Fighting for life

It’s hard watching a loved one go through hell just to live one more day, one more week; one more month.

I am sure there will be many of us out there just like me having to live and watch this same scenario. At the age of 83, there’s no point in my mind going through chemotherapy, to suffer all of its side effects just to live one more day.

I know life itself is a precious gift, but clutching to life in this way, not only brings more stress to the patient, but to his or her family as well. My thoughts are based on common sense and doing the right thing, even if the right thing means letting go.

This has nothing to do with my spiritual beliefs. My spiritual beliefs not only help me understand life and illness distinctively, it also helps me separate and understand the way forward even if moving forward isn’t to save a life, but to spare suffering of one.

I believe that the chemotherapy route my father chose with some help, has meant his body is slowly shutting down.  He’s already having to deal with the mandatory side effects and is struggling to stand or walk now. He’s taken the slow route to what will be the inevitable stage, with anyone dealing with cancer and it gets harder to watch as the days go by.

If my father was 20 years younger with the same diagnosis, his chance of survival would be very good.  Now as I watch him struggle to find a comforting place, I still believe this was the wrong route for him to go down.

I believe he needs peace and in my mind this isn’t where he’ll find it.


11 May, 2012

4 thoughts on “Fighting for life

  1. It is awful watching a loved one suffer, period.

    I completely agree that it is especially difficult when that person is desperate to live, but all the indications are that is not likely, irrespective of medical intervention.

    Of course at the end of the day it is an individual’s right to make that decision and whether any one else agrees or disagrees is ultimately irrelevant. Unfortunately those decisions also impact on the wider family and that perhaps isn’t always fully taken into account.

    I read a great saying somewhere that we only open our eyes when we’re dead. How true is that!

    1. I agree. Your saying is very true. We do often only open our eyes when we’ve passed by which time it’s normally too late to change anything.

  2. I’m dealing with the same as you, except my mother is 20 years younger and is a very strong person. But lately the chemo she is on, has gotten the best of her. It has affected her lungs and now she is on oxygen all the time.

    I had to learn to live with my father’s decision not to go with conventional treatments and slowly fade away too early for his life, but it was his decision not mine and he was happy with that decision.

    I just want whatever makes the person happy regardless of how I feel. It’s about them not me.

    1. That’s very noble of you Lisa. I agree with you completely. We have to go with what our loved ones want regardless of our own thoughts. My mother chose not to have chemotherapy, but I agreed with her decision.

      I find it hard to watch my father struggle with all the side effects of chemo. His hair is now falling out. My thoughts are with you and your family. I hope your mum goes on okay.

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