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Facing Death - Awkward!

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Hi Everyone,

Years ago, I had discussions with others about whether or not I would ever want to know if I was going to die. I didn't think I could handle it but now I know I can. It is a difficult and weird feeling but I am also very glad that I have the opportunity to do some things I want to do and get things in order. I feel so strange knowing that I will live less than a year (although no one really knows the exact time when they are going to die). Talk about looking at things differently after a diagnosis... whew! Just overwhelming sometimes.

I have been thinning out the house which has made me very happy. It makes a difference to live with fewer things around me - a good difference. However, there are still items I am not ready to ditch. I have heard it said that we only rent things on earth. True. It is only stuff and we can't take it with us.

I wish there was a manual on how to die. Maybe there is. I am doing the best I know how to do but I still feel there are certain things I could do but do not have a handle on it. I have made funeral arrangements and combined things for my husband so that he will have an easier way of dealing with loose ends.

Random thoughts and questions. Which charities are the best? Should I plan to stay home at the end or move into a Hospice organization? What can I do to help others before and at the end? How do I continue to live and still sit out this wait?

I have told my husband that I want him to be happy when I am gone. He has been so good to me that I only want him to begin a new chapter in his life and find a loving companion and be happy in the days ahead.

I think it would be easier if I could talk to someone who has died. Wouldn't that be terrific? Just kidding. Friends, I hope you all will forgive me for rattling on with ridiculous thoughts. I don’t know if it is chemo brain or the pain meds. But I am living now and laughing and enjoying the beautiful sunshine.

Everyday we wake up is a gift! Any comments are more than welcome.

Lizzy

jjaj133's picture
jjaj133
Posts: 869
Joined: Mar 2011

Lizzy, I just saw your post and my heart is so sad. I really believe that when each phase starts you will know what you want.A friend of mine who recently passed, dashed around completing her bucket list. Then she gave someone music to be played in hospice. she said she wanted the end to be lovely. So, Lizzy, you will know what you need when the time comes. in the meantime, keep enjoying each day to the fullest.
Know that we are all sending heartfelt prayers and that you have touched all of our hearts.
Love and prayers,
Judy

flyguide
Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi Lizzy
What a wonderful post..I do not know you but I sure admire you..i hope to have your courage when my time is near..you are a true inspiration..keep squeezing every day..thanks..sean

tko683
Posts: 265
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Lizzy, I just read this article on-line about this diabetes medication that is cheap, readily available in pill form and has been shown to be effective in shrinking tumors for those with pancreatic cancer and other cancers. You should ask your doctor about this to see if it might be something you could try. I don't know about the side effects or anything but maybe you doctor will be able to give you some advice. Hope you are doing okay. Hugs, Teri

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Hi Teri,

Thanks for thinking of me and bringing this to my attention. Some of the Pancreatic Patients have jumped on it and commented on the "List Serve". I appreciate you letting me know.

Hugs,
Lizzy

lostmyheart's picture
lostmyheart
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2012

Hi Lizzy. God Bless You! I am brand new to this ; my husband and I were in an 18month battle with colon cancer that spread to his bladder until he passed away 25 days ago. I just felt I had to respond to you if only to say your thoughts are in no way ridiculous--in fact, they just show how much you care about others.

My husband chose to stay home (on hospice) and that is where he died. As the patient, I say you choose what makes you most comfortable (home, hospital, or hospice in-house unit),-but as the caregiver (thinking of your husband), if you stay home I would hope that you guys have alot of around the clock help--it is essential towards the end.

As my husbands only caregiver, I learned alot during all of this and the first suggestion I would make is to research & find the best Hospice agency in your area. I learned that some offer alot more than others & they will be very important to both you and your husband.

I believe what you can do to help others is to share your wonderful attitude with them--in my opinion, there is no better gift you can give to loved ones than to let them know you are at peace with whats happening to you.. and getting everything organized is also going to be a great gift to your husband. What about St. Judes Hospital for Children as a charity? Just a thought. And finally, how do you continue to live while you are waiting to die...(sorry if that sounds cold, I dont mean it to be!) but that was our biggest struggle. Cancer took over our lives the last 8 months or so and I wish I would have figured out how to "live" while we went through it. We just 'existed', if that makes any sense, and did what we needed to do just to get through it....but I pray that you keep laughing and enjoying the beauty of each day . Best of luck to you Lizzy, and to your family.

