Death, especially by cancer, is a hard and painful thing to watch and go through. “Letting Go” by Atul Gawande does an excellent job at making a personal connection with a lung cancer patient. 

While reading through the article you begin to realize how many different people lung cancer (or cancer in general) can happen to. Even though Sara was pregnant, young, healthy and fit, that didn’t stop her from having such a terrible condition. 

However, I got something else from the article. After reading the article it got me thinking about a show I’ve been addicted to lately, and that’s Breaking Bad. In many ways the article and the plot (minus the meth of course) are very similar. The main character in the show is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and is given a small amount of time to live. He fights for no treatment so he doesn’t have to leave his family with so much debt, but regardless, he ends up trying many very expensive treatments just as Sara did. 

But, in real life this doesn’t always end in a positive way. Unfortunately for Sara, the many rounds of treatment ended up helping negligibly. You’d think that there would be a point that if you were in her position you’d ask yourself ‘how much longer until it’s not worth it?”. How much money and time should you spend in hospitals until it’s no longer worth an extra two months? This article does an excellent job at showing this. Sara was desperate to live and see her child grow up with her husband, but money can only get you so far in the medical world, and unfortunately Sara was on the backside of this. I personally feel that leaving my family with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills isn’t worth the extra two months, but this just shows how different each person is when it comes to treatment. 


One thought on “

  1. I enjoyed reading your post and found many things I agree with. Cancer and other chronic diseases are very difficult to watch, but especially difficult in the later stages. The reason it is so hard to watch is because people with chronic diseases are typically in some kind of pain most of the time. Medicine is meant to help people with diseases and aliments but sometimes the medication makes the symptoms of the disease worse. I thought the same thing when reading this article, particularly when the the author was talking about Sara’s four chemotherapy treatments and the endless medications I would ask myself “when is enough, enough”. Needless to say Sara was a fighter and gave her best effort in trying to get better, its extremely sad that the medicine couldn’t aid her in that to save her life. If medicine cannot cure diseases, it should at least give comfort and peace of mind to those who are dying.

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