being mortal

This is my current book. I picked it up because I thought it was going to be something different. I was expecting a book about end of life issues when it came to cancer. I am reading a lot about that lately. Instead, I am reading a book about end of life issues as it comes to dealing with the aged.

It is opening my eyes and making me think a lot about my dad and Scott’s mom. Not that either one of them are incapable of living on their own, or that either one of them are old, but that some day there may come a time when they are going to need help. For that matter there is going to come a time when I am going to need help.

How do we deal with those who are old? Well, it seems we stick them in assisted living environments, nursing homes are any other facilities that deal mostly with their overall safety rather than anything else. Why do we do this? Why do we stick our elderly in places where we don’t have to look at them?

Oh, this book is making me so sad. I do not want to do this to our parents if this isn’t what they want. Have our lives become so “busy” and so “important” even as technology has made our lives easier that we do not have time for these people?

These are thoughts that I am processing. I am thinking about this a great deal. Dad, are you reading this post? I love you. I want to respect what you want too.

I am going to finish reading this book. I think he is going to move into a discussion about Hospice care which I will find interesting. It always interests me to see how doctors treat end of life issues. What would they do for themselves when the shoe is on the other foot?

I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but my mom chose to stop chemotherapy against the advice of her doctor. I think it saved her life. She had three decent months after stopping chemotherapy with a fairly good quality of life compared to her quality of life that she had with chemotherapy. Anyway, that is why I picked this book. I wanted to see his thoughts on the matter and to see if those thoughts are similar to mine.

I am only half way through this book, and I recommend it.

Update: I just read the chapter about Hospice care and terminal cancer. It only reinforced my belief that my mom made the right decision when she stopped chemotherapy. Sometimes cancer is going to win no matter what you do. Mom had one of those cancers. She fought by not fighting. Mom and dad were very open in their discussions with us. My siblings and I were very open to their decisions. We were a team. I think this is what made it easier. Have the discussion. Abide by their wishes. And above all else, love them.