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Thoughts of suicide?

nwasen's picture
Posts: 235
Joined: Feb 2011

Just wondered if any of you thought about doing yourself in when first diagnosed? I was reading an article online today that some when first told they had cancer (especially younger people commit suicide). It got me to remembering that first week after I knew I was in bad shape. I have to admit the thought flickered thru my mind. I laid in bed, it was late at night and I let my mind wander all thru how it could be done. Scared of water so drowning was out. Don't like guns, don't own one. That's out. On and on I went.....then I realized I had too much to live for and also knew I was too nosy and what if I did it and then missed out on something?
I realize I am making light of something very serious. But, I think for alot of us, that facing up to cancer was one of the scariest things we have ever faced. I know it was for me. I found out that even tho I grew up a spoiled only child used to getting my own way that I was (am) made of tough stuff and with a good attitude, great docs and a warped sense of humor, I could make my way thru it!
And you??

hislove40's picture
Posts: 51
Joined: Feb 2012

I never considered suicide and I really didn't feel frightened either but I'm a dive in head first kind of person :). As you now know, this is certainly not a death sentence. Even if it was I could deal with dying just knowing it's my time to go. But it's not time :).

I have a very close friend whose only son a few years out of college committed suicide and they still don't know why. It's been a few years now since he's gone and she still doesn't like to be around people and will cry at the drop of a hat so still in great pain. It's amazing how many people love and value you that maybe you didn't even know about. I'm so happy that it was nothing more than thoughts for you. We all have thoughts of all sorts of lovely things. I'm glad you are a fighter and hope anyone reading this realizes that we are all going to go when it's our time but hope no one tries to play God and speed things up. It's just so incredibly beyond painful for your loved ones! I could never do that to the people in my life.

tommyodavey's picture
Posts: 584
Joined: Nov 2011

I read the same article. With me, no, it didn't cross my mind. My biggest worry was leaving my wife and son and how they'd handle it. My siblings too, we've suffered enough death in our family that shouldn't have happened.

The article didn't exactly say what kind of cancers that affected the people. Maybe if I was all alone in this world and found out I had a terminal one, then I might have given it thought. But I guess I won't find out unless the above happens. So no worries from me.

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1577
Joined: Jan 2010

But I'm a pretty hard-nosed, bull-headed, ***-kicking kind of person. I would fight cancer even if there was no hope. I'd be satisfied just to strike a blow back at it. Back when I first signed on here, my password included the initials FU and cancer.

At one point I did see my life flash before my eyes. I had a full-on PTSS flashback to treatment and panic attack during my morning commute at 60 miles per hour down a curvy mountain highway. I had no clue what was happening, but at that point I figured I was going to die and it was going to be cancer's fault. However, I managed to survive that one too. I'm a survivor.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8292
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm going kicking and screaming, that thought has never entered my mind.


osmotar's picture
Posts: 1005
Joined: Jul 2011

Considered anything like that...like John I'm going kicking n screaming.

MarineE5's picture
Posts: 914
Joined: Dec 2005

I'm like the others, didn't think about it. I may have felt like crap many a day, but I looked forward to each evening that my wife walked thru the door after work. I would have a fresh pot of coffee brewing so we could sit and talk before dinner.

Each day is a Gift. The old saying is "It is better to give then to receive". Sorry, to the author of that saying, but I enjoy receiving each day given to me.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4678
Joined: Mar 2012

in counseling others I've always maintained that it's a permanent solution to a temporary problem...and everything in this world passes...the good and the bad.

Besides...I'm the kind of person who, even as a kid could hardly sleep for fear I might miss something...there'd be no doubt I'd miss a lot if I put myself down for the long sleep. :)

My biggest fear when first diagnosed was being hacked up and radiated to a point I would look so scary, that I wouldn't want to leave my house....don't think now that's going to happen.


ratface's picture
Posts: 1320
Joined: Aug 2009

I think the mindset changes at "temporary". As others have said terminal cancer would be a different story. I haven't thought of it yet, but have to admit that I can understand when it could be the "Correct" solution. I've been involved firsthand as a first responder and there are times when you can understand why they did it. I certainly have ample guns laying around, all loaded. I'm too chicken to use a gun but really hope it never comes to that decision. It would be easy for any of us to just let go of living especially with all the access to pain meds.

Posts: 660
Joined: Mar 2012

Not sure if there are any MASH fans on this site, but I will go out on a limb and say a few. One episode I remember a soldier was severly disfigured on the left side of his face, he was naturally depressed, said all the reasons he did not want to live, Wife will not be able to love him, children would be afraid of him, and Im sure just his own reality of his issue, so he repeatedly tried to commit suicide, and Col.Potter kept trying to get him to see life was worth living, but again the soldier tried, finally when Col.Potter saw the man holding a Mask over his face thinking what was in the Cannister would allow him to die, Potter tried to pull the Mask away and then rethought and said Son if you want to die, then lets do it right and Potter held the mask to the soldiers face and turned up the gas, it was then that the soldier pushed Potter away and said man your trying to kill me, Potter then said, there you go son, fight to live, fight to live. So even though I to have wondered is the fight worth it and started blogging there, I just pray, I to will follow Col. Potters lead and fight to live.

