Frances Legendre: The Price of a Death of One's Own

David Barnard, Patricia Boston R.N., Anna Towers and Yanna Lambrinidou

in Crossing Over

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780195123432
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199999835 | DOI:
Frances Legendre: The Price of a Death of One's Own

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This chapter looks into the battle of Frances Legendre with cancer. Mrs. Legendre was a businesswoman who was accustomed to being in control. She was diagnosed of ovarian cancer at the age of 51. When Mrs. Legendre came to the Palliative Care Unit, she was suffering from advanced ovarian cancer and was prepared to die. She exuded acceptance and calm in the face of her bleak medical situation, drawing her family and the palliative care staff into her plans and images of eternity—an idea found by medical professionals as acceptance or denial. However, Mrs. Legendre did not die then. A few weeks later, she was convinced that it was not her time yet, finding a new courage and launching into a relentless effort to find a cure. Mrs. Legendre insisted that her oncologists enroll her—against their own judgment—in high-risk experimental treatments, and the palliative care team found itself advocating more aggressive care for her. When all the treatments failed, Mrs. Legendre went back to the Palliative Care Unit to die again. This time, she and her family asked for a quick and peaceful death.

Keywords: ovarian cancer; cure; experimental treatments; peaceful death; quick death

Chapter.  8623 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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