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christeleb's picture
Posts: 60
Joined: Apr 2007

Dear friends,

Lately, I've been having these thoughts where I'm about to buy something and suddenly I feel like maybe I should not make the purchase because i'm wondering how long I have left on this earth and how long I would be using/enjoying it. It just happened last week as i was about to buy a new rug for our master bath...it was not a huge expense but I could not help feeling that way.

The whole cancer thing is rather new since I was diagnosed stage IV in April. I'm wondering how do you all deal with it? I mean I've been feeling great, working full time, full time mom of a 1 year old, my CEA is down to 4, etc, etc....

For those of you that have been living with cancer for a while, how do you manage? do you make plans, buy stuff as if cancer was not part of your daily life? There are so many things we want to do as we bought our condo in Sept 06.

I would love to hear your thoughts as I'm a little lost.



Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Christele, my dad felt the same way when he was diagnosed. My mom would buy him pants and he would say why are you buying me those for I dont need them. I told him you cant think like that because you never know what day is your last day. You have to live day by day. I told him I could think like that to because who knows I could get hit by a bus on the way home. So you just need to live day by day and buy whatever you want and try not to think will you be here next week because no one knows when there last day is. Keep the faith. Mindy

Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2006

Hi Christele, my name is Mary. I haven't posted here in a long time, but I come to read often. I was diagnosed Stage 3 in March of 06, went thru chemo, and unfortunalty, liver mets were found in March of 07. So I am now Stage 4. About looking at the future, it's hard sometimes. I try to just live in the now. In fact, a month or so back, I went thru my closet and got rid of everything that I hadn't worn for a while....(good it do anyway, even if you don't have cancer!)Now, I just buy a few things as I need them, for the NOW. It's true, nobody has the power to know when they will die, but as long as you're breathing, you're alive. Do what you can when you can. Buy that rug! Your condo needs it! It will make you happy, and that will make you feel a little better! About that "hit by a bus" thing....I always think that it's not the same, because you're not thinking about that happening months before it happens. Not as scary as Cancer. But, live good, be happy, and tell everyone that you love that you love them, every day! Try not to project too much into the future, hard to do, I know, but it does help. And as time goes by, you'll find that you'll be thinking about it less. Hang in there, I'll be sending good vibes your way. :-)


Posts: 90
Joined: Jan 2007

Enjoy every day. It's not easy, but anything else would be existing and not living. You are living for yourself and your family. So enjoy every moment, buy the rug, energize yourself with the little accomplishments that life has to offer.

I was diagnosed almost a year ago now. It took me quite awhile to get my wife to realize that I was still going to plan vacations this summer with our kids and do all that I'm physically capable of. Don't let a diagnosis rob you of time.

Go make some memories with your family.

best wishes.

Monicaemilia's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Christele: I agree with everyone else. In November 05 I was dx with Stage IV to liver and it then went to lungs. I did the same as you, worrying about spending money when I may not need these things much longer,and then I realized that I was slowly stopping to live before I had to. The things is, you never know what life is going to hand you. I am now NED, after 1 1-2 years of being told that it would never happen. Enjoy life, live every day as if it were your last. It is just good advice for everyone, with or without cancer. Monica

christeleb's picture
Posts: 60
Joined: Apr 2007

Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

I just love this website and all of you guys! You have no idea how much comfort you are giving me (no I think you know because you've been through this already). This is the kind of subject that is almost impossible to discuss with someone who has not been diagnosed with cancer.

I will go ahead with my shopping plans, but I will try to take it easy on my credit card...


Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Christele -
First of all - buy the rug!

I think most of us can understand how you feel. But you should go out and live. I have never understood why so many of us feel this way. For example, an alternative might be - "hey I better buy what I want so I can enjoy it now". But none of us seem to think this way for the most part.

It's trite, but take it one day at a time. If you want a new rug for your condo bathroom, go ahead and buy it (remember, buying a new bathroom rug is not the same as blowing your life's savings.) You'll enjoy it and enjoying life makes you feel better. Remember, even with Stage IV CRC, you can have a future. 27 months ago I wasn't sure I would live very long - next Monday is my 58th birthday, and while that has issues associated with it, it is MUCH better than the alternative!

So, buy the rug, hug the 1 year old and plan for the future,

Take care,

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

I meant to add that it does get easier with time, but I don;t think these weird thoughts ever go away completely. We are always living with that "sword" hanging over our heads, but as time goes on you'll be able to forget about the sword and both enjoy the present and plan for the future.


apache4's picture
Posts: 272
Joined: Jul 2007

I understand how you feel. I was diagnosed Stage IV a year ago and have these kinds of thoughts often. I have found that whenever I think that way I just get upset so, it just adds to the stress. Not such a good idea. As an alternative, I keep thinking of the future as normal and that does help. Right now, I am looking at moving from Tx. to FL. as my son and his family have to move due to a career move. My plan is to also move! (Otherwise, I would be here without any family members :() This might take six months, but it surely is taking my mind off the other stuff. Along with that, focus on making the most of every day by shedding unnecessary burdens or commitments. Now is not the time to be superwoman...do only those things that you love.

alta29's picture
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

you havent hear my story ? I would not even buy undies....then I learned how good it feels when I shop....actually, I believe I will have to go soon to a shopholic place ( no kidding ! ) cause now I want to buy everything I see...you will feel better soon...we all go tru this....I have been fighting Cancer for almost 3 years now...actually, today is my birthday and I thank God for that... ( stage IV ) now NED..
God bless

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

I think all of us "long term survivors" have had those feelings. For me it had to do with making plans for vacations. My psychiatrist told me to go ahead and plan the trips. That's what travel insurance is for. Worst case scenario, you might have to change your plans. So far I haven't had to cancel any!
It is true, it does get a little better with time, but I will say, it doesn't happen overnight. Just make plans for like a couple weeks from now, then you can progress to making plans a few months in advance, then next year, etc.
I hope that helps,
Susan H.

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Oh yeah, a couple more words of wisdom.
Someone told me to stop thinking like a patient and start thinking like a SURVIVOR.
Also, change "What if I die" to "What if I live?".....

jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

I felt the same way for a long time not wanting to plan for more that a few weeks at a time.
My advise is that if you find the rug 1/2 price, buy 2 of them. Enjoy the life you have. Let others worry about what to do with the rug/s when you're gone someday. Who knows, maybe it will be all worn out by then.
Jo Ann

KierstenRx's picture
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

I had those exact same thoughts last winter and sometimes still do. I was shopping with my husband and didn't want to buy new dishtowels and potholders because I figured why bother. It really upset him. The longer I have gone though the easier it has become. I am starting to do things to the house (paint, bought new coffee tables). I can't let cancer dictate my life. Who knows when it will be our time to go. Every day people die in car accidents, etc and I know they didn't expect that day to be their last. I try to remember that and live each day.


Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Christeleb
Wow, have not thought of it that way, spending I has come to easy, if I have it to spend. lol. Been living in the now sense Nov. 9, 07 with stage four NSCLC, I'm 53 and want and plan on seeing my grand kids some day and My boys (in their 20's) don't have girl friends yet, so I've still got time to kill. Been a lot of adjusting over these past months and things are getting better slowly.
I'm enjoying people a lot more, mt Dad, Brothers and Sisters, friends that care and feel sorry for people who stay away because I have cancer. So enjoy your self in what ever you do, and try to help people when you can, people have sure been helping me, and after a while I start feeling a bit selfish.
God Bless

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