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Hey There Ladies!

Posts: 184
Joined: Aug 2002

Due to my sisters schedule I will not have a lot of time to use the computer... Only late eves. I just wanted to let you all know that although I am not responding or posting I am still with you is spirit....... Love You All & Be Blessed

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2003

In 1995 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Went through chemo, then was put on Tamoxifen, then in 2000 I was diagnosedd with uterine cancer which my oncologist said was caused by the Tamoxifen that I had been taking. Stayed on the tamoxifen, then in 2002 I started experiencing shortness of breath, Xrays showed my left lung was 2/3 filled with fluid. Cancer had spread to the pleural cavity of my left lung. Was then put on Femara and as soon as I started taking it, I started experiencing terrible muscular-skeletal pain, and fatigue. My oncologist then put me on celebrex and lortab for the pain. Helped some, not much. Are there any women out there who have experienced the same symptoms, and do you know if there is any kind of medication that I can take that will ease this pain. I never feel good any more. I am 56 years old and have 2 precious grandchildren and I want to enjoy them, but I just don't feel like doing anything any more. Will someone please give me some advise? My oncologist referred me to my regular family physician. My family physician IS NOT an oncologist!!! I would think the oncologist should know what to do. I'm so tired of all this pain. Will someone please give me some advice? Thanks and God bless all of you. You are in my prayers. God has been with me through all of this in the past, so I know He will continue to take care of me and help me. My email address is brenrandpb@aol.com.

Posts: 166
Joined: Sep 2002

At some point, even if we are not dying right at the moment, we all have to come to terms with the fact that we will die someday. I think it is something we should be able to talk about, since it is unavoidable for everyone, anyway. I have side effects from each drug I take, AND my markers are slowly increasing...chemo almost killed me, so I might be running out of options unless I want to risk it again. Is there anyone out there who is not afraid to die? What do you believe about it, or have experienced from the death of others? I know it is a difficult thing to talk about, but I don't think we should be afraid to support one another even in the face of death. Our society really doesn't talk about it much...

iris48's picture
Posts: 92
Joined: May 2002

Hi Maggs,
Yes, I have thought about dying and wondered what I'd really experience. Somewhere along in my research/reading, I remember coming across an article or information that explained it in such a way that whatever fear I had disappeared. It went like this.. when you know this is your time, you feel very peaceful and your guardian angel in whatever form it takes for you is there with you, you get a chance to step out of your body (which is just a shell) and your energy/soul/light, however you wish to define yourself is free. Whatever pain or discomfort your mortal body might have experienced, is left behind and you are the energy that moves on. The irony is I don't remember how this information came to me, but I found it comforting. Hope I've helped you. Hugs, Iris

Posts: 706
Joined: Jul 2001

Hi Maggs:

I'm sorry to hear that your markers are increasing. Do keep in mind that these markers are still a somewhat new tool for the docs and they're just really learning how to use them. As explained to me by my doc, after I finished chemo and learned that checking them would be a routine part of my follow ups, she said: the tumor markers are not exact and we are just learning what they mean and how to use them as an evaluation tool. She further explained to me that things other than cancer can effect the numbers and that unless they get up there and remain up, only then do they begin to look for a reason, with further testing, etc.. If a person is having symptoms AND the markers are considerably up, then they begin looking for a reason immediately. She told me that often, no reason can be found, particularly when no specific symptoms accompany the rise. In other words, we can't yet hang our hats on the marker numbers alone. For whatever that's worth, I wanted to share it with you.

About dying: I think for most people, it's more a fear of the unknown. Notwithstanding whatever belief system we choose to live by, when it comes time to die, and if we have the time to contemplate it, none of us knows, for certain, what's out there or what happens to that "essence" of us...our souls or spirits, if you will. When we're relatively young and have not had a full life span, the very idea of dying seems a big cheat. An unfair thing to have happen. Perhaps we're not ready to say good bye to our loved ones and our lives here. Maybe we're not "finished" living or loving yet. But when we're older, maybe we are more accepting of this natural conclusion to our lives here? Less afraid of that unknown and more ready to say our good byes and let go. Maybe this isn't always related to "age" and the time we've spent here but there seems to be a connection.

