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A moral delimna: Do I let my grandmother die?

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posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 05:39 AM
I'm faced with quite the moral dilemna. I've learned my grandmother has been diagnosed with cancer, some sort of small tumor or tumors in her chest, causing her lungs to gain some fluid. She's had it drained once, but the lungs have since re-gained fluid. She is now facing the deadly choice "radiation vs chemotherapy", at the young age of 81.

I simply feel as though my Grandmother could, and should live longer. My grandmother has 7 sons, all of which have 2 or 3 children, all of which are my cousins, and they all have children. That very lady has caused quite an extensive family! However, wills are being dotted and signed, everyone is visiting her, and I feel as though she and everyone else may have already accepted her time has come. But what if it hasn't, and at the same time, who am I to say that it hasn't? So here I am, nearly 1/4 her age....

The first conversation happened right before her surgery about a month or so ago, and again they've since regained fluid.. It went something like this:

Me: "I know of a few things that may help you get better, it's called liposomal vitamin c."
Gma "Where do you get it from?"
Me "Oh we can get it from the internet".
Gma "Oh I see."
Me "No, its not like that, it's from a business.."
Gma" Yea but you don't know whose making it"
Me "I mean, it's just vitamin c, the same stuff in oranges and apples, just inensified. Just trust me please"
Gma "We'll see..."

I pretty much left it alone after that, I don't want to stress her, but that first conversation was about a month ago. Do I press harder on her and do my damnest to get her to just ingest the dang stuff, just to give it a chance, or do I give up, sit idly and just let her go "if it's her time"? I mean she's ably walking, she's cognitive and sharp at 81, do I give up without a fight? I don't know for sure yet if this is terminal and I don't think it's wide spread, but I know of the negative and destructive affects of chemo or radiation. I just feel as though there are natural alternatives and drastic changes in diet that would improve and possibly rid her condition, but how does one go about this when my grandmother is so set in her ways?

And to anyone who would say "she's in gods hands", I would just reply with "didn't god also put me here and now to directly intervene?" I even saw a five in one liposomal product, a sort've, supposed "cure-all", and I know there's other things she could be taking, like saffron and ginger, I'm open to suggestions on that as well. Can anyone offer some advice? Or been in a similar situation? Thanks in advance everyone!

posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 06:01 AM
Let her live out the rest of her days as she wishes. She's earned the right. You have family members dotting the I's in her will and then there's you....... trying to give her a chance at living longer. If she's as cognitive of her surroundings as you say, I'm sure she see's that.

All you can do is try. Don't stress about how she reacts to it.

posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 06:06 AM
If she is of sound mind... her care is still her decision no matter how much anyone likes or dislikes it. I have been in your shoes and know how difficult it is. We want to hold on to them as hard as we can out of greed. Yes. I know how that sounds, but it is greed. When that person is gone, they are not missing us. They are not heartbroken, weak, and worn from loss. We are. They are no longer suffering and struggling to see another sunrise. They are at peace and while we would prefer that over all... we still have to fight to let go. It is human nature. It is love. The source of the greatest pain most of us will feel several times in our lives and the source of the greatest happiness we are blessed with any number of times.

If you have educated her about what you think is best it is all you can do. You can try going to her doctor with her next time she has an appointment and see if her doctor thinks what you are suggesting is a good idea. Maybe she will trust your advice more if a medical professional agrees with it. She may be scared it will shorten her time in some way if she doesn't fully understand what you are trying to explain??

If she is in pain, given her age, she may be ok with her passing. In the end that is the only person that needs to be ok with it. Lots of older people do not relish the thought of drawing an illness out long enough to necessitate full time hospice care and having to have family tend to every personal need hygiene wise. While we would be glad 100% to provide that care for our loved ones, most would rather not be a "burden" and if we look at it objectionably.... we wouldn't want to be that "burden" either. The caretaker never sees it as a burden, but the one being cared for always feels it.

She is blessed to have you and I am sorry you are going through this.
I wish there was better advice to give. The best advice in the end though (I truly feel) is to follow her lead. It may bring you more grief in the end, but sometimes we need to know when to let go as well... as terribly bad as that sucks. And it does. A LOT. If she is coherent and able to still make decisions like she did before she was ill, then her wishes, needs, wants, come before all else in this regard. These are times we want to freeze time so we can relish every second, but we can't disregard what our loved ones want just to avoid the pain we know is coming.

