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Death

Sonia32's picture
Sonia32
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

Morbid topic of conversation l know.But l just thought of it ln the car as l was coming back from my alternative theraphy appointment that my hospital organised. Just wondering if lts just me or has anyone else gone through this. You think if you have an office christmas party to go to would that be your last one for example. Do you plan for next year etc or lnto the future? I know I take each day as it comes and thank the Iord for it. lf death comes into my mind l will automatically try & think positively & shake it off. l know this subject is more for the surviving cargivers forum but l think it applies to us as well. My question I think is or what l am trying to say how do we all cope in trying to shake the feeling off when lt pops into our minds. hugs feeling the ying and yang thanks to my alternative theraphy session sonia

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Sonia,

Yes, the thoughts do pop into my head every now and then. It definitely did more in the first year I fought this than recently. It did again when I had my recent recurrence, but then I just pushed on and got past that. I was surprised when it hit me just Saturday again. I got a textmessage from my 13 yr old daughter on her way home from a theme park with our church youth group (they had been at Six Flags all day and we were waiting to hear when to go pick her up from the church parking lot). Anyway, she tagged onto her textmsg about when to pick her up "BTW- I just heard Mr. Alvarez died today". Mr. Alvarez is a teacher at the local elementary school who was diagnosed with colon cancer three years ago. My kids never had him, so I didn't know him well or anything, just knew of him and had seen him walking around on campus. Even though I didn't know him, reading that text was like a punch in my guts. I thought- wow, he was diagnosed one year before I was- does that mean it's going to be my turn to go in another year?" I couldn't stop the tears. I think that's probably a pretty normal reaction, but yet I know of course, of so many other people who have survived so much longer while stage IV & so I snapped myself back into a better and more positive mood after about 15 or 20 minutes of sadness.
This is just the hand we were dealt with when we were diagnosed- the cross we have to bear- is another way to put it, I guess. We've GOT to focus on the positive- people who are more positive do better healthwise- it's a fact!

Take care & a big hug to you,
Lisa

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

...I been thinking of death alot even as a kid, there's always some kind of wonderment in it, some kind of fascination, with me, as to what is there, in the unknown, but I know there is SOMETHING. I grew up as a Catholic, and still believe in the Creator, and Jesus, but when thoughts of death come popping up in my head, I think, heck, this disease may not even take me, I could die tomorrow in a car accident, or a heart attack in the shower, and I Just hope it's just not on the toilet is all!!!

There have been too many things for me to think nothing happens, but I always shake it off as this disease may want to last, but even a schoolbus can run me over! a killer may shoot me, no one really knows how they are going to die, even the one with diseases, how do we know this may be the death of us, maybe something else will get us first, you just never know, and then I laugh and smile it away shaking my head to just discharge the death feelings :)

It's a great subject to talk about, fears and everything, nothing is taboo here :)

Hugsss!
~Donna

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Sonia

There's an old famous line from Nike - "JUST DO IT"

Yes, when I first got started 5+ years ago, I had contemplated Death - in fact if you want to read about it, go to my Expressions and read "Personal Reflections - 1 Year Later." I talk about how I was facing up to the possibilities of the UNKNOWN (at that time of my life).

Now having been through this for so many years, I don't think about it anymore, because I don't feel like I am there just yet - it takes awhile for any of us to check out. We did not get here overnight - and we're not leaving overnight!

Jennie had something along these lines back on July 4th - and I'll tell you what I told her...if this was the "LAST" of anything that you did, then make it a GREAT ONE!!!

Worrying that this is it, only ROBS you off the good times that you have - when the thought comes, you simply go and do something else and clear your mind.

And honestly, Sonia, as your Bro, I won't hear of it! It's nowhere your time yet - you're supposed to show me London and all the sights, right? I just need my Visa and some $$$ and I'm heading your way as soon as we get it all worked out.

I've already LOST my sister, and I'll be damned if I'm losing you too! Just not going to happen - you've got too many things ahead of you.

Just when the dark times come, don't dwell on it - I think all of us will know one day if that time is coming to us - and this group of people, none of us QUALIFY right now.

