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A final farewell

ron50
ron50 Member Posts: 1,723
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
It is not just cancer that sucks. I am going to see an old fishing mate this afternoon. I have known Ray for thirty five years. I am probably one of the only true friends he had. He is a vietnam vet and has had major depression problems for many years. There was nothing much I could do about that except to be there when he wanted to vent. The wide open sea is a great place for that. For the last twenty five years he has had dreadful health. He has had several heart attacks, two strokes, six bypasses,six stents since bypass,he is diabetic(insulin dependant),his heart is down to 32 percnt capacity.
I don't know how he survives he is only 64. I always jokingly tell him that when the bomb goes off he will be pushing the cockroaches out of the way to get out of the rubble.
I spoke to him on the phone last night. I could hardly understand him around the oxygen mask. His kidneys are barely functioning and they are draining 5 litres of fluid a week from his stomach. It will be a sad visit ,I doubt if he will see the new year.It is a life experience I can do without,,,,watching friends die,,I just wish I didn't have so much experience at doing it......Ron:(

Comments

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,708 **
    Sad
    So sad but you are a true friend for being there for him and just letting him talk when he needed to. He gave much to this country and it's sad how some of the vets end up. His life was made better by just knowing you.

    Kim
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  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364
    Dear Ron
    What a wonderful friend you are to put your own feelings on the line to give comfort to your buddy.

    I am sure your presence will give him some ease.

    Take care. We are here for you when you get back.

    Hugs,

    Marie who loves kitties
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392
    The Last Visit
    Ron,

    G'day to you.

    Jennie and I had the opportunity to visit a dying friend a couple of months ago - he was Eric38 here on the board. We both knew Eric a little over a year and some change, but we did have a few life moments during that time. Eric came to see me in the hospital and I saw him when he was in the hospital. When Jenny came down we met at the hotel and had dinner and a lovely evening...and we shared on the board via phone and email, as well.

    It was extremely hard to see our friend confined to a bed, and in and out of consciousness, due to the heavy medicaton that hospice had him on. It's an image that will never leave me - I suspect the same could be said for Jennie too.

    On one hand, it was hard to see what Cancer had done to another human life - on the other hand, I was glad that we got the opportunity to see hime one last time and have that final visit...I knew that would be the last time we ever saw him again - it was very sad and hurtful.

    I believe in my heart though, that Eric "held on" until he could see Jennie one last time...he passed away a few days after our visit.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is I have some empathy for what you're about to do and what you will experience. I know it won't be easy, but you'll be glad that you took this opportunity, painful as it might be, to honor an old friend and be there one more time.

    Best Wishes!

    -Craig
  • AnneCan
    AnneCan Member Posts: 3,673
    :( Tough visit
    Hi Ron,

    I am sorry this has happened to your friend. A tough visit such as this, in my opinion, can be one of the most important things we do. You are a true friend, + you are showing your friend that you care when he needs it the most. I don't think you can give him a better gift.
  • coolvdub
    coolvdub Member Posts: 408
    Sundanceh said:

    The Last Visit
    Ron,

    G'day to you.

    Jennie and I had the opportunity to visit a dying friend a couple of months ago - he was Eric38 here on the board. We both knew Eric a little over a year and some change, but we did have a few life moments during that time. Eric came to see me in the hospital and I saw him when he was in the hospital. When Jenny came down we met at the hotel and had dinner and a lovely evening...and we shared on the board via phone and email, as well.

    It was extremely hard to see our friend confined to a bed, and in and out of consciousness, due to the heavy medicaton that hospice had him on. It's an image that will never leave me - I suspect the same could be said for Jennie too.

    On one hand, it was hard to see what Cancer had done to another human life - on the other hand, I was glad that we got the opportunity to see hime one last time and have that final visit...I knew that would be the last time we ever saw him again - it was very sad and hurtful.

    I believe in my heart though, that Eric "held on" until he could see Jennie one last time...he passed away a few days after our visit.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is I have some empathy for what you're about to do and what you will experience. I know it won't be easy, but you'll be glad that you took this opportunity, painful as it might be, to honor an old friend and be there one more time.

    Best Wishes!

    -Craig

    You are a true friend
    Ron,

    As hard as it is, you are being a true friend and that's what counts. I remember a few years back my good friend Lee was struggling with Esophageal cancer. It truly was hearbreaking to watch him decline. I just treated him like I always did, the thing is what else can you do? One of the memories I have is Lee asking me to take him out for a burger. Now Lee at this point couldn't even swallow milk, he said I know I can't eat it but I just want to chew it and have that taste in my mouth one last time. I know it sounds weird, but it's what he wanted and got. He passed a short time later, but I still smile knowing I was able to do such a small thing for him that meant so much. enjoy the time you have left with a dear friend, it will be a cherished memory. Happy Holidays to you and your pal.

    Don
  • geotina
    geotina Member Posts: 2,111
    Ron:
    I understand the pain you are feeling. This week George and I lost a friend (just turned 60), to pancreatic cancer, from diagnosis to death 5 months. He had retired from General Motors a couple years ago, had a pretty good pension, lifetime medical, and was so enjoying life and now he is gone. Five weeks ago he told the doctors he was taking a short break from treatment, took his wife on that long promised cruise, they had a most wonderful trip, came home, bad scan, hospice and gone 2 weeks later.