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2196
Joined: Nov 2009

And you KNOW I've got that song in my head now.

luv4lacrosse's picture
Posts: 1410
Joined: Jul 2010

I also had two seperate times while I was at my sickest that I wanted to die VS spend another day in agony.

My wife even sent my two handguns and my shotgun to my dads house.

Irishgypsie's picture
Posts: 333
Joined: May 2010

Everyone is Different!!

First I believe it depends on the individual, we are all different and have developed different coping mechanisms. Obviously, the older you are the more life experience one has whether it be good or bad. MOST people get cancer in there 50, 60, 70, etc so they have developed better coping mechanism than younger people. In addition, I think we tend to accept illness easier when we are older, were not going to live forever right??? So obviously the younger you are at diagnosis the harder it will be to accept it!!! Especially, when at a younger age you are suppose to be healthy and not worried whether you are going to live past your 30s, 40s, etc.

Finally, the older you are before diagnosis the more chance of accomplishment and life fulfillment. You know successful career, marriage, kids, grand kids, etc. The younger you are at diagnosis the more likely you may feel that you may never accomplish your dreams now; that life isn't worth living anymore; bad stuff keeps happening to me, etc. In addition, how many people who answered no, had a support group, a wife, husband, kids to help them, etc? There are a lot of younger folks who get sick who have no care givers, no support network!!!

The real question is if you have always battled depression or not? I believe if people have always battled depression and have had bad things happen to them; then a cancer diagnosis may be the final straw that tips them over the edge into the suicidal thoughts. But I think most people would agree, why go through this hell of a treatment if you are just going to kill yourself after????


Greend's picture
Posts: 678
Joined: Feb 2010

I never considered suicide however when I was nearing my last treatments and had lost 100 lbs etc etc etc the doc told me I may need one moure round of treatments. I was as low as a body could get and I told him "no". I went home and told my two teenaged sons that I wouldn't take another treatment even if it meant death and I didn't, they were absolutely understanding. Turns out I guess it really wasn't necessary. I was simply down as far as I was ever going to allow myself.


PS I'm kind of glad I lived :>)

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8292
Joined: Sep 2009

Kinda glad you did also....


Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2196
Joined: Nov 2009

I have never considered suicide (although, as a teen, I wanted to go live in a cave a few times). Sometimes I wonder if it's because I'm an "avoider", and I would have to believe things were not going to go well for me before considering suicide. And while I understood that my cancer was, as my doc put it "life threatening", my usual state of mind was "yes, but not ME". And now that you mention it, the thought of missing out on interesting stuff would make me nutty.

I also cannot come to grips with the idea of the damage a suicide often does to people near the deceased.

As for your making light of something very serious - I had a friend who used to say "Sometimes you gotta laugh or you'll cry". I think that's a workable game plan. It was much easier for me to make jokes about side effects and baldness than it was to share my thoughts on what I was going through, and what I feared might be to come, and what I feared I might never regain.

On the other hand - - if someone IS terminal - and suffering - their loved ones are suffering, too. I can certainly see how they might want a plan to shorten the duration of the end, no matter what others may think.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

(The Doors reference)

I am going to assume that anyone who thought of suicide and succeeded in the attempt is not here to report; I am going to further assume that most others who have considered it but decided against it are not going to reveal those thoughts publicly.

Still, when OncoMan told me I had as little as 10 months to live due to a second cancer diagnosis (lungs), I bought a car I described as "shaped like a bullet". My sense of entitlement and my fearlessness went through the roof. I had seen my mom comatose in home hospice some 20 years ago (brain mets from an old breast cancer), and wanted no part of that for me or for my family.

For whatever that says.

I will add that, like probably everyone else who responded (including yourself, nswasen), I am pretty sure I had an ample supply of prescribed medications to make it no harder than some swallowing and some sleep. I did not do that.

For whatever that says.

Take care,


RushFan's picture
Posts: 223
Joined: Aug 2010

Never crossed my mind in any way, shape or form.

Kent Cass
Posts: 1898
Joined: Nov 2009

So long as there is Hope that one will be able to live one's life in a condition which fits into their definition of the word "living..."


hawk711's picture
Posts: 566
Joined: Jan 2010

I didn't ever, ever think of taking my own life. BUT.....I now know what those folks who do take their own life were thinking at some point. I have a relative that did commit suicide and until the Big C, I never knew how he could do it. Durng cancer, I felt so bad at times that if I let my mind wander to a point where I though I'd never feel any better than this DAY, I then understand why some folks would decide to not stay and feel such pain, whether mental or physical. I think it is terribly wrong and I'd never do it, nor condone it, but I now have a sense of what those folks were thinking, with no hope of ever feeling better....It is a scary topic and one that happens, according to statistics, every 15 minutes..
All of us need to fight on, be happy for what we have, enjoy the day...

