelioma treatment, even with the best health insurance. Perhaps now that you know your plan of care, it’s time to hire a mesothelioma attorney to secure your family’s future.

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If you would like to know more about Go Wish, end of life care, or mesothelioma compensation, do not hesitate to contact me directly at:

888-385-2024 x 102 or jenna@mesotheliomaguide.com.

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Show Sources & Author

  1. Making End of Life Discussions Easier on Patients and Caregivers. Oncology Nurse Advisor. Retrieved from: http://www.oncologynurseadvisor.com/navigator-notes/easier-end-of-life-conversations/article/571422/2/. Accessed: 11/28/16.
  2. The Go Wish Game. Retrieved from: http://www.gowish.org/. Accessed: 11/28/16.
  3. Palliative Care in Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/advanced-cancer/care-choices/palliative-care-fact-sheet#q11. Accessed: 11/28/16.

About the Writer, Jenna Campagna, RN

Jenna Campagna is a registered nurse and patient advocate who is passionate about helping mesothelioma patients navigate their health care. Through her blogs, she aims to simplify the complicated journey through mesothelioma by offering helpful tips and advice.