I knew her, and her disease, diagnosis and the prognosis of what she had. She was suffering from a drug and radiation resistant cancer. Seeing her suffering from a cancer which was slowly changing her to someone always in pain, without appetite, weight and hair loss was not easy. She was slowly drifting away from life as her systems were shutting down, as it happens to an infected hard drive of a computer.
One of the challenges was her inquisitive nature of asking questions, she had many questions about her disease, and she wanted to live a little bit more. The dilemma in caring for her was one of its kind; the knowing of not knowing, the awareness of hopelessness and the certainty of failure regardless of our cutting edge technology with best efforts. My job as a doctor is not simple. The feeling of not able to do much while dealing with an aggressive cancer or a septic shock is one of the worst.
Some doctors keep fighting with the armament of modern day medicine in circles. The plight of using experimental drugs with the notion of poisons being used to kill bad cells while killing the rest of the body full of good cells creating fake hopes for patients and their families. This we may call as a routine protocol based practice.
I wonder what if we would have told that there is no hope to prolong life, but there is hope to leave in dignity. The concepts of the end of life care, staying at home and dying at the familiar places, surrounded by those who have known people, rather than an assigned room number, is probably the safest bet to inject some hope of control in a dying being.
I wonder while most lose hope, some take their gloves off, and raise their arms up while kneeling down believing in the teaching of asking so shall be granted. This may be a holistic approach to gain some hope while contemplating . The scientific mind may argue about the variability of results, but those who know the science of prayers will keep doing what has always worked and will be always working.