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Staying Alive

I’m sharing an edited quote of a letter sent to The Times newspaper. Some of you know what I am going through at the moment. The writer has written the letter after learning that a study is saying that if we give everyone in their later years statins, we could be saving thousands more lives. His next sentences encapsulate my current life experience.

It is, however, not possible to “save 8,000 lives a year”, but only possible to delay the death of 8.000 patients each year, at best. Would I rather die of a heart attack or stroke in my active late 70s or 80s, or have my life prolonged in order to die of cancer or slowly suffer decrepitude in a care home when my other systems are no longer able to sustain an independent life?

My parents are both in their 90s. My mother has 24 hour care (at the moment by my brother and myself far from our home and working lives, but previously by my father) as she dies of nothing but old age. She is almost completely deaf and does not speak. She is isolated in a world of silence. My father is in hospital and I found out this week he has cancer of the mouth. This man has loved to eat and talk all his life and continues to do so.

My heart is in pieces and I am totally powerless to do anything,