An MU School of Medicine professor specializing in death and dying has turned his own terminal illness into a learning experience.
David Oliver has made a series of videos about his fight with cancer that have gone viral on the internet.
Doctors diagnosed David Oliver with a form of upper throat cancer that spread to his lymph nodes and bones. His cancer is treatable, but not curable. To ease his family and friends through this tough time, Oliver made a video for his co-workers at the MU School of Medicine. Oliverâ??s 5 children shared the video with Facebook friends. Oliver decided to make a series of videos as he battles cancer documenting events like shaving his head and explaining why people should not be afraid to talk about terminal cancer with dying patients.
Oliver said, â??I guess my role now is to teach people how to die. Iâ??ll try to do the best that I can. Iâ??m not afraid to die. I do worry about the primary caregiver. Itâ??s usually the spouse.â??
Oliverâ??s wife Debbie has been through every second of her husbandâ??s journey. Debbie said her husband is passionate about everything and her husbandâ??s video diaries allow him to help others in similar situations.
Debbie Oliver said, â??I worry not about what happens in a year, but actually, what happens next week. Thatâ??s about as far as I can go, right now. If I can manage that much then it feels easier to cope with.â??
Oliver doesnâ??t want sympathy. He just wants people to love him while he continues to teach an important lesson with a sense of humor.
Oliver said, â??In the end you know none of us get out of this alive. One statistic which is universal is a 100% mortality rate for all human beings, eventually.â??
If he can continue his battle, Oliver would be 70-years-old in April.
CBS This Morning anchorman Charlie Rose recently interviewed David Oliver.
After that interview, his videos received 24,000 hits on his blog site.
To see Oliverâ??s videos, click on the linkâ??s below.