We utilize such a tiny fraction of our brains in a conscious manner and so many times, it seems to be that our brains take over and save us extreme fear and anguish, when death is near or in any time of great emotional pain. Most of us have heard of someone, who is dying, actually having conversations with very dear ones who passed away years and years before. Many people attach a religious and/or spiritual reason to that happening. Much of science attaches other reasons. A scientific explanation is that when we are experiencing extreme stress, the emotional centers of our brain create or return to the more satisfying experiences of our lives and that can often involve someone we loved very deeply and dearly. A sort of "protective" mechanism. It makes sense to me that if we also have a particular religious/spiritual belief system, this also comes into play and may explain why some people who are dying may say that a particular loved one has "come for them", etc.. We're such complex creatures and it's absolutely overwhelming what our brains can do and create. Extreme grief/bereavement can also cause us to "see" our deceased loved one visiting us or bringing us messages and the like "from the other side" or we feel their presence strongly.
The reverse seems to happen too. When we lose someone dear or experience extreme emotional pain or shock, we can again suffer effects of all our previous losses and hurts in our lives as our emotions sort of tie it all together in some way.
Like people suffering PTSD or disassociative disorders, because it's just all too much and one event seems to sets it all in motion.

I have friends who are believers in traditional religions, eastern religions, agnostics and athiests. With this eclectic group, the subject of death comes up and we've had more than a few conversations on this subject. From that, it does seem that there is a direct relation to what one believes in and what one experiences at death. There is also a difference in how different belief systems effect one's preparation for death. The only thing I haven't decided for myself is whether or not it is preferable to know that death is coming or to have it come suddenly and unexpectedly. I think there are benefits and negatives to each.

I would say, today, that I am not afraid to die. Yet, if I had weeks or months advance notice, so to speak, would I remain unafraid? Would I live any differently, if I knew my time to die was within a certain time frame? Probably not as I live in a way that if I died tomorrow, there wouldn't be anything important left unsaid or undone. Yet I can't know for sure until I find myself in that position. The raw truth is that from the day we're born, our bodies are dying. Not unlike a vegetable garden plant, the seed becomes the plant, which grows in a certain, genetically prescribed fashion. It will likely thrive and produce fruit but not if fungus or certain other diseases attack. A spring hailstorm can kill the plant before it ever has the chance to bloom. Genetic and/or environmental factors can shorten the plants lifespan or it can thrive, survive and die a natural death with Fall's first frost, just as nature intended. I think we all want to live until our time of frost and so we have the surgeries, take the drugs, fortify ourselves with supplements, healthy diets and healthier lifestyles in an effort to live longer and live well. Yet, as survivors, we know better than many, that there are no guarantees. The tough part is in learning to live in a way that reflects that fact, without constant fears and worries which sap our strength and debilitate us emotionally. Again, the root of so much of our fear, seems to be the fear of dying. Those of us who have been through a lot of physical pain, side effects and complications, also have fears of experiencing that kind of pain again. That fear is well justified too! We are faced with so many questions and so many issues and the truth is that the answers can only be found inside ourselves. Only we can decide how long we want to fight, how far we're willing to go in order to continue living, what risks we're willing to take. Only we can decide when we're willing to say: OK, enough, I'm going out in my own way. No one else can make that decision for us. No one else should ever try.

As you said, Maggs, we're all going to die at some point. It's a natural conclusion to living. The only question is when. I think the majority of us though, tend to live our lives with little or no serious thought to our own dying, which places us in a bit of a fantasy mode of living. If we could think more often and deal more often with the fact that we're all going to die, we may live better and more completely. I agree with you that as a society, we don't discuss it well or often and mostly avoid the subject. Yet it is a very real and undeniable part of our living and I think its a good thing to acknowledge it and kick it around a bit. Yet we cannot develope a perspective if we do not think about it or talk about it openly and honestly.

A thing which happens sometimes is that some people who do know they are dying, have many regrets about this or that. I think that's probably the saddest thing of all. To die with regrets about one's living. Yet, if we talked more about it and got rid of some of our fears about it, perhaps we'd be less likely to have regrets about how we chose to live. Many will say they just didn't realize or know and that their lives seemed to go by so quickly or their children grew up while they were so busy with other things in life and they missed out on a lot, which suddenly seems important. Sort of a day late and a dollar short realization. I think I fear that kind of scenario more than I would ever fear dying. Yet if I went about my merry way with no thought to the fact that my lifetime is indeed limited, I'd likely end up with regrets when my time arrived. Seems logical to give some thought to the fact that death is indeed coming...through a fall down the stairs, on the highway, a sudden fatal heart attack, disease, illness, syndrome or condition (and less often, drowning,suicide or murder)and none of knows when it's coming or how painful or quiet the passing will be. Particularly, we don't know if we'll have time to say any goodbyes or have a second chance to try to repair any regrets we may have.
Better, to my way of thinking, to see to it that everyday is well lived in loving and giving and leaving no doubt in the minds of your loved ones that they matter a great deal to you. If it sneaks up on me, then I'm good to go, so to speak.
Not that I'd want to go, if given a choice, but I'd be OK in the knowledge that none of my life's stones had grown moss and that I did my best not to fiddle while Rome was burning.