As Phil has said, we might get hit by a bus or struck by lightning, but we're not going down to Cancer - NO WAY!

Your Bro loves you - I am here for you to comfort you in your darkest hours - you get a list together of all the places that we're going to go and see, OK?

-Craig

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4906
Joined: May 2005

That's how I see it. I try to treat things like it could be the last time I do anything. I'm not always able to do it, I've lost my edge in a way and gotten used to living with cancer so at the present time I don't think of dying from cancer often. Craig took my line, which he credited to me, but we don't know when "it's" coming. It could be on my way home from work. This could be my last post. I don't dwell on it, it's not an issue for me. Face it, like it or not we are all going to die. Birth has a horrible prognosis as someone else on this board once said. At first I would think that this could be my last birthday, or the last birthday of my kids that I'll see but I've been dealing with this over 5 1/2 years so it looks like dwelling on that is not doing me any good at all.
So, to try to answer your question about how I cope with trying to shake the feeling off is to try (and it's not always easy) to treat everything like it could be the last time you experience it. I tend to live life a little better I think.
-phil

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

I am impressed that Craig remembers the 4th of July dilemma that I faced then. It is much like you are describing..... all I could do is wonder if there would be another and it ruined the one I was having. Many commented on that and set me straight. LIVE for today. You were born to die. Never knowing when or how your whole life.... so don't let this make it the deciding factor that this is how you are going down. Only the man upstairs knows that.

Peace

Jennie :)

snommintj's picture
snommintj
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

A few months back I had a severe infection. I went into septic shock and things got very bad for me. I struggled to breathe and live for many days. Finally the doctors told my family I probably wouldn't make it through the night and I had had enough. I said my good byes and gave up on breathing. I truly believed I was breathing my last breath. I woke up some days later, machines had been breathing for me, the infection was clearing up a bit and I had renewed life. Here's the thing. The dying part wasn't that bad. I made peace with it and let it happen. I never physically died but when I closed my eyes and took my final breath I was ready. It was the briefest of moments and truly had zero impact. The living and the suffering is far more taxing than the dying. When I opened my eye and saw what was going on I didn't feel any relief that I was still alive, for many days and weeks I wanted to re-die. Now I never stress on dying. I can't deny that the suffering weighs heavy on my mind. Not so much for me but for my family. I've let go before and will do so again, I just can't bear to see what it's going to do to my family again.

karguy's picture
karguy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

I think it is normal to think about death after you find out you have cancer,even after you go thru the treatments.I've had 4 brothers die,1 two months before I was dx with colon cancer,he had pancreatic cancer.I also had 2 aunts,1 uncle die,and many others.I used to wonder if I was still going to be around in an other year.I finally decided I still had a lot of things to do,and to finish,so I decided I'm not going to die untill I'm finished,no matter what.I'm just making plans for future projects I want to do.God bless,and don"t give up no matter what. You still have a long way to go,and a full life ahead of you.

dianetavegia's picture
dianetavegia
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

User32 bumped up a lot of very old threads and I read some of them, then I looked at the profiles on some interesting people. It was very obvious that many of them are no longer 'here'.

One very interesting fella said in his information 'crc has a five year survival rate of ZERO'. That really bothered me.

I'm not afraid of death. I am concerned about suffering and being a burden.

Diane

just4Brooks's picture
just4Brooks
Posts: 988
Joined: Jun 2009

Well, I dont know about anyone else but I dont think that's true. A lot of very old information is out there. I'm sure many out here have more then 5 years. Lets hear from them

coolvdub's picture
coolvdub
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2009

Sonia,

It does pop into my head from time to time. What I do is try not to dwell on it. I mean when you get a cancer DX it makes you take time to think about what most of us have avoided until we found out. I myself am not ready to go, I have to many things to do and see yet. But if it happens, I'm okay with it.

The hard thing is those you leave behind. I have told my wife if it happens that it is okay. I want Sheri to be happy as well as my four kids. Fortunately, the kids are all grown at this point and 3 are on their own. My son Steven is back at home for a while, and I'm really glad he is. We spent most of the weekend doing stuff together and it was the best.

