Blog - Archive: June 2017
Posted by Dr. Santiago Hernandez, M.D., June 14, 2017
There may come a time when some of us may have to experience the pain of accompanying a family member, close friend or a loved one through the ordeal of a disease that may be deemed terminal. We often go through the same emotional stages as the person who is at the end of their journey here on earth.
“The five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling.”
It can be during one of these stages that we try to “buy” our loved ones more time or find that miraculous cure that will end our loved one’s suffering or perhaps be the cure we are so desperate to find. As a physician who provides care to a population of expats from the U.S. and Canada, the majority of whom are about my parents’ age (65 and older), I have treated many who have had to fight these battles, including cancer. That includes my own parents.
As those of you who follow my blog postings know, I have written previously about my mother’s fight with breast cancer and how she received excellent care in the Mexican Public Healthcare system in Guadalajara. Last year, her oncologist told her that she was in remission and was free to return to Chicago. Well, she recently returned to Chicago only to be hospitalized again and learned she had developed tumors in her liver. They probably had metastasized from her breast cancer.
I believe that during one of these stages of accepting my mother’s recurrence of what is now a stage 4 cancer and ultimately the end of her journey on this earth, members of my family, with the best of intentions, did what is now a common practice. They searched Google for an answer, a cure. They believed that the “conventional” allopathic medical therapy she underwent had not provided the cure we all had hoped for so they looked up “alternative” care clinics, based in Tijuana that seemed to offer hope for a cure of my mother’s cancer.