What would your parent do?

Mom is going for tests over the next couple of weeks that will let us know if her cancer has spread. We’ve been talking a lot about the pros and cons of chemo. Mom is an optimist and a fighter, but she also wants a decent quality of life. Still, I think she will probably at least try chemo to see if she could tolerate it.

That made me think about Dad, and what he would do if he were the one in my mom’s shoes. As I’ve written before, Dad avoided doctor’s visits like the plague. But he did pull through his emergency gallstone surgery and dodged death a few times over the last year of his life.

I can’t imagine Dad living with a colostomy bag. He did have urinary issues at one point which required a catheter being inserted and Dad wearing a urine collection bag attached to his leg. I think he had to wear it 1-2 months. Mom did all of the draining duties. Dad wasn’t the best patient, but he grumbled his way through the ordeal.

Mom is grinning and bearing it with her colostomy bag. She manages to crack jokes about it while we are dealing with it, but she’s also admitted it’s depressing to know she may have to deal with this for the rest of her life.

But Dad? I guess if Mom was here to take care of his colostomy bag, he would grumble his way through it. But chemo? Forget about it. I think Dad would have holed himself up in his bedroom with a pile of library books and refused to even meet with an oncologist.

It’s interesting when the two people who brought you into this world have such opposite personalities and perspectives on life. It also makes me wonder how I would react if faced with a similar situation.

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2 Comments

Filed under Memories

2 responses to “What would your parent do?

  1. My thoughts are with you and your mom at this difficult time. I have already decided that since dad has Alzheimer’s and is almost 95, he would forego treatments that could cause pain since he wouldn’t understand why and the long term prognosis at his age would be limited. But since your mom knows what is happening the choice you two seem to have made looks reasonable.

    I had a family member try chemo but it made him so sick and the prognosis was poor event with chemo he chose to live out the remainder of his short time with a clear mind. He was fairly young and it was hard for him and his family. I feel that as long as your mom has her mental abilities and the doctors are honest about her chances of success, she should make the decisions as she goes along.

    Prayers to you both.

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