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1 Sionainn  Thu, Nov 29, 2012 8:38:59am

This article really hit close to home. The story about the elderly cancer patient reminded me of my mother who was being treated with chemotherapy for lung cancer and developed a lung infection that put her in the hospital on a ventilator. I had to track down the team of doctors and force them to have an honest talk with me after my mom had been in the hospital for about 9 days already and showing no signs of getting any better and I knew, even if they didn't want to state it, that we were going to have to make some hard decisions. It would have been so much better for my mom if they hadn't intubated her and just gave her morphine to ease the distress of not being able to breathe.

On the other hand, I was the caregiver for my grandmother who had rectal cancer. She was slowly bleeding to death from an ulceration on the tumor and was ending up needing blood transfusions every couple of weeks. She hated it and I told her that she had a choice, that she didn't have to do it if she didn't want to. She decided she was done. Her primary care physician was very supportive, but her other physicians were still pushing us to treat, treat, treat. I could see how someone who is easily swayed by authority figures would end up stuck in a nightmare cycle of treatment with no hope.

When my dad and I decided to take my mother off life support, the respiratory therapist started crying and hugged us and told us that we were making the right decision for my mom and that she wished more people cared enough about their loved ones to make that decision. There was an elderly gentleman in the next room over whose wife would not make the decision to stop his life support and allowed him to just languish in the ICU. It wasn't like she was sitting with him the whole time, either. I was in the ICU from morning until night and only saw the woman once. The nurses were so pissed at her for what she was doing to her husband.

2 Dark_Falcon  Thu, Nov 29, 2012 8:59:38am

re: #1 Sionainn

I'm sorry that happened to you. I have nothing else I can say except to pray that you'll see them both in Heaven.

3 Sionainn  Thu, Nov 29, 2012 9:43:34am

re: #2 Dark_Falcon

I'm sorry that happened to you. I have nothing else I can say except to pray that you'll see them both in Heaven.

Well, I'm an atheist, so I don't think I'll see them again, but I do appreciate the sentiment.


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