What is the Buddhist approach to dealing with the suffering caused by the uncertainty of whether your actions and efforts will cause more or less physical pain to a dying family member?
My dad is dying from stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Life expectancy will be less than 1 years (more likely a couple of months). He is in a lot of physical pain because the pain medications are losing their effects. It is not clear to us what options are left to manage his physical pains (if any even exist at this point?). No one in our family caring for dad are trained in the profession of health care. My mom, brother, sister-in-law and I are working around the clock to coordinate and consolidate the disjointed/broken communication between several medical teams responsible for my dad's care (family physician, palliative care, occupational therapist, emergency team etc...).
My dad has a strong desire to live, but not at the expense of prolonged agonizing physical pain. Our whole family echoes this sentiment.
During these times, the family members caring for dad is suffering from uncertainty of whether we are:
doing enough to ease dad's pain - how far do we go to address dad's situation? How do we know if we're doing enough? How do we know if we're wasting time? If we knew with certainty there's nothing more we can do, then we will relax and execute the final steps of closure. If we knew with certainty there are still possibilities to explore, then we will do as much as we can and use the feeling of "hope" to mitigate our feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, fatigue and other forms of suffering. As of today, we assume there are still possibilities to explore, but we really don't know for sure, which causes suffering. We have found solutions to alleviate dad's suffering when doctors have said there are none, which tells us that even the professionals may not know what they are doing (or they've lost interest in our health case), which also means sometimes we need to try things ourselves. But we are uncertain on whether we are able to keep up with the new problems that arise each day. How much runway do we have left to alleviate the agonizing physical pain my dad is in? How do Buddhist's manage the suffering caused by uncertainty on whether you are doing enough to alleviate the pain of people you care about?
doing the right thing to ease dad's suffering - eg. if palliative care team does not respond in time to an urgent request, we will exercise our own actions without sufficient medical guidance which sometimes makes things better, and other times makes things worse (we have not documented all actions and their results, and hence we are uncertain if we have produced a net positive or net negative outcome during this saga). How do we manage the suffering caused by not knowing in advance if you are improving or hurting your family member?
At the end of the day, if we were certain of our actions, we wouldn't be suffering. But our uncertainty causes not only our own suffering (eg. are we over-exerting ourselves researching futile efforts?), but tremendous physical pain to someone we care about. What is the Buddhist philosophy to addressing this scenario?
Approaches I've considered:
A1. Detach from my family and not care about them at all. Now I feel no emotional connection to their pain. My family will probably never speak to me again and call me an ingrate, but at least I don't have to take part in their suffering.
A2. Do a half-ass job in caring for my dad. I just need convince /brainwash myself to think that I'm doing enough, and keep myself oblivious to the reality of whether I really am or not. I've now relieved myself of suffering from the uncertainty of actions caring for my dad. I will also coincidentally not feel any guilt of whether my other family members have taken on responsibilities that were formerly mine, because I'm blissfully ignorant..
Is A1 / A2 the Buddhist way?