Today, most of our news feeds have been trending the “death with dignity” death of Brittany in Oregon. Before I begin today’s blog, there is no disputing that cancer, any cancer, robs a person of so much. Glioblastoma is not how any of us would choose to die. Then again, when it comes to dying, do any of us have a “preferred” way? Today, is about a personal thought…a personal take…on how every minute on this earth has worth.
Heather Knies. Know her? Heard of her? Probably not. She survived stage IV Glioblastoma. Defied the odds. Defied the predictions of her doctors. Rare. Sure. Yet, instead of giving up….using “quality of life” as an excuse to give up…she accepted treatment…she fought. She lived. She got the miracle here on earth. Why didn’t she get celebrated across media for being “brave and courageous?”
I don’t know the girl in the news today. I cannot put myself in her shoes…and I won’t pretend that I can. What I do know is this: there is nothing more precious than one more moment in life. Alzheimer’s robs our loved ones of their minds…but not of their heart. So, is that a life not worth living? End stage cancer can be brutal. I’ve seen it firsthand. Yet…what about that “good day” that comes so unexpectedly that ends up being that day no one would trade for all the money in the world? A minute worth living. A lifetime can happen in just one minute. Why would anyone choose to lose a single minute?
Today, I sit here upset over how it’s being portrayed in the media. It wasn’t brave. It wasn’t courageous. Fighting…not giving up…that’s brave. All I see is a selfish act to avoid the fight. My mother, who died a year ago, would have probably given anything to have one more minute..one more moment. How many of us have loved ones who would have asked for the same thing as they looked at their final moments here on earth?
I sit here wondering if God had a miracle to perform in this girls life…whether it was curing her or letting her life be a testimony to someone else….and now…it’s just simply a life taken by the hands of “what I want.”
What criteria do we get to use to decide what life is worth living? And why do we think we get to make that call? We are not talking about life that is due to 100% medical intervention. I, myself, have a directive on what I want if on life support one day. This is not the same.
I hope she has found the peace that wasn’t here for her during her illness. And to Heather Knies, thank you for being brave and courageous and fighting for every minute…..that’s something to celebrate. Living with dignity.