Originally Posted by Bo Eder
I've been wondering if medical technology is so great these days - according to the doctors, all kinds of things could've been done to prolong dad's agony, and mom smartly chose not to do that. As much as you hate to lose someone to cancer (or to anything) the relief of seeing him peacefully at rest as I said my final good-bye was much better than I thought it would be.
Originally Posted by skod
I lost both of my parents in the last 10 years, and very few are the days where I don't think of them. Both were in the throes of horrendous Alzheimer's and physical deterioration, and it was unquestionably a blessing for both when they finally found their peace.
I relate to both of these because my sister died of cancer in January and Dad died with severe vascular dementia in May. Diseases with slow decline like dementia and cancer change the dynamics of grief.
You expect the classic sharp sting of grief but instead it's more like a low level ache over a long period. By the time the person dies you've already come to the acceptance stage (thinking Kubler-Ross's seven stages of grief here) and feeling guilty because you not only don't feel the stab of grief, but you also feel relief that the ordeal is over - the indignities, the boredom and the increasing pain and discomfort.
I'll never forget seeing Dad the morning that he died - it was shocking. I walked out of the hospital feeling really disturbed at the prospect of him continuing life in that state so it was a huge relief when I got the call that night to say he'd passed. Had to get the nephew to drive me up because I was so baked lol. I looked at the shrivelled little dead man on the gurney and tried to cry and I couldn't because, in truth, I'd lost him about a year earlier.
I find it strange how little progress we've made in cancer and dementia prevention and cure. Despite some improvements, it's still basically a lottery. Deep down we all know that the Big C can strike at any time and that if you live long enough there's a strong chance you'll start losing your mind.
It's hard to think of any fields deserving of higher priority in the health area.