I think it does help to plan for the future. I used to be a workaholic, never again. I will take a real vacation every year. And i'm finally ggoing to get my old pick-up truck restored, well at least start on it. These may seem trivial to some, but I simply just can't leave this world until my work is done. Good thing I have a lot of work to do still.

Don

Sonia32's picture
Sonia32
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

again love you guys as always. l have realised why l posted this topic.firstly its for anyone lurking who ls new and to let them know thinking about this taboo subject is ok. secondly not to let this beast get us down thats why if lts pops lnto your head its good to think of positive things asap so as not to let it get you down.thirdly those who are not in the c club automatically think we are goners especially at later stages but so many of you have proud them wrong!plus as some have said you could get hit by a bus tomorrow or get killed by food poisoning especially if l cook lol also big bro l am not going anywhere l have so much to give back yet as l always say to the man above.but l just wanted to know how others felt about this taboo topic hugs to you all

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

This is a subject that I have done a lot of thinking,crying,thinking,crying again then finally the last 6 months have come to terms with it. I use to stay awake at night wondering how my kids were going to make it without there dad...How was my wife going to get by ....OK heres the scoop....there are millions of kids in this world without moms or dads and they smile,laugh,and they are fine. I lost my father and I am fine, I will lose my mom someday and even though it will hurt I will be fine. No one wants to die, but having the satisfaction embedded in your mind that whatever your beliefs on afterlife or not, your family will be fine given time. All people in the world will go through the same as you,I,my wife, your husband,etc. My only hope is that I go before my kids, that is the way it should be. Death is the ending of a life lived to the fullest, or at least it should be. I have my own thoughts about what will happen to me after death but those are my thoughts and we will leave that for the Spiritual thread...I have as you 2 choices in the matter of death....I can obsess over it and let it consume me or I can simply tell and reaffirm myself that it is a part of life that I don't look forward to, but also am not afraid of.....Shoot, thats when I'll get my best rest..LOL...Sonia>>>> live,love, and laugh, we'll worry about dying tomorrow.........{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}......Clift

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

My husband often talks about my strength, call it strength call it whatever. I am going to go one day and hopefully later the sooner but can't waste my time thinking about it. My kids are prepared for the worst because I wanted them to face it now, while I was here. They will be hurt when that day comes but for now, they know we have a great life and everyday that we have together will be special because we have connected more the ever.........

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Thank you for opening this thread. Personally I think it is healthy and helpful to have death in the conversation. It remains the "un-named dread and fear" otherwise. The shadow and darkness are only empowered when they are denied! As you said... it can be a taboo, but as you open this question the taboo is lifted. The elephant is named! Freedom is found.

Death is something that those living with cancer have a lot of wisdom and insight to share about. It is pretty hard not to be living with a stage 4 diagnosis (or really any stage) and not be thinking about death sometime. If we make this a positive engagement it can help us to realize the deep riches that are inherently a part of being more aware of our own mortality. A mortality which ultimately is no different from anyone elses! It could just as well be that car tomorrow after all! It is the "awareness" of our mortality that can make the difference. "You haven't really LIVED until you have nearly DIED!"

Thank you Clift for your looking it straight in the eye! And seeing that yes, with good support and an openess towards death, our loved ones can survive too. (I like also that you shared that it took a bit of a path to get there!)

And Donna... yes! Wonderment, fascination... the ultimate mystery!

Adrian and I have been having this conversation via private message. It is good to see it here. The thread that Phil started a few months ago on life-after-death on the Spirituality Board was a rich conversation on where many folks are at on their own understandings of death. It shows that while we may not always be speaking of it, we are thinking of it, and have diverse wisdom to share. It is nice to have a safe place to be open about this.

I think it would be morbid to dwell on death, to live in perpetual fear of it, or to let it have power over us. But to reflect on death and to prepare in ones own way for that journey... it can be life-giving.

Live long and prosper... Rob; in Van

"Life is short, and we do not have long to gladden the hearts of those who walk the way with us. So let us be quick to love. And let us make haste to show kindness."
Henri-Frederic Amiel

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