When Do You Let Go? *Blog 2*



It is easy to say that you would do absolutely anything to prolong your death if you have a terminal illness, but this story really made me think about me having a terminal illness and what I would do. In the story, the doctors told Sara about the new drug Tarceva, and told her that the response rate to this drug was eighty-five percent. This was great news to Sara because that sounds like a good response rate no matter who you tell that to. Most patients try to fight cancer with whatever the doctors tell them will possibly work. When Tarceva did not work on Sara’s cancer cells, the doctors prescribed more treatment and more drugs. These did not work either, but the doctors just kept prescribing more. This is just like medicine now because the doctors always want to keep pushing for patients to try new medicines, even if they have given up hope. Eventually, Sara realizes that she is running out of time, and she has to make a choice–to keep doing treatment to prolong her death for a few months, or enjoy the rest of the time she has without constantly going through treatment. 

This story really makes the reader think about what they would choose if this ever happened to them. Of course, readers do not consider what their choice would be until it is actually happening to them. When medicine cannot save a patient’s life, I think that doctors should just stop putting the patient through so much treatment. The doctors should let them live the few months they have left without constantly having to be worried about treatment. Also, many patients get tired when they do treatment and do not even have the energy to get up.

When my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, he did the chemotherapy treatments, and the last few months of his life, he was not even himself. Most of the time, he was laying in bed, and sometimes it was hard to keep a conversation with him because he was not completely himself. I think after my experience with cancer, my opinion is that when the doctors know for sure that they cannot save a patient’s life, they need to stop suggesting new treatments just to prolong their death.

What is a few more months to a person if they do not even act like themselves, or they are constantly hooked up to a machine? If a patient chooses to keep doing new treatments, then yes, the doctor should keep trying, but if a patient is standing on their last leg with nowhere else to turn, in my opinion, the doctors should just let their patient live out the rest of their life enjoying it the best they can.


Gran Torino

When I think of death in movies, I always think of the movie Gran Torino. Gran Torino was about an old man, Clint Eastwood, who lived in a bad neighborhood where crime rates were very high. He was a war veteran, very strong and tough. One of the teenage boys in the neighborhood tries to steal Eastwood’s car to be initiated into a gang, but Eastwood catches him in the act. The boy’s mom makes him go help Eastwood around the house to be forgiven for the bad he has done. Eastwood hated the thought at first, but let him help anyway. Eastwood grows to like the young boy, and unfortunately in the end, dies for him and his family.

The movie portrayed death as an act of honor or dying heroically for someone else. The young boy had a problem with gangs, such as getting beat up, and the boy’s sister got raped by a few people in the gang, also. Eastwood knew that this problem was never going to stop, so in order to save the family, he went to the gang neighborhood. Eastwood went without a gun, but acted like he had one. He was shot by every gang member, and the members were put in jail, never able to bother the family again. This, however, is misleading since in the real-word, people often die from illnesses or accidents. Far fewer people die for the sake of others, like Clint Eastwood did in this movie.  Although, I do think the media portrayal had some helpful concepts of death in it, such as the grieving process that people go through when someone dies. When the boy and his family got the news, they ran down to the ambulance. They all were crying hysterically. This part is a lot like the real world because a lot of crying is involved when someone dies.

This movie did support the idea that America is a “death denying” culture. Throughout the entire movie, Clint Eastwood is coughing up blood. The viewers of this movie also saw that he smoked, which was probably causing him to cough up blood. So, during the movie, every viewer knew that Clint Eastwood had some illness, and he was going to die soon. Every viewer denied that he would die in the movie. He could solve any and every problem, and he was too strong of a man to die. Every viewer hoped to see him live. When Clint Eastwood died, not by illness, but by gunshot wound, saving the ones he cared about, it was still hard for the viewers to process this. Every viewer grew fond of Clint Eastwood and denied the fact that he was going to die. Society makes it seem like the people you are fond of are not going to die, and people do not have to worry about that. People grow close to others and deny the fact that their loved ones will die someday. Society sweeps the “death talk” under the rug and decides not to think or talk about it. Society likes to think that death only happens in the movies, until it actually affects us.