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Life to be LivedChallenges and choices for patients and carers in life-threatening illnesses$
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Catherine Proot and Michael Yorke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685011

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685011.001.0001

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Lives taken over

Lives taken over

(p.48) Chapter 6 Lives taken over
Life to be Lived

Catherine Proot

Michael Yorke

Oxford University Press

In life-limiting illness, life is taken over, not only in practical and observable things, but also in outlooks, hopes, fears and priorities. Heightened by uncertainty and dread, time becomes the frame for mixed and confused feelings. Carer and patient experience it differently: for the one time may seem to fly, for the other to drag. Time heals but it also threatens. The sense and power of time is considered and how it influences mood and behaviour. Time changes the priorities when much needs attention. For some the threat of unpredictability is hardly bearable. Time is not only about the passage of minutes, but poses questions of value—how do we use time? We argue the importance of awareness that patients and carers may seem on different tracks of time. Understanding by the one of the other is fundamental to caring and how it is received. Psychotherapy‘sformat and goals too are affected by the experience of time.

Keywords:   changing expectations, life-limiting illness, psychotherapy, threat of unpredictability, priorities, decision making, experience of time

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