The Women's Journal

My Life So Far

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“I feel fully content, fulfilled and ready to go when death comes,” commented Natasha Reatig of Bethany Beach.

Natasha had a normal 1950s girlhood – sock hops, football games and boyfriends. Upon graduation from Vassar College, Natasha spent time traveling and volunteering for the newly formed Peace Corps. She eventually found her way to Israel, studying the language and working for a cultural anthropologist. After returning to D.C., she worked in the newly emerging field of Psychopharmacology.

Natasha came across her dream job when she was named the first Director of Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness – a national program providing grants to state agencies authorized to advocate for and protect the rights of those in residential facilities. After 31 years of service, “exhausted,” Natasha retired. Even though she has traveled the world and has friends scattered throughout, she now remains happily at home in Bethany Beach.

After being diagnosed with lung cancer in August of 2016, Natasha entered treatment at the Tunnell Cancer Center in Rehoboth Beach. Even with the best medicine, her tests confirmed the cancer had spread to both lungs and her liver.

In mid-2017, “My treatment team recommended that I enter Delaware Hospice’s program.” Since then Natasha is visited at home by her Delaware Hospice nurse, Nancy “who is wonderful; she monitors my vital signs and answers my questions. I receive a weekly call from a Delaware Hospice volunteer to ensure that I have ‘everything I need’. I presently have no pain other than those of normal aging, and I am comfortable. I have been reevaluated by the Delaware Hospice Doctor, and I remain status quo . . . I know that my experience thus far is perhaps untypical . . . I truly expected to be dead by now . . . but, as they keep telling me, ‘no-one knows’ . . . ”

Even while receiving hospice care, Natasha stays active with her yoga and Reiki sessions, as well as deep tissue massages. She currently enjoys the pleasures of good company, singing with the AARP Chorus, and working with the Shore Democrats. Modeled on early 20th century Salons, Natasha and a friend started Natasha’s Salon for Creative Minds which meets in different locations for ’happy hours’ each month between November and April.

“I would recommend Delaware Hospice to EVERYONE when the time comes and the need arises . . . I was with my mother in her final weeks (in D.C.) and hospice was extremely helpful, as I expect it will be for me, even though I will have a family member caretaker living with me. Who would not want a trained and kind professional available?”

“I feel fully content, fulfilled and ‘ready to go’ when death comes. My life choices – to stay single, to not have children – have enabled me to explore all of my interests and passions. I would not wish to remain long. Meanwhile, I relax, enjoy, and do what I can . . . I’ve been very lucky and I feel very grateful and very happy.”

Through Delaware Hospice’s team approach, Natasha is still able to experience new and exciting adventures here in Delaware! Her quality of life continues to be her top priority and Delaware Hospice is here to assist.

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