Maybe a little too much thought, but I have been thinking about this myself....thanks Nancy

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

When I was first told of my cancer all I could think is Lord just be with me through this trial.

When I was told it is back again all I could do was to think “why” but even then God was my friend and was right there through all my treatment.

When I was told one more time “We are sorry but there is nothing more that we can do”, I knew then I needed to just put it all into the hand of my friend Jesus. With less than a 5% chance with treatment and a 0% chance with no treatment 6 ½ years later we are still together.

There has been times when in deep depression and pain Satan has brought the thought of ending it all into my mind. But it was then that God sent my guard in angle to be with me to protect me and keep me from any harm. I know how bad depression can get when in pain and how the thought of ending it all seems like the only way out. It is sad that many when in deep depression don’t have someone there with them to hold them and love them until the depression pass.

That is why it is so important that when we are dealing with people who are having problems in their life that we try to understand where they are coming from, Their pain their suffering their sorrow. Just a word can determine the destiny of someone’s life.

Great Question, God bless
The Preacher "Hondo"

jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2011

Jim and I could not have survived this ordeal without Jesus walking with us. The message of Easter is what I hang onto. If Christ can overcome death, he can overcome cancer.


Posts: 68
Joined: Mar 2012

Just diagnosed with B Cell lymphoma of my eye. Dear Lord as is it ever rare.No one posts on it cause no one gets it and when one does I feel they die. Treatments are awful and disfiguring and one can become a sideshow or brain injured soul. I don't know what to do. They are even having a hard time finding someone that may know how to treat this. So I am off in two weeks to Shands in Gainesville to probably be put off. Can't even get a stage. Sitting here with bladder burning for two weeks they say it is just a bladder infection. I say Heck no it is worse. Pet Scan tomorrow. God Knows what that will bring. Yes, I have enough pills to swallow them with a ice cold glass of wine and not let my son and husband what this process nor do I want more painful tests. Time will tell. Carol

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006


It was by no means my intention to suggest that suicide is an A-type option for handling a cancer diagnosis, nor certainly did I mean to suggest a way to do it easily.

It has always been my philosophy that one should, as much as possible, go after cancer with Hope and Humor and to deprive it of what it is not biologically predisposed to take, which is our joy in living while we have life to live.

I have had a brief look concerning lymphoma of the eye, and it appears that doctors have a bit more expertise than you seem to think they do, and that there is at least enough hope that they have an established protocol for treating it, while continuing to develop new methodologies.

Which is to say, Carol, there is hope, and you need only embrace that hope while doing your part to help yourself by being a source of joy for your loved ones in the way you handle this ordeal.

Yes, I said that: they need you as much as you need them.

Please seek some sage advice before even considering that horrific option, a therapist, a clergyman or woman, whatever works best for you.

You and I seem to be honest in our conveyance that some things may be worse than death, or at least SEEM worse than death, but in truth, the future is not revealed and we are very often very surprised by positive outcomes we may have once thought not possible.

Best wishes to you and your loved ones, Carol.

Take care,


akotke's picture
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

I did off and on throughout treatment. Thought of how much better off my family would be without me. Thought how easy it would be to take all the pills in the house and fall asleep and be free of the pain and fear. Thought about my 4 month old baby girl and how my husband could remarry and give her a healthy mother, a pretty mother without this giant scar on her neck and she would never even remember me. If it hadn't been for my 13 year old son and what it would do to him to lose me, it could have been really easy. I am not ashamed of those feelings, not really ashamed of anything I said or did during my fight for life. Am I glad I'm still here? YOU BET!!! I never thought I'd feel normal again, but I do. Never thought I'd feel pretty again, but I do. Never thought I'd enjoy a sandwich again and I do every chance I get. Every thought, action, and feeling has made me who I am today, just glad I had people in my life who forced me to find the strength to be here to share it. :-)

lodie's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2012

i tried to kill myself a few times obviously with no luck.. my arms are a mess with cuts starting from when i was 12.. after bieng diognosed i thought many times i was just going to die as a result of my illness until they told me there was a cure... the other day i said i would rather be dead than to be alive and have to suffer so much from the treatment, but thats a selfish thought huh?.. the pain, the worry, the bills, the lack of taste, the whole entire life changing experiance has me wondering why all the time.. i dont have a whole lot of people to talk to about how i feel.. its not like my community is thriving with people with cancer.. i have 2 friends who have had cancer and now are recovering from it.. they seem to be doing ok but my one friend i think he's a little under the weather also.. they diddnt have the same cancer as i so even still i have a hard time relating with them..
if i did ever get the nerve to kill myself i wouldnt even know where to start.. cutting has always been a sense of relief to me but i think i am past that now.. especially since it serves no purpose.. i am a coward in many senses.. to me dying would be easier.. however i have had a taste of what could be like and now i am more afraid of it than ever.. i never was afraid of anything an now all i am is terrified of wht life and death has to