Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Would You Do?

I have just a short series of questions to ask you.

What would you do if your cat had cancer and they advised she be put down?

What would you do if a car hit your daughter and you were told that she would probably never recover?

What would you do if your husband had a stroke and he may not recover and would definitely never be the same?

What would you do if your 5-year-old son had cancer and chemotherapy had a slim chance of being effective?

What would you do if your brother was in a car accident and it was likely that he would be in a coma for an extended period of time?

What would you do if your wife crashed on a bunny slope and actually had a severe brain injury? What would you do if the doctors said she would likely be a vegetable?

One day prior to Aviana's accident, I feel I would have had a better idea of my answers to all of these questions. Dave and I were pretty set in the ways we felt about death, dying and especially the quality of life factor.

I have to say, once you are in the situation it is not black and white, but many varying shades of grey.  You are forced to stumble your way through, gather as much information as possible and make the best decision possible.

The very fact that you are making this decision for another human being is the most foreign concept ever. This decision making process feels so unnatural. It feels as though not one person's life should be determined by another.

I don't usually make blanket statements or venture to think what others may think, but I feel safe in saying, until you are faced squarely with this task, I don't think you now know what decision you would make.  It's not fair to even speculate.

I am deeply affected by something I read somewhere else.  I am sorry for the pain this person may have endured at the hands of another's speculation. This person should have speculated amongst themselves, not to a mom who is going to the ends of the earth to help her hurt child!

Quality of life.  After all this time, I still can't figure it out.

Many may view Aviana as not having one, many may feel she does. Many think she maybe day.

Whatever category we all fall into, the only perspective that matters is Aviana's.


  1. I always say I don't know what I would do unless I'm actually IN that situation...but I am ABSOLUTELY SURE that I would NOT be handling it as well as you guys are!


  2. Thank you for reminding us to not judge but have compassion. There are so many little ways in my parenting that I thought I would do something but in the moment found that wasn't the right choice. I can't imagine what you must have felt like that day of the accident. Praying for you and your family as you do what you have to for your daughter! Thank you for opening our eyes!
    JD in NC

  3. I have a friend whose 15 year old son has leukemia. I am constantly in awe of the resiliency of their humour and spirit and courage. And I feel that way about you and your family Jen. We all keep trucking on, one day and one moment at a time. When I was young and speculated on how terrible it must be to grow old and infirm, my Dad used to tell me to remember that no matter what shape you're in, as long as there is breath in your body, every single sunrise is precious. I believe that from Aviana's perspective, life might not be perfect but it beats the heck out of the alternative. She is loved, she is cared for, she is surrounded by people and animals she adores - and I think one day she will tell you that for herself. Courage and hugs to you and yours!!!!!

  4. I totally feel you on this one! How can you answer, "what if?" if it hasn't happened? And once something has happened, it changes the way you view everything!!!

  5. what if....what if...what if.....until you have walked a mile in my shoes you can never understand the choices i have had to make.

    i have been blessed to have never been forced to walk in your shoes (or those of the others in the examples you shared) i hope and pray that i will continue to be blessed in this way.

    to be faced with such extreme life challenges under such extremely stressful circumstances. the only answer to your question is i do not know what i would do or say or choose.

    have courage my friend, you have made a good choice. your challenges are being rewarded each and everyday. and i have faith that one day aviana will tell you herself with her own voice how much she loves you and appreciates all the struggles you have gone through with her.

  6. You never know how you'll feel or react until you're in that situation.

    I've learned that people can be JERKS online. Straight up bullies. They figure it is okay to say anything on the internet, and they will. (Make that on the phone too...if you've done customer service you know what I mean.) I've had people curse my children, threaten to blow me up, you name it. It's especially heinous when it is aimed at a family going through trauma, be it a sick child, and accident, etc.

    As a parent, I would do whatever I had to do to give my child a chance at life, whatever that may be. You've given that to Avi and continue to, and in that, you've done the right thing.

    Love you!

  7. You are a great mom. I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old and can't imagine what you went through and how you and your husband were able to make the decisions you had to make. We all THINK we know what we would do when faced with a certain situation ....but until you've actually BEEN can NEVER really REALLY know what you would do or how you would handle it. I feel like I would have made the same decisions it seems you made. I know I'd do anything and everything possible to help my child recover as well as possible. You are a great mom and that fact is very evident by reading your blog. Keep up the good work and don't let ignorant comments get you down!