I hope and pray this was not offensive to you. I started not to post it at all for fear that I would add to your grief. I hope that I did not. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. PM me if you ever need to talk. I know you don't know me from adam, but I have been there and I can listen. Stay strong.

posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 06:20 AM
reply to post by Kangaruex4Ewe

That was wonderful and loving.

Let her decide. I hope she doesn't go through the chemo and radiation - it will just prolong her illness and make her sick.

Ask her where she wants to be - home? and let her talk, and talk, and talk.....

posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 06:30 AM
I feel your pain. I lost my father to a heart attack and my mother to cancer when I was in my early 20's, I certainly understand how hard it can be to lose those you love.

But, she is 81. The treatment you are suggesting is implausible, unproven, almost nothing more than a snake oil remedy. Concentrated vitamin C might be great for minor ailments that actually respond to such things (like a common cold or flu), but there has never been any study, any proof, any real justification of this so-called remedy working on anything more life-threatening than that.

There are thousands of people all around the world working on cures for all sorts of things. This is an extremely competitive field, and individuals within it would all love to be recognized in history as being the one to find a cure for something so damaging. The fact that this has not been discovered by those thousands of people is enough to prove that this is a myth.

I know some people believe that there has been a cure and that it's been covered up, but if you think about this logically it makes no sense. Yes, we know that there is corruption, but Cancer is a serial killer the world over, there would be SOMEONE ready to be the one to discover the cure and remembered in history forever. It doesn't matter what some corporation wants, if there was a cure, the person who discovered it would want it to be known, if not for Humanity then simply for ego.

There is no cure, yet. There is treatment, and that treatment is uncomfortable, expensive and dangerous in itself. Some of the brightest minds on the planet, with vast resources, have been working on this puzzle for decades. If the answer were so simple and effective, it would have been adopted by now as a recognized treatment.

I'm afraid you have been sucked into a false hope, and it is indeed cruel.

I think you should worry less about trying to convince her to do anything, and just enjoy the time you have together. Listen to her stories, write them down, ask her about some of the amazing people she's known, the loves she's had, the most beautiful day she can remember, the most fun she's ever had, what she was like when she was your age...

If there is one regret I have about losing my parents, it's that I never really knew them. I never knew anything about their lives before I came along, and I would give anything to go back and spend a day with each of them finding out as much as I could. This would not only be a gift to you and your family, it would also be a gift to her, helping her to recall some of the most beautiful moments of her life.

Many people never get to know when they are leaving, she has time to spend either thinking about it, or remembering the amazing life she's had. Help her to make it more beautiful.

Blessed be.

posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 06:38 AM
I kind of went through the same thing.

My Mother died of cancer last year. On Mothers Day, no less.

It is tough to understand what a person in that situation is really going through.
Conversations become heart-wrenching, and in your attempts to be supportive - it's difficult.
Because you both probably know how serious it really is.
It goes without saying.

Me personally, I am a lot like my Mother. In the sense of how we dealt with our own emotions.

It is not a comfortable conversation, either way.
And when it comes down to it - I'm sure they are aware of what's best for themselves.

As with a lot of people, everyone has their own way of coping and dealing with difficult situations.
I'm sure your grandmother appreciates your compassion and caring, but she's more than likely in a 'blank' state of mind right now.
Meaning, even though her thoughts are probably spinning - her emotions are probably torn.
As she tries to come to terms with the severity of what is happening.

It is important for you, NOT to consider yourself as "letting your grandmother die".
There is not much you can do, and that's the worst part of the experience on your end.
It is the worst feeling in the world, having to watch something like that transgress and take a loved one away. Not being able to stop it.

But like I said,
you should know that your caring does show.

And your grandmother does appreciates it.
It's just one of those things that must be extremely difficult to cope with.

Don't blame yourself, and continue to be supportive as much as you can.
Handle the situation lightly - and show your willingness to do whatever it takes to be helpful, and make her comfortable.

In the long run, that is all you can do.

