We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We docs see this all the time, and some docs seem to almost encourage it: "There is always hope," etc.
Aggressive treatment of terminal cancer can be the worst. Refusal to give in to nature's natural processes. Death as the great enemy. Guilt. There is always a time to let go of relationships, and a time to let go of life.
It is often said that "old age is not for sissies," but I have seen terminal torture treatment which the Geneva Convention would hold illegitimate. A friend lost her 52 year-old sister to pancreatic cancer yesterday. Due to heroic efforts, her last three months on earth were made hell when she could have had a peaceful, morphinized passage.
Physicians opt for much less end-of-life care than the rest of us.
Assistant VIllage Idiot
I agree completely. My father died of lung cancer. The last 8 months of his life were a miserable hell due to the hideously painful and nauseating chemotherapy he was given.
His family doctor initially told my father that he would be given radiation therapy and then whatever meds he needed to keep him comfortable until he died. If this had taken place my poor father's end would have been much different than it was.
The specialists who took over his treatment went from radiation to chemotherapy and, as you said, it was nothing short of torture. Shortly before he died the doctors were insisting on another round of torture but my father refused. He would have had to be driven to the facility for his treatment--about 150 miles away--in an ambulance.
I hope to be able to forgive his tormentors someday. So far I'm not doing so good at it.
It's hard to know whether you're giving up too soon. It's a pretty final decision. I'd like to think, though, that I'd make the decision to go gracefully rather than subject myself to futile torture in a vain attempt to avoid the inevitable truth. I have some doctor friends I think I could trust to give me the straight dope.
--the Grim Peaper just dawdles along sleeping in the saddle way back on the trail for nearly all our years, then all of a sudden he wakes up, spurs that pale horse, lays on the whip, and comes a-galloping.
Given the current status of the anti-opiate drug warriors in the federal dot-gov, I'm pretty sure most doctors are very reluctant to allow someone the dignity of "...a peaceful, morphinized passage". Just look at how they've hounded the people who dare to advocate such things.
my Mom died in similar circumstances. 72 when diagnosed w/3 small lung tumors, when the specialists got ahold of her they treated so aggressively that med professionals I knew were appalled. She lasted 4 yrs in total misery and pain at her doc's behest. It wore Dad out caring for her. When he was diagnosed @ 78 w/leukemia he said hell no to the chemo! he lasted 1 year! He told me 2 mos before he died that "if this is dying I'll take a truckload of it!" he had quit all his bp & cholestral meds etc. He felt great till he was just so tired he took some morfin (hospice) and died with a big smile on his face.. on his own sofa in own home... happy. he is my role model. smile Mk