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Hi Lostmyheart,

I am so sorry about the loss of your husband. I can tell how much you loved him. He was so lucky to have you with him. I am sure that he appreciated you, your love and the help you gave him more than he could ever tell you.

Thank you for taking the time to post. Your information is especially helpful to me. I will read it and re-read it.

Luckily, my husband is still working. Although he is overwhelmed with work, I believe it keeps him occupied. We also try to get out of the house often. We shop, go out to eat, and even go to plays. I know I can come right home and rest if needed. It is working out for us so far.

Every day is a gift and if I can be encouraging to someone along the way, it makes my day even better.

Hugs,
Lizzy

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6694
Joined: Feb 2009

I've seen this post come to the top and wanted to let you know you are always in my thougts and prayers and I'm wishing and praying for the best for you. You are a always a delight to see on this board. I'm glad to see you posting.

Hugs! Kim

clever_user_name
Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2012

Lizzy, thanks for the post you directed to Blake. Kathy will read it to him, along with the others. It meant a lot to me because I had already read this post, and felt I knew you a little bit. The sentiments you express here helped me, too.

Drummond

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Thinking about you, Lizzy...

*hugs*
Gail

Joy1216's picture
Joy1216
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

Lizzy, I admire your grace as you face each new day. Keeping you in my prayers.
Joy

marbleotis's picture
marbleotis
Posts: 714
Joined: Mar 2012

Lizzy - this is a beautiful and honest post. Sorry to hear about all your pain and struggles. Laugh and enjoy everyday and I pray you have many many many to enjoy.

Luckygirl2
Posts: 308
Joined: Mar 2012

My grannie died three years ago from a cancer that started many years ago, after removal of a kidney and all her baby making roans she lived many years without incident. Then she lands in the hospital with a cancer eating it's way through her arota. We were given three months we had two weeks. Two days before she died, I was lucky to be by her side when we brought her home. Our last conversation was amazing, she told me we could all be happy in Gods love if we would just let ourselves, she then told me she saw my grandpa and my aunt on the train and she didnt understand why it had not stopped for her. My grandpa had died years before and my aunt ( one of my grannies 10 children had died two months before after battling cancer for a good 10 to 15 years! She told me to make sure that we had chairs for all the people waiting on the train. I assured her we did. She then went on to tell me how beautiful heaven was, I asked her if the streets were as pretty as the Bible says and she smiled and said even better. She was still waiting on the train and was concerned why it was taking so long to pick her up. I told her that sometimes we have to let one train pass so the other one can stop. Two days later surrounded by her nine children and a ggod portion of her 87 grand, great and great great grandchildren, th e train stopped and took my grannie to be with her loved ones. While our conversation lasted only a few minutes and it was our last, I felt the peace my grannie felt in her last hours and afterbreading your post, I think you feel that same peace. Inhope when my time draws close I can remember my grannies conversation and I know she will be waiting for me on that train.

Peace and love to you

Debbie

danker
Posts: 1281
Joined: Apr 2012

I will soon be 80 years old, and am hoping for 10 more years!!! I am now two years out from tumor resection. ileostomy. and self healing fistula.. Mame said it all when she said"life's a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death" We must just enjoy life a day at a time and know God will bring us to heaven when we die!!!You can't beat that with a stick.

plh4gail's picture
plh4gail
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi Lizzy, I just want you to know I'm thinking about you and hoping you are able to enjoy the cool spring breeze on your face, the smell of fresh flowers, some warm sunshine and love from all who care!

Hugs to you Lizzy! You are such a kind heart!

Gail

BusterBrown's picture
BusterBrown
Posts: 221
Joined: Mar 2005

Lizzy,
You are the epitome of grace and dignity.
Peace,
Buster

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Hi CSN Family,

It is so nice to hear from you. Thanks for posting.

This weather is so beautiful. I am enjoying walking with my dog a couple of times a day. I keep busy around the house. My husband loves to have a prepared lunch served to him daily so I am experimenting. Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Egg and Cheese Sandwiches, Fruit mixtures with nuts, fat free pudding pies with a whole can of pure pumpkin and muffins with a variety of nuts, spices, pumpkin and applesauce, etc. Salads with olives and sliced apples, etc…

Everyday is a gift!