It's a tremendous subject and one I think we could benefit from discussing more often and more thoroughly and I'm not uncomfortable talking about it here. As we strive to live better, it seems only natural to me that we also strive to find perspective about and a more conscious understanding of the fact that we're all going to die. To share our thoughts about it. Another way to support one another. I think it's great, Maggs, that you've opened a dialogue about it.
It has been said many times, that nothing is taboo here. So, amidst the sermons, our sharing of experiences, pain and gain, pain and disappointment, triumph and newly found strengths, we can also certainly share our thoughts and feelings about death and dying and perhaps benefit from it in the process.

Love, light and laughter,

Posts: 184
Joined: Aug 2002

Hey Ink, Maggs and Iris,
I think it is a good idea to talk about dying. I also agree that if I were to die, I would rather have it in my sleep or peacefully. I believe we do have Guardian Angels that are with us, even when we are going through anything devestating that will not make us die necessarily. It does raise some issues within yourself... I am like so many others am a walking miricle... I have been given a timeframe since being sick with C. I have lived through them all and to this day Drs and others still scratch their heads in disbelief.... They were so sure I would not make it even one more day.... Years later I still hear that my odds are not good at all, yet here I am....Still ticking.. I guess the Lord decides these things. I think the hardest part is when a dearly loved one dies. I still miss my Mother. When she first died I had such a rough time that I wound up having a nervous brakdown...I was working constantly and when I had free time I would let it just tear me up inside. One day I just cracked up at work and don't remember everything that happened that day.
I can now put it in a perspective that just feels right to me. I know that she is with the Lord, and in good company... She was very ill and she kept on living so I took it for granted that Mom would always be there... It took me years to let her go afterwords. I find myself looking at all the good memories, instead of selfishly only seeing or asking the ever popular question of Why me? I am not looking or wishing I will die,Yet it is a reality.To die fighting the good fight and to be there for others. My family do not like to talk about death at all. So I don't really share a lot about it with them. I just want them as well as friends to not allow my death to tear them up inside as I did with my Mom, and a lot of very dear friends. I believe the Lord calls us home when He is ready. I also believe that while still living we have a Devine Purpose. It is to glorify Jesus. Granted, I am still human and will still act out of my flesh in addition to at weak moments fall prey to the enemy....
I try not to let that happen, but I believe in my heart that as long as I strive to be a good Christian that those moments are few and far between. As far as having a definate time frame, would I live life diffently ? Yes I believe I would try to make ammends to those I have a hard time dealing with now. I would try harder then I am at this present moment. Sometimes turning the other cheek is so hard and I am not good at that at all.... I am still not sure of the Lord's will for me or WWJD. I know that as long as I try to stay close to Him, well that is definately a part of His will. In the bible the Lord says He knew us before we were even conceived. All the hairs on our heads before we were even a thought to parents... I hate to hear that this chid or that one is the result of a accident. I have heard that so many times in referance to children and people even chuckle over it. We went on a vacation and brought back more than just a suntan.... I don't know why that bothers me so much at times. I have a friend that has a beutifall child and even the child will tell me she was a accident.... What a discusting way to raise a child, by telling them such a thing. At least it is in my book.... I just have to believe that I need to live each day as if it were my last one. This is the day that the Lord has made.... tomorrow is not promised and yesterday is gone.... So what I am saying is that for me I live this way most of the time, though sometimes I don't exactly succeed and fail miserably. It is the fact that we get up and move on... Like Jesus said to pick up our cross and follow Him... I am not perfect in any way, and would be the first to admit that. Yet I try,and sometimes have to look outside myself to see myself. Any way I wish only the best for all of us... I pray to the Lord and I don't ask or do it for myself as much as for others that I deeply care for... I always do this everytime I pray... I learned the lesson a long time ago to be carefull what I pray for.
I can't use the computer as much as I would like,while my sister is still in her job transition. I miss you guys and would like to be more active. I will only have odd hours in order to post or email. I do believe she will be going to start her new job soon, but can't be sure... I keep you guys in my heart and definately my prayers.......Be Blessed with all the Lord's Love Peace...................Love Cathy

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

Hey Maggs, your message touched me and, yes, we should talk about death. I am not afraid to die because I have come to know God much more deeply since having breast cancer. We all fear suffering but to fear death is silly; it will be just like being born, a good experience. Our Guardian Angels will draw close to us at the end and perhaps we will be able to see them again, as we did when we were young. We will close our eyes, breath our last and when we open them, we will see God. Won't that be fabulous? To actually see the maker of the universe and get a hug from him.
If you doubt, just close your eyes and ask God to prove he is real to you and then be prepared for something wonderful and amazing to happen.

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