I found this article incredibly moving and at times hard to read. It is never easy to deal with a disease especially one that seems to only get worse the harder you fight. The fact of the matter is; there is still so much about medicine that we still don’t know. There are so many theories and experimental therapies, yet each person’s body will react differently. What will work for one person will not always work for another with the same condition. For doctors this has to be a very frustrating and stressful process. For the patient it must be extremely depressing to have to go through so much pain and misery to find out the therapies didn’t work.
The unfortunate truth is that doctors will be faced with situations when medicine and treatment seem to be having no effect on the patient’s disease. In times like these, it is important to sit the family down and have a serious discussion on how to continue. Especially when dealing with a disease like cancer, many of the treatments are incredibly painful and uncomfortable for the patient. They experience symptoms like cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea. These are not what someone should have to experience on top of their already existing cancer. For patients like this, medicine should be used to make their last months on this earth as comfortable as possible.
For many families this reality will be hard to grasp. To most this will seem like they are giving up the fight. They feel that they should continue to fight to the very end. The doctor needs to gently explain the severity of the situation and that there is no treatment that has a chance of curing the disease and can only prolong the inevitable at the very most. Some battles cannot be won and sometimes we have to except our losses and deal with the cold hard facts.
The reason this specific article was so hard for me to read and why I have such a strong opinion on the subject is that five years ago I lost my grandfather to the same lung cancer. I watched one of the strongest men I knew fight a battle he would never win. We pushed him to try treatment after treatment when we should have let him spend his last months as comfortable as possible. To conclude, although we do not have the medicine and technology to cure every disease, we do have the ability to tell when a disease has the possibility of being cured or not. With this knowledge we should make the responsible decision.