Robert Duke was sole caregiver to his wife, Shearlean, from August 2009 to February 2011. Shearlean was diagnosed with terminal glioblastoma brain cancer August 21, 2009. She was cared for at home by Robert except for four days following brain surgery and four days immediately preceding her death February 2, 2011.
What Robert knows about caregiving and the healthcare system, he learned mainly by caring for Shearlean for 18 months. Besides his experience documented in his book Waking Up Dying (available January 2014), he has
- Read extensively among current caregiving literature and Web sites.
- Interviewed in person, by phone and by email Whatcom County, Washington, and Washington State healthcare providers at every level.
- Attended local caregiving and end-of-life workshops, seminars and counseling sessions to measure caregiver’s needs and assess healthcare system support for caregivers.
- Researched and validated his findings with diverse healthcare providers, system critics and reformers, and caregivers.
Much of the information provided here is anecdotal and opinion. It is offered as an example of one person’s contemporary end-of-life experience in order to motivate others to better prepare themselves.
Robert’s methods of obtaining and presenting information are journalistic. He strives for truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability. He has written professionally for nearly 50 years, specializing in technical, scientific, engineering and information technology subjects for corporations, newspapers and magazines. Robert was born May 25, 1938.