    Hugs to you - Tina
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
    It's a pair....
    When we say 'hello' to someone, and take them to our heart, we must also steel ourselves to say 'goodbye' with the same love and affection.

    Dear sweet Ron...I know it's hard...but I also know you are a tender and loving person, and a great loyal friend. He is more than likely frightened...and needs his old buddy...

    I can't make it easier for you, except to say that when you see him, replace what he looks like now, lying in bed, with the friend that just caught a big fish, smiling from ear to ear.

    Hugs, Kathi
  • AnneCan
    AnneCan Member Posts: 3,673
    geotina said:

    Ron:
    I understand the pain you are feeling. This week George and I lost a friend (just turned 60), to pancreatic cancer, from diagnosis to death 5 months. He had retired from General Motors a couple years ago, had a pretty good pension, lifetime medical, and was so enjoying life and now he is gone. Five weeks ago he told the doctors he was taking a short break from treatment, took his wife on that long promised cruise, they had a most wonderful trip, came home, bad scan, hospice and gone 2 weeks later.

    Hugs to you - Tina

    Tina
    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend.
  • idlehunters
    idlehunters Member Posts: 1,787
    KathiM said:

    It's a pair....
    When we say 'hello' to someone, and take them to our heart, we must also steel ourselves to say 'goodbye' with the same love and affection.

    Dear sweet Ron...I know it's hard...but I also know you are a tender and loving person, and a great loyal friend. He is more than likely frightened...and needs his old buddy...

    I can't make it easier for you, except to say that when you see him, replace what he looks like now, lying in bed, with the friend that just caught a big fish, smiling from ear to ear.

    Hugs, Kathi

    Hey Ron...
    I just read your post....and it immediately brought memories back to me with Eric38. Then I read down and seen Craig had commented about that very subject. I gotta tell ya.... I am crying like a baby. Not because I am sad but because Craig hit it straight on. He said what is in my heart. I too felt Eric held on...just for me...he knew I was coming. I needed that closure.... I needed to say goodbye. I needed to see my buddy one more time. I did not know Eric anywhere near the time you have known your friend but he was dear to my heart all the same. I am so glad I made that "final farewell" and will cherish that time always. Craig.... I love you my friend for being my rock thru all that. Ron, you are a terrific BEST friend and even though this will be a hard and sad journey for you... it is one well worth taking. I will keep you both in my prayers. Take care

    Jennie
  • lesvanb
    lesvanb Member Posts: 905
    (((hugs)) Ron
    Blessings for you and for your friend Ray.

    love, Leslie
  • christinecarl
    christinecarl Member Posts: 543
    I am sorry Ron, it reminds
    I am sorry Ron, it reminds me of the 2nd thing I said when I found out I had cancer, "Well at least I will get to see my mom soon" Your friend will be waiting for you when it is your time to cross over. I am sorry, a good friend is hard to find.
  • Kathleen808
    Kathleen808 Member Posts: 2,342
    Ron
    Ron,

    Thinking about you and Ray. It sounds like you two had some good fishing together. You're in my positive thoughts and prayers.

    Aloha,
    Kathleen
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
    Ron, how are you today?
    You were on my mind all day...

    Hugs, Kathi
  • pete43lost_at_sea
    pete43lost_at_sea Member Posts: 3,900
    just give him a hug and a kiss and hold his hand
    hi ron,
    your friendship over the years is what's special.
    maybe words and talk will be awkward, just your presence is enough to touch a heart.
    dieing alone would hard. I pray for you and your mate. Our love is the greatest gift we have.
    pete
  • ron50
    ron50 Member Posts: 1,723

    just give him a hug and a kiss and hold his hand
    hi ron,
    your friendship over the years is what's special.
    maybe words and talk will be awkward, just your presence is enough to touch a heart.
    dieing alone would hard. I pray for you and your mate. Our love is the greatest gift we have.
    pete

    Thanks Guys and girls
    I spent some quality time with Ray yesterday. He is a bit worse than I expected.Hardly recognisable in body or personality. He has at least ten ulcers that wont heal and the punctures where his stomach has been drained are all still leaking,his poor body just can't heal any more. I am lucky that I have inherited one of my Dads best traits...Acceptance...He never let death touch him,he just accepted it as part of life. I was there for both my parents when they died and saw at least two of my chemo mates the day they died. It is selfish not to be there. I remember Tom he was only 44 when he died ,I asked if he minded me visiting and he just said mate I need friends now more than I ever have. I said goodbye To Ray but I will see him again next week if we both get the chance. Just as I was leaving his old personality sparked thru and he proclaimed that docs were A holes because they took his license off him. Merry christmas it's christmas eve here in Oz. Ron.
  • HollyID
    HollyID Member Posts: 946
    Ron,
    Many blessings to you for helping your friend. I don't know if I have to oomph to do that. I admire you so much for your courage. Love you my friend. You're one in a million.
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,036
    So sorry
    Oh, Ron.

    I'm sorry. I am just now reading this. That's very sad.

    *hugs*
    Gail
  • tootsie1 said:

    So sorry
    Oh, Ron.

    I'm sorry. I am just now reading this. That's very sad.

    *hugs*
    Gail

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