- All the Best.
edit on 24-6-2013 by iunlimited491 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 06:46 AM

do I give up without a fight?
reply to post by Hiasyouwant

I posted earlier about my apprentice's brother being diagnosed with leukaemia and asked the members here for prayers and thoughts.

You could do the same,

The fight my friend I'm afraid, is not your's it is your grandmother's, it's her life
Just love her and make sure she knows it.


posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 07:15 AM
reply to post by Hiasyouwant

I think the greater dilemma for you should be how to help your Grandma live. If she is cognizant and clearly understands her situation as you say, then your question is moot. It is, and should be all about HER dignity, HER right to self determination and HER justifiable expectation that those who love her stand with her and support her with unconditional love. Do not confuse your wants with her needs. You, after all, are the one who remains and I think you might prefer that your final memories of her resonate with love and respect and not of disagreement and discord over things she does not know or trust.
On June 11, 2011 I looked down at my 35yr old son hooked to tubes and life support equipment. I was faced with a decision to hope for some miracle or to let him go. When you stand there with THAT decision, you then face a moral dilemma. I have always said that the one thing more cruel than harsh reality is false hope.
Right now, you are simply trying to cope with YOUR fear of death and YOUR fear of loss, not hers.
While I do not intend to minimize your pain, I do want to try to help you put it in its proper place and see it for what it is. You can be assured that Grandma sees it. Give her love and is what she truly needs the most.

posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 11:49 AM
reply to post by Hiasyouwant
First of all, ask your granny if she wants treatment or if she's tired and ready to go home. Talk to the doctors and ask if treatment would kill her quicker than the disease. These are the two most important factors in the situation- everything else is moot.

posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 11:55 AM
When she starts going downhill, just don't prolong her misery and her dying by using feeding tubes or mechanical ventilation. She should be signing "advance directives" to prevent hospital personnel from doing these things.

posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 12:58 PM
reply to post by Hiasyouwant

My friend,

This is a difficult situation which takes thoughtful consideration. I have advice to give you concerning this dilemma, and I would like you to consider it, as I went through a similar situation with my aunt who died just a month ago.

Her physical body is of less importance than her soul, and I am sure that you know that. A person whose body is deteriorating often feel that they are losing their vitality and their spirit my dull or turn harsh. If you cannot get her to take the vitamin C then I would leave that up to God, you cannot force her into anything as with anyone.

Do not be sad for her or afraid for her, otherwise you presence will cause her discomfort and make her spirit uneasy. Consider your spirit when you are around her, comforting her like a mother would her child.

Raise her spirit! tell her of how she has inspired you and others. Tell her of good things and be sure that she is saturated in peace. This will make you feel even better than if you had healed her physically.

Read with her, speak to her, laugh with her, cry with her but do not forget to comfort her. Be strong and loving reminding her of the coming joy and peace of God and that God is with her and beside her.

Sorrow is the soil in which the seed is enclosed, surely the germ will rise to the Light, but to as the rain does and water it.

Bring her to the realm of spiritual thought and her vitality will increase, and if she dies at least your aim is that she dies without fear and in peace.

I became an Ecumenical minister for my aunt, it was very hard to get through, but I know that she now rests on God's heart.

posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 04:52 PM
I thank everyone for such open and honest responses, and I apologize for any pain this thread may have brought back, it feels very selfish of me now that I reflect back on it, but you all seem to have a grip on this sort've stuff. I'm thankful for that. No matter how gloomy my op was, it's now a quite positive thread for me. Only because of the strong and positive energies behind your posts! We're all in this journey together! I'm going to spend some time thinking this over and re-reading you guy's posts. And again, thanks for your patience and guidance, it has really helped me today. Yunno what they say.. Namaste

posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 08:24 PM
reply to post by Hiasyouwant
Tough one. One thing is for certain though: You have a good mind and a big heart. Sorry I don't have much to add except a heartfelt, God Bless Y'all!

posted on Jun, 25 2013 @ 03:49 PM
Basically, the driving factor in any decision in her care - professional or otherwise - should be informed consent. If you truly believe this regimen has the potential to improve her health or extent her life, then by all means, inform her of the benefits and expose her to whatever verified, factual data you have access to about it. (Also making her aware of any risks re: blood sugar and other factors.)

