Death is a period at the end of a sentence
Posted by Jordan Grumet, MD
You are dying.
I have reviewed the Cat Scans, spoken to the specialists, and studied the labs. There are many possible treatments that could be offered, but I fear they will not stem the course of all that is happening already. The tumor is too advanced, the metastases, too malignant.
I know there are many questions about chemotherapy, radiation, and feeding tubes. I would caution you to think of death as the inevitable endpoint. There are many things we can do between now and that endpoint. Some will increase your life expectancy, and some will cause pain and discomfort. The trick is to decide what is more important to you: quantity vs quality.
Many life prolonging treatments come at a price. Chemotherapy causes nausea and fatigue. Radiation has many untoward effects. Feeding tubes get infected and accidentally pulled out.
You must feel like all hope is gone. But I want you to know that I have great hope. Let me explain. In my experience every person, young and old, healthy and diseased, wakes up each morning with a plan for the day. Although sometimes those plans are unreachable (you will not be able to make that last trip to Florida), others are quite possible. You should expect to spend each day with your pain controlled and in a safe environs. My goal is for you to experience pleasure, no matter how small. This, I can do for you.
I do not know when you are going to die. Doctors are poor at estimating such things. But I would like to help you focus on the life each day occurring around you. Death is a period at the end of a sentence, not a parenthesis or quotation mark.
Although my role in "curing" is over, I will by no means abandon you. In fact, I will be even more engaged. You need me more now than you did when I was treating your high blood pressure and colds. We will travel this road together.
And on the day when death finally comes. You will be cared for, likely pain free.
And surrounded by love.