I have not really studied the forums much and if this has been adressed then sorry. My mother is dead set agaisnt any treatment. She is 76 and frail to begin with. Realizing this is her choice I just don't know how to feel. Have any of you been through this and any advice. Thanks Mark
My father was diagnosed with acute myleiod lukemia many years ago. When he was told by the doctors, he out right refused treatment. He was 70 years old and if he couldn't have a quality of life, he'd rather not live. I understood that and respected his decision. As it turned out, he passed away a day later.
I am now caring for my mother who was diagnosed 10 months ago with Stage IV small cell lung cancer. She decided she wanted to have chemo (even though she is terminal) because she needed more time to settle her matters and find peace within herself.
Mark, everyone has their own needs and I feel we should respect their decisions (even if we don't like them).
Good luck to you and my prayers are with you and your mom.
My mother refused to undergo heart valve replacement surgery a few years ago opting for a course of meds and to live out her quality of life. She is very limited in her abilities. I respect her decision but it is very depressing watching someone go through a serious illness that could have extended her life and given her a better quality of life. She was a nurse all her working career and nurses seem to make the worst patients (just my observation).
My dad is like that, too. Can't ride his bike anymore, walks as if he was half-drunk, loses his balance and falls sometimes, yet absolutely refuses to get checked out by a specialist. It is highly frustrating for the rest of the family. In my dad's case, I'm thinking that one of the reasons why he is refusing treatment might be that he's clinically depressed and has lost the will to live.
At any rate, I feel for you. Maybe, although it's not a pleasant thought, it will take a medical emergency (a minor one, hopefully!) for the person to have to go to a hospital, where they will routinely get a full check-up. Still, it's very frustrating to be forced to just stand by and watch, so I can relate to what you're going through. Hang in there!
Last edited by crowgirl; 02-05-2008 at 03:35 PM.
Reason: added something
I was born in Kansas and spent many wonderful years of my childhood in Omaha, NE. So, I have wonderful memories of Nebraska!
My dear mom died a year and a half ago of lung cancer. She, however, had cervical cancer 5 years before that. She was in her mid 70's at that time. She fought the cervical cancer with all she had, and it so diminished her quality of life. She became a prisoner in her body and her home. But, I think she needed the time to prepare herself and us for the inevitable. When it was found in her lungs she decided no more. I absolutely understood and felt she was then ready. She told all of us that if she'd had it to do all over again, she would not have treated the cervical cancer.
I agree with others that each one of us knows what is best in this situation. I would respect her decision and come along side her and support her in every way possible. There are probably going to be some things she's going to want to take care of. Help her in any way that you can. I believe that is the biggest gift you can give her, and expression of your love for her.
There's only one way to feel, and that's very sad because the day that we all know is coming has arrived. My advice...have meaningful and wonderful conversations, soak up her memories and anything she can share with you about herself. If she wants to make plans for her funeral, help her. I know that sounds insurmountable but these things are going to be important to her. It can be a sweet time of sharing and loving as you both prepare to let go.
Tap into resources to help her manage medically. When the time comes if you need to, get help from Hospice. They are an amazing organization and fully able to help both of you.