But at the end of the day, if she does not wish to pursue it, you must respect her wishes and support her as best you can through whatever she faces during the course of this illness regardless of whether she agrees with your own point of view.

I'm very sorry you're dealing with such a painful, worrying situation. It sounds like she is very loved and has a large family and has had a fully life. I think the decision to live longer or let things take their course should be hers and hers alone ultimately.

edit on 6/25/2013 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 25 2013 @ 03:52 PM
You do what you can, according to her wishes, then when there is no other choice, you let it go. The irony is that there's really no way you can stop anyone from dying, anyway, you can only postpone it.

You can only try to minimize suffering and fear. Nature is unstoppable.

edit on 25-6-2013 by Blue Shift because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 25 2013 @ 04:20 PM
Dear Op

Boy this is one _big_ test for you. I really don't have a solid answer.
I know what I would do but other people are different and I have a different mentality to most.

On one hand you have the prospect of prolonging her life and finding out your truth
that ascorbate can cure and seeing it 1st hand and on the other who knows, suffering from the chemo?

I've been there myself. My mother wanted nothing to do with alternative treatments.
My mum tended to see me as a kid with little respect, so anything that came out of me
was crazy rubbish. It cost her life. The doctors killed her by accident - the very people she had faith in.
She could have been cured but then again maybe not..

i'd let her go her own way. I've spent 10 years wondering what could have happened
or how things could have been different. That is something you have to come to terms with.
It is her choice. Feeding her information against her will, will just makes things difficult.

What stage is the cancer at?

I wish you good luck on your journey..
(For information google salvesterol cancer stage IV case studies. That is what I would put my bets on and
I am a vitamin c advocate.)
edit on 25-6-2013 by Limbo because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 25 2013 @ 04:25 PM
dilemma *
really, a moral dilemma ? it's a vitamin, how are you letting her die? are you keeping her from air,water,food,medication, no
natural means are worth while in some ways, but you can't fix a life time of hard living with them in a few days/months it takes years.
also a month passes and you haven't said anything again to her ?? can't be to that much of a hurry can you?
I sound heartless, but I hope your not thinking this is going to keep her from dying.
But really if you were really concerned why didn't you get her taking vitamins before her illness? hmm
maybe you need some prunes and loosen up.
you can't control your grandmother or the cancer.

posted on Jun, 25 2013 @ 05:10 PM
No matter what age she goes or for what reason, grannies don't live forever, at least not on Earth. At that point they are in control of their life, if they have a will to continue or if they want to give up. She has to want to fight the illness by believing herself into a better state of body being.

Vitamin C, that's for you because you believe it works so well. That much ascorbic acid would shock her body give her the runs mess with what little she's got left in her minerals in the bones, maybe shock the tumors into shrinkage but they don't seem like the kind that dry up and disappear with chemicals alone. Granny isn't convinced it seems. Her hope on things getting fixed is elsewhere, maybe with grandpa, maybe with a world that she never grew to meet.

I'd rather sit her around a bunch of young medical professionals for several weeks -- not a hospital, I mean a university, like the library -- and let her soak up some cure in the air and the power of gifted minds. Help her meet some long term goals to make her happy before she goes. Her lifestyle brought her to the point of cancer; it grew because of something unchanged for health defense. It's sort of late to reverse things; her body has already flipped the switch.

Apricot seed kernels comes to mind for staunching the growth of tumors. All this is unscientific of course, but if there's nothing else to do why not experiment until the end? But don't force her. She is her own person and has the rights to her own end life.

