Torofy Blog

Depression and Heart Disease

Stephanie’s Story: A family fights terminal illness and assisted suicide

I fight to live.
I fight to have a better life today. It’s driving in the neighborhood and seeing
kids play outside. It’s a privilege to see these things, to
experience these things, to smell these things. I think you realize in a whole new way when
you realize that you’re sick and you’re dying. In 2004, Stephanie was diagnosed with lupus.
In 2012, she was diagnosed with scleroderma and given 3 years to live. That date has passed and Stephanie keeps fighting. I think at first I was kind of in denial.
Maybe she wasn’t as sick as she said she was. Maybe the doctors were wrong. I mean, you know when the doctors tell you
you’re wife is going to die and this is how long she is going to live, the first thing
think we really did was let’s try to figure out how to make this last longer. She can do everything they tell her to do
and die tomorrow. And she can do nothing that they say and she could live forever. These
are diseases, these are conditions that she going to deal with and that’s just who she
is now. We don’t know if tomorrow’s going to be another
day or if we have five, ten, fifteen more years. I see my daughter going through what
she is going through and she just amazes me. She’s my hero. I am so proud of her and how
she’s handled all of this. I have scleroderma, it affects my internal
organs, it’s caused my lungs to start to harden. And it basically turns into scar tissue so
they can’t expand and I can’t get the proper amount of air in or out. Chances are my lungs
are going to give out in the middle of the night, or after an infection in a hospital
somewhere and my heart will stop. Not only am I trying to prolong my life with
my wife, but I think, it’s bringing us closer together so we’re getting more time together
as well. So, you can’t look at it from a negative perspective. Or you can’t move on with life,
life doesn’t just stop for you. You do your best to keep moving forward, no
matter what your current circumstances are because life is important. This precious time that we have, we need to
wrap ourselves around that and just enjoy it. SB 128, a bill currently before the state
legislature, seek to legalize physician-assisted suicide in California. I know about SB 128 and absolutely know why
people would consider it. Anybody else who is suicidal we get them help, we don’t hand
them a gun. We send them to a doctor and we help give them the proper tools to deal with
whatever circumstance is consuming them. This bill diminishes every single thing that
I go through. It takes away from the fight, it makes the bad days worse. It minimizes
everything. You know how I hope I’ll deal with it, you know, when the time comes, but
all we can do is prepare and do our best to carry on with having a life with dignity.
There is a lot of honor in that. And there is a lot of privilege in being able to show
that for somebody else, because even if my kids aren’t sick, they’ll see the importance
of not giving up. You don’t run away from it, you know, you walk through it. And you
hold the people you love close and hold hands and go for it. Well, she’s my mom. And I don’t think the
doctors expected her to live this long. Live is precious and if you ever feel like giving
up, just hold on, there is always somebody who wants you to stay alive. You can’t just give up on yourself. Your family,
your friends, you should be grateful for everything that you have. And we can’t just stop doing
that, we have to keep going and fighting. In states where assisted suicide is an option,
patients like Stephanie are already being denied treatment in exchange for cheaper suicide
pills. Contact your legislator today to prevent this
from happening in California. SB128
It’s a hard pill to swallow. A Doctor’s Perspective Take Action Now Share Contact Your Legislator Learn More Stop SB128
Physician Assisted Suicide You Can Make a Difference.

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