How do you find the strength to do what you know in your heart is right?
That is a very good question and the only answer I have is you just do.
It is hard for me to explain it since I had to make a choice for my dad’s health and well being that I never wanted to be put in the position of having to make for another human being.
Making the choice to not put him through Chemo or other Cancer Treatment was heart-wrenching, as I had others who felt that I should put him through it to give him the best possible chance that he could have.
But I had to go with what I knew of him when I was growing up, how he talked with my mom while she herself was dying and what her personal wishes were on the matter that he was agreeing with. Also after talking with other’s who had loved ones with Alzheimer’s who had had cancer treatment and they’re outcomes and issues.
I made the choice to not do the treatment, but to let the course of the condition progress as it would knowing full well that it was not going to be a painless option for him and knowing full well that he would 100% not understand what was happening or why it was happening to him.
I chose not to fight what was happening, which was so blasted hard to do. As I so didn’t wont to let go of him. It was hard enough putting him into a Memory Care Facility where I wasn’t able to see him daily, it was hard enough knowing that I was losing him to Alzheimer’s like I lost his mom to it oh so many years ago.
In my heart of hearts just couldn’t prolong what he was living with. Nor could I force him to do something that he likely wouldn’t have wished, after all, he had signed a DNR (that I knew nothing about until I was told when I became his POA) so that already spoke to the fact that he didn’t want extraordinary measures taken to keep him alive (of which the cancer treatment would have been classed, big time when the survival rate from his try was only 3% so not great odds at all).
So all in all to find the strength it came down to being rational about the matter, looking at it from as many sides as I could and looking at what the options were and their possible outcomes.
For me, it came down to going with my logical brain and not my emotional brain that is still questioning my choice to not go through with treatment, even though my own GP agreed with my assessment about his care (she is by training a palliative care doctor) part of my brain still questioned the choice that I made for him, which will likely always haunt me as a what-if deal.