If I had the money and the time and authority I'd put grandma on a raw plant diet with lots of enzymes and juice. And if she had the money but not the time to spend it I'd put her on a vacation to see the planet before she died, to get her mind off of things. Care to the end is hard but you need a way to cope with your own grief and accept the inevitable.

posted on Jun, 25 2013 @ 07:36 PM
reply to post by Hiasyouwant

Pray, give her alkaline foods. They have been proven to kill cancer, also DON'T and again i say DON'T give her radiation and chemo... my gpa died because of less than 2 or 3 months. It's like it actually boosted the speed of the cancer growths There are ways to cure cancer, Don't give up on your search, keep searching and i'm sure you will find, Send me a pm if you find something real good though ^-^;

Im facing some similar however not cancerish, stuff with my gma... however unlike any illness my grandma has her grand daughter (my cousin) squeeze all the juice out of her, see my bitch aunt caused my grandma to raise my parasite of a cousin, and now my parasite of a cousin is doing the same, she basically has my gma raising her son(2y/o) 24/7 at the age of 78 thats quite a big weight, specially since one of my gma's sons(my uncle) is basically handicapped.. completely, he's like 50ish and he still has the mind of a 4 month old baby. Making him completely handicapped and mentally retarded.
So she's been taking care of my uncle since FOREVER(thats quite impressive the fact that he's still alive imo, and that she's still taking care of him(many other mothers would have gotten rid of such a child a longg time ago..)) anyways so now as the months have passed as my 78 y/o gma taking care of 2 babies, 1 huge one with a full grown mans body and 1 tiny one.
However thats not all, my cousin(the reason i see her as a parasite) leechees ALL her money off of her(my cousin is a percoset and pothead) (i got no problem with drug addicts however use you're own damn money to support your addictions) and in addition to her begging for money everyday from my gma(which if she says no she'll get all agitated) my gma pays off her car a 2011 or 2012 car, not only that my cousin doesn't work :O! surprise! in addition to all of this my cousin STILL steals her money whenever she finds the chance..., so over the months i've seen my gma thining out(in weight) and looking more and more older and tired each day, she could barely take care of the huge baby..
The problem with this is that my gma is willing to all of it.. and whenever you touch the subject she(my gma) will have this(Nuclear reactor meltdown 'ish thing) and i WOULD LOVE to go to social services for the elderly, but for what? so my gma can defend her, and in top of that, she doesn't handle stress well cus of heart problems... So we(everyone in the family who wanna beat the crap out of my cousin) can only watch, as she(my gma) slowly loses her will to live.

...Sorry for ranting on your thread T_T.. I really do hope your gma gets cured so all those family members after wills and inheritances can go **** off. >_

posted on Jun, 26 2013 @ 01:09 AM
Years past when my grandfather was dying, he struggled with prostate cancer. I remember asking him, "Pa, why did you not go back to the doctor and have the cancer treated, after the first bought 5 years ago? Why did you not tell anyone?" He just gave me a half grin, and did not answer. Even thinking back on it now I realized the selfish brashness of such a challenge.

Months later, he lay in his bed, gently sedated for pain, but not wanting to be put out fully. The day before he died, I came and played guitar for him in his hospital room. He either could not, or would not speak - but made demonstrative nods of his head to acknowledge me. He lay there with his eyes closed and faced right at me, and smiled as I played my Martin D-28. He so loved guitar music.

As we were departing the hospital room, faced with the knowledge of his impending demise coupled with his terminal silence, I found myself struggling to bear the realization that he had let this happen. The urgent angst came upon me to rush to him and say one more thing - be with Pa one more time. Say anything. But I had no control of anything at that moment. Not even me.

Yet such is the limited will of control, that small sole respect afforded man, mercifully and inalienably, and that is our ability to let self die.

James Joyce penned under the tragic climax in Ulysses, that "Time's ruins build eternity's mansions." And perhaps it is the decision to accept and allow death, which is the single facet of control we may indeed savor in our lives. Our sole respect. A singularity of grace, tragic when unrecognized by the recipient. Never so unconvinced is the man who is told he must live to the maximum of his days, nor sets he in place this as the goal of life. Not everyone suffers from the illusion of control, nor its tyranny.

Control in finality, only comes in the sweet realization that all we may ever possess, is our noble embracing of that which occurs. Possessing our integral self. Nothing more attainable, nothing less acceptable.

My grandmother grabbed my arm and stopped me short, seeing the upset in my eyes, as I began to re-approach the hospital bed.

"It's OK TES, it's OK." She said.

I stammered and looked towards the bed, again, "But...."

She looked me sweetly in the eyes and said again, "It's OK TES."

edit on 26-6-2013 by TheEthicalSkeptic because: (no reason given)

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