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Dying from Cancer...

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

My in-laws were in very good shape health-wise. They ate a good diet, not overweight at all.
Few health issues even for their ages (Bill - 91 & Joyce - 88) They walked every day.
This past Saturday, they were involved in a very tragic car accident.
Joyce suffered severe trauma and went into a coma. She died Sunday morning at 7:23am.
Bill also suffered severe trauma and is being kept sedated. He doesn't know about Joyce.
It's likely he will survive but will have months or rehab at best.

They were going to a store about 200 yards from where they live,
like they often do. It was a gorgeous Saturday afternoon...

We NEVER know what will happen when we leave the house.
Many of us have cancer and it's easy to get obsessed with dying from cancer.
They didn't have cancer but their life changed in the blink of an eye.
Joyce is dead, Bill will possibly die from a broken heart when/if he pulls through...

Live your life like you're going out to the store.
You don't know what might happen...

PS: Here's a photo of Joyce.

Posts: 308
Joined: Mar 2012

I needed that jolt of reality this morning. So sorry for your loss.

Posts: 158
Joined: Jan 2012


First my thoughts and prayers go out to your family. We never really know when our time will be here. Many people have asked me since diagnosis if I am afraid of dying. I always say no more or no less then I was before cancer. For me, all cancer did was remind me that we all die and I should remember to live each day to the fullest. We are all going to die one day we just don't know when. I have never let my diagnosis allow me to concentrate on death. I will never give cancer that much power over my thoughts.

Posts: 74
Joined: Jun 2012

My thoughts are with you and your family. No one knows what tommorow will bring. We just need to try and enjoy each new day.

z's picture
Posts: 1414
Joined: May 2009

Phil, I'm so sorry for your loss.

I love the people who live so long, they give me hope, and show that they are strong as growing older isn't for sissy's. My grandma was 88 when she passed and I still miss her till this day, and will always miss her. She passed not from cancer but heart problems.

My step-son died at 20 in a car accident, whereas, he was involved in trying to steal drugs and was crushed between 2 cars. He wasn't happy in this world, which makes me very sad.

Live today. Lori

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

My condolences to you and your wife's family, Phil...

That's going to be a difficult conversation for your father-in-law to hear.

One day at a defensive driving course, the instructor asked me, "What's the most dangerous thing that you do every day?"

I told him, "Driving."

It's mostly "offensive driving" down here now, which I find very offensive most days. Each morning, the majority of us hit the road and hope that we will see the driveway that evening - your story is a reminder of how quickly plans can change.

Funerals are a difficult time - for many different reasons. As you say, may "peace" be with all of you during this sudden turn of events. I'm very sorry to hear this, but thank you for sharing it and for the reminder as well.


tommycat's picture
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

It's true...when we hear "You have cancer," it's easy to think and obsess on what we think will be the end of us.
Your post is a reminder that none of us has that crystal ball with our expiration date in it.
Random thought came to mind: Wonder if anyone's ever died in a car accident on his/her way to get chemo because he/she was too distracted, thinking about the treatment.
Very sorry about your loss~

Semira's picture
Posts: 378
Joined: Mar 2012

and a warm embrace from Germany. Thanks for reminding us of the ony truth thats for sure... you don't know what might happen...


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YoVita's picture
Posts: 590
Joined: Mar 2010

for your family's loss.

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

My sincere condolences to you and your family on the loss of your loved one.

You are so very right. There is no way to know when or how our days will end.

Prayers for Bill's recovery and all who loved Joyce.


Marie who loves kitties

Posts: 1282
Joined: Apr 2012

My condolences for your loss. You said it all "We never know""

Posts: 157
Joined: Jan 2011

So sorry to hear of your families loss. Sending hugs and peaceful thoughts your way.

Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

So sorry, Phil.
Peace to all of your family.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

What a terrible loss for your family. We lost my uncle under similar circumstances, in a car crash when he was 80. Sending hope for peace and healing your way~Ann

abrub's picture
Posts: 2178
Joined: Mar 2010

Dear Phil,

What a tragedy and what a reminder of how ephemeral life is. Sending wishes of peace to you and your family.


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

So sorry to hear that and what a tragic accident. You are right, there are so many instances in your life when it can change so quickly. My condolences to you, your wife, and father-in-law.


PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

It's been VERY tough on my wife and her two sisters.
It's also been tough on me but I've lost my Dad already
after it dragging out for 12 years due to a stroke and my
Mom's still around, but at 93 that's something that won't
be "a shock" when it does happen.

I'm glad that everyone gets The Point of my post.

PS: Here's a photo of Joyce. Joyce and Bill were professional Dancers (like Fred & Ginger) back in the late 40's and 50's...

dmj101's picture
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2011

Phill, I am sorry for your loss... my prayer and hugs are right now for you and your family.. May there be some peace in your house at this time.
The Pic of Joyce is beautiful and I am sure the way she would want to be remembered.
Your points are never lost on most of us.. we are all in the same place.. even though we don't always comment know we think of you often..
Prayers and <>

Posts: 520
Joined: May 2011

Phil, so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing and reminding us to show our love for our family. This will be tough time for your wife and her family. My prayers are with them.

Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012


So sorry to hear of the loss you and your family have suffered, especially your father in law. Prayers and hugs going to you and yours. And yes, life is just one big question mark.