Hugs to everyone!
Lizzy

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

"Every day is a gift" so very true... Spoiler alert: We all will die someday. Very often we don't see it coming and have no idea that when we leave our home it could be for the last time. The same holds true to our loved ones...

There's something about being "aware" of our mortality that can be freeing to us if you remain open to it. Obviously much has to do with our current state of health and being. If you're feeling miserable it's not the best gift but if one is feeling ok it can be enlightening.
Ever since I was diagnosed, I've viewed things differently. One thing that became more noticeable was Nature. Seeing the colors of budding trees this spring is once again a feast for the eyes and for the nose. The colors jump out to me. I'm a big photo nut and since my dx I will stop my car and turn around to take a photo. I'm fortunate to live right off a lake in beautiful NY State but really need to do is to look to the skies for a treat.

Obviously, cancer has made me more aware of my family, especially my kids. I value my time with them even more and try to instill in them our obligation as human beings to treat others with kindness and to not take things for granted.

I can't help but think that being positive has a positive on our quality of life too, I certainly see no harm in being positive.
Thanks for your post Lizzy, I'm glad you're enjoying everything!
-phil

steved
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

Thank you for being brave to start a topic that is not only relevant to many us but hte ultimate reason we use this community- because we are facing an uncertain future and ultimately facing our own mortality and death. I have had cancer since 2003 and only this year have been told I am terminal. It has been a huge shift in my thinking though we knew it was probable for some time. My wife and myself have spent time talking openly about it but our greatest fear and heart break is the effect on our two children aged 4 and 7. I generally am fairly well but know that won't last forever and the doctor talk about a year or two.
Personally death carries less fear for me than the period before that. I fear the loss of my independence and ability- I am only 39 and always been fit and strong before this hit. My focus for now is to enjoy my health and use it to have as much time with my family as I can. As is becoming a mantra on this thread- 'every day is precious'.
It helps to know I am not alone in this journey and this community plays a role in that. Know you too are never far from our thoughts and the journey travel is shared by so many of us.

steve

Lifeisajourney
Posts: 217
Joined: Apr 2010

thanks for your continued posting, it makes my journey less lonesome. I don't feel as good as you, but I just had the best three months in a long time...each day is a blessing, good and bad...onc says it is a slow growing liver mets, thank goodness. Glad to hear you are doing so well,,,,,keep it up, life is good...Pat

Luckygirl2
Posts: 308
Joined: Mar 2012

I feel like I am a baby on this board, a 53 year old baby, you all show so much wisdom and courage. I'm learning so much from all of you and just want say thank you. Lizzy, I can feel your peace. I'm at a loss for words. Just thank you for sharing and helping me learn this rode.

Luckygirl2
Posts: 308
Joined: Mar 2012

Where's the like button??? :). Thank you for reminding me that everyday is a gift!

Debbie

bspangler47's picture
bspangler47
Posts: 145
Joined: Sep 2010

I just finished reading your postings. Thank you so much for sharing. I know it isnt easy at all. What I am going thru now isnt nothing compared to what you and your husband is going thru. I totally admire you on how you are handling it. After what I have been thru I cherish everyday etc.

My father passed away a few years ago, at home. With my brothers and sister there. He went in peace.

I have learned thru him and me going thru treatment, to cherish every moment.

You and your family are in my prayers.

Barbara

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3366
Joined: Jan 2010

OK Phill, I couldn't resist and hit the "like" button you so thoughtfully supplied.

Now my question is...where the heck did it take me?...lol

Marie who loves kitties

Luckygirl2
Posts: 308
Joined: Mar 2012

Thank you!

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bspangler47's picture
bspangler47
Posts: 145
Joined: Sep 2010

Wow, Nedy I just read your post. I re-read all of them. It gives me both strength and sadness. I know in my heart that when it is time for me to go, I will be at peace with everything. Lizzie, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Barbara

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Thanks, Barbara.

bspangler47's picture
bspangler47
Posts: 145
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi

How are you doing? I am always thinking about you. Hope all is well with you

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Thank you, Nedy.

I know how your friend felt. I have felt the very same way.

Thank you for sharing the post with us.

Lizzy

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