...and remind people there are many options..
There have been times when I've winced when I've read similar posts. I'm not necessarily talking about
your posts in specific—in all honesty, I don't recall seeing your screen name before now—but more generally in other cases when that sweeping general statement probably just wasn't true for the case-at-hand, and probably did (IMHO, based again on personal experiences) more harm than good by giving false hope. Someone just diagnosed with favorable-risk PC does
have a lot of treatment choices. It gets more narrow each step/stage after that. Eventually, it gets quite limited. And then eventually, the oncologist helps make the tough call that additional suffering by the patient and ruined "quality" of life from treatments which may result in only nominal life "quantity" are, in the words of the Being Mortal
author, barbaric. Here's a passage from Dr Gawande in a message about
the oncologists' role:
“Sometimes we can offer a cure, sometimes only a salve, sometimes not even that. But whatever we can offer, our interventions, and the risks and sacrifices they entail, are justified only if they serve the larger aims of a person’s life. When we forget that, the suffering we inflict can be barbaric. When we remember it the good we do can be breathtaking.”
How does one know what the larger aims of a person's life
are in the end-stage? Ask.
Dr Gawande helps guide the reader through this process—as he does with his own patients—to understand that whenever serious sickness or injury strikes and your body or mind breaks down, the three vital questions are the same (readers will recall these questions being raised throughout as a major theme of the book):
1) What is your understanding of the situation and its potential outcomes?
2) What are your fears and what are your hopes?
3) What are the trade-offs you are willing to make and not willing to make?
Understanding the answers to those questions, the doctor and the family has more clarity about what course of action best serves this understanding?
Post Edited (NKinney) : 4/13/2018 1:41:48 PM (GMT-6)