My husband died of lung cancer after a year-long battle. He had a tumor in his lungs the size of an orange. They removed one lobe. The surgery was excruciatingly painful. Horrible for him. The first day after surgery, they took him off most pain medication; he couldn't even talk he was in so much pain. He took radiation every day for six weeks -- we had to drive 150 miles every day for the treatments. The drive was extremely painful for him every single day.
The doctor recommended chemotherapy...said he'd take it for the rest of his life, although it might extend it. "Would you do it if you were him?" I asked. "If I had a son graduating from college, and I wanted to be there for his graduation? I might. Otherwise, I would not." (He didn't take it.)
Anyhow, before he recovered from the surgery? The cancer had moved to his spine. To his spleen. To his kidneys. He was in intractable pain for the rest of his life. Could barely walk. Only in the last few months did they medicate it away. And when they did that? He was gone as well. His death was horrible. I was with him every step of the way.
My dad had a stroke. He lived with it for nine miserable years. Hated his life. He could barely walk. Had lost any quality of life he had left. His wife had to work, so the kids helped out every single day of those nine years. He was always falling...one day he fell and really hurt his back. The pain wouldn't subside. It left him crying like a baby and in agony every time he moved. Doctors couldn't find a reason for it...they put him in the hospital where he got pneumonia and his kidneys failed. The kidney doctor told us matter-of-factly that he'd be on dialysis at least three days a week for the rest of his life. "How about his back pain," we asked. "We can't do anything about that." We placed him in hospice at the hospital. He died in two days.
Don't call me a monster. I've been there and bought the T-Shirt. My heart's been broken twice -- with more in the headlights. I don't know how you can possibly take the position you're taking when you withdrew life support from your mother. Kind of hypocritical, don't you think?