When my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer in December 2013 at the age of 83, I initially figured that she would “fight” it valiantly.
After all, this was a woman who had already “beaten” cancer twice before — to say nothing of how fervently she looked after my family, including my grandfather, who is wheelchair-bound. But after one round of chemotherapy, my grandmother decided to forego treatment and eventually entered hospice care. When she died about five months later, I struggled with her decision not to continue receiving chemo after that first round. A selfish part of me privately felt like she had given up and “let cancer win.”