How do you make the decision to treat or not to treat stage 4 metastatic cancer? I had never before been in the position to make that decision on someone’s behalf. With two doctors sitting across from me, sharing information about my uncle’s diagnosis, I knew that I would be the decision maker about his treatment. Oh my. The gravity of my decision weighed heavily on my heart and mind, but by the time our conversation came to a close, my decision was made and I felt good about it. Well, I didn’t feel good at all, but I knew I had made the choice that was best for Ronnie.
You see, I keenly remembered how chemo and radiation affected my father’s life. I remembered everything about the side effects, and I remembered how the chemo did nothing to reduce or even slow down the growth of his cancer. I remembered that the worst thing that happened to my father was not death. The worst thing was enduring those side effects.
I wanted none of that for my uncle. None. I chose not to treat his cancer. I chose not to biopsy his cancer. I chose instead to allow him to have as much peace as possible during his remaining days. I requested that he be transferred to the VA Hospital near me so that I could oversee his care. The doctors both agreed with my decision and my request.
I do have a regret with a portion of this decision which I will share in the next post.