I have been reading through many emails written by my Dad after being diagnosed with a brain tumor in April of 2018. I am struck by the clarity he and my Mom had regarding their desire to choose the quality of life over the length of life.
Clarity does not mean that it is a decision made without struggle or emotion, but there was peace with the decision made not to pursue aggressive treatment and live each day as fully as my Dad’s health allowed.
I have many conversations throughout a week and remind individuals, some of whom I know and some who I will never meet, that the choices of next steps always lie with the patient and their family. So often, it feels as if medical professionals direct care. I could spend every waking moment advocating for education on maintaining your voice in your own healthcare journey.
Please talk these things over before you face a decision needing to be made in your own life. Have you considered how you will journey through a diagnosis that might lead you to the end of your life? What variables factor into your decisions? Share this conversation with a loved one or adult children. You may never face the situation, but if you do, you will be in a stronger place because of your willingness to discuss some difficult things in the comfort of your own home.
Be brave, bold, and honest in what these questions provoke for you. The conversations and outcomes can guide your decisions or strengthen your relationships, but I have not spoken with anyone who has regretted seeking clarity for their own journey!