DNR … it is a gift you give your loved ones, although it is a really difficult one to hear.

My father is currently being evaluated to see if he qualifies for a double-lung transplant. His current lungs have been damaged by sarcoidosis – an auto-immune disease that was likely made worse by undiagnosed/untreated celiac disease.

One of the questions that is asked when he checked into the hospital for transplant evaluation was regarding what measures they should take if something happens while he is in the hospital. At this point, he has scarring on more than 95% of his lungs. His heart is having trouble because he isn’t getting enough oxygen. He needs new lungs – or as a friend on Facebook pointed out, a set of recycled ones!

So the logical side of me totally understands his decision to be listed as DNR (do not resuscitate). After going through chemotherapy and surgery for breast cancer, I truly do understand what it feels like to be so sick you wonder just how much more of this you can take. I can understand that it isn’t about giving up, rather, it is about understanding that if there is nothing that can be done then there is no point in prolonging suffering.

It is a gift when a loved one makes this decision them self, so that you do not need to. But it sad to hear those words. It is scary to hear those words. And you hope and you pray that those words won’t need to be repeated. But it is still a gift.

  • Becky


  • Thank you Becky!

  • I agree.. but it does feel weird calling it a gift. Colleen

  • Sorry to hear about your dad’s situation. I hope he is able to get the lungs he needs, whether new or recycled. Hope you hang in there, and I’m glad you were able to be aware of your celiac disease so much earlier than your father was.

  • First, I hope your Dad gets his lungs.

    This is a very hard decision and I’m sorry your family has to go through it. You have to honor your Dad’s decision about his life in a situation where there may not be a “best” option except to ease the suffering.

    My Mom finally just got too tired of the struggle and the DNR was her wish. Nothing in the decision was about giving up–it hurt but in a graceful and caring way.

    Take Care Becky

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