Cathleen Mary
Posts: 827
Joined: May 2011

Phil, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother-in- law and this tragic accident. You are quite right about the fragility of life. Please know that you, Dana, and her family are in my heart and prayer.

Cathleen Mary

Maxiecat's picture
Posts: 544
Joined: Jul 2012

I am so sorry to hear about your in laws. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. You are so right about how you never know what could happen...something that could change any one of our lives in an instant. Every day is a gift.


k44454445's picture
Posts: 494
Joined: Jul 2012

so sorry for your loss. i will pray for strength for you & your family.

wolfen's picture
Posts: 1330
Joined: Apr 2009


My condolences to you, your wife, and extended family. I am hoping for a fast recovery for your father-in-law. I'm sure it will be so hard on him.

Your philosophy of life rings true.



Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

My condolences. We just never know.

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011


so sorry for the loss of Joyce, and so sorry to hear about the current and future suffering and pain for Bill.

your wife has a lot on her plate right now... I pray that our Lord will give her and your entire family strength through yet another difficult time.

My wife is named Dana as well. And if she's anything like my wife... she'll be strong.

I totally "get" what you are saying about having Cancer and having "time" to deal with the timeline of life. I've told people who ask me how i "feel" about getting Cancer.
I reply with "I'll take Cancer over the Grayhound Bus Syndrome".

People look at me and often i need to explain what that means.... but it sincerely wakes people up once they understand.

thanks for sharing and prayers are coming your way from Toledo!

my best

Joe Metz

steveandnat's picture
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

I'm so sad hearing about your in laws so tragic. If there is such a thing as a positive to having cancer is you do have time to prepare for your death. May you mother in law rest in peace and father in law have a good recovery. Jeff

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I wanted to send my condolences to you and yours. My mother passed away at the ripe old age of 90, having lived a life full of wonder, joy, sorrows, regrets, laughter, dreams and hopes, and even though she lived such a long life, it seemed to short to me. It goes to show us, that it doesn't matter what age our parents die at, it's full of sorrow for those of us left behind, they are our rocks.
My sympathies,
Winter Marie

Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

That's all it takes. Just one second to make a drastic change in or end a life. This evening when I went to dinner with my folks, my dad tripped and fell as he was going into the restaurant and hit his head on the door. Back in December he'd taken a horrible fall that by all rights should have killed him instead of just breaking several ribs. That was how I woke p on Christmas morning, my mom yelling for me that he'd fallen. After his fall this evening, we went to the ER and nothing was broken, no concussion and he'll be sore for a while but otherwise alright. But it really does show just how fast it can all happen and as George Carlin once said, there is no two minute warning like in sports.

johnnybegood's picture
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

i am sorry for you and your wifes loss.your story is very true.we all get caught up in our cancer lifes and it may not even be the cancer that takes us...Godbless...johnnybegood

Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2012


My best wishes to you and family at this present time. We all have to go one day, so we might aswell enjoy what time we have left in this world, "crying out loud" my life has been affected by CRC.

Cheers…. Andrew

Psalm37bl's picture
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 2012

So sorry to hear about your in laws but loved your post! A great reminder for us all!

Joy1216's picture
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

I'm so sorry to hear of your tragic loss. I agree that we should live our lives like we're going to the store. We just have to live every day to the fullest. You and your family are in my prayers.

Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Oh Phil,
I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your mother-in-law Joyce. What a beautiful woman. I will say prayers for your father-in-law, what a horrible bit of information he is going to receive.
You have always said that living is the way to do this. You are so right. We never know.


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Oh, Phil.

That's so very sad. I'm really, really sorry. I know your poor wife must be in such shock over this sudden loss, and it sounds like you have been very fond of them, so I know it's a great loss for you, as well.

What you wrote was both beautiful and true. We have to squeeze all the joy out of this life while we have it.

By the way, Joyce was lovely! Her picture reminds me of Ingrid Bergman.


TMac52's picture
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2010

A sad story and well put Phil. My heart goes out to your wife and her sisters.

Posts: 172
Joined: Jul 2012

I'm so sorry that this happened to your family and my condolences to you and your wife. Unexpected deaths are so difficult for those left to morn. You are so right...we need to live life in the moment...like we are going out to the store. Thanks for sharing the beautiful picture of your Mother-in-law. I hope that your Father-in-law's recovery will be faster than what is anticipated and I wish him well.

Kathy :)

LivinginNH's picture
Posts: 1458
Joined: Apr 2010

Dear Phil,

Oh my, that is such sad news. Our condolences to you and your family on your loss.

With sympathy,
Cynthia and Rick

christinecarl's picture
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

I am very sorry, what a beautiful picture of her. May peace be with you and your family.

plh4gail's picture
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

I'm so sorry for that terrible accident and the hurt and suffering it may cause. 91 and 88...that is amazing! Hugs to you and your loved ones.


plh4gail's picture
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

Beautiful picture!

marqimark's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Jun 2011

Sorry for your lose

Varmint5's picture
Posts: 384
Joined: Feb 2012

What a terrible tragedy! And you are so right. You just never know. My condolences to you, your wife, your family... a dear friend just went through this exact same thing. It's so hard to think of her dad alone now. I hope your father in law can find peace with this situation and that his condition is improving. So, so sad! I'm sorry.


Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

What a horrible tragedy! I can only imagine how hard this has been for all of you. Your message of course is one for all of us, the fraility of life and how quickly it can be gone. I hope in time your family will find comfort and smiles in the memories of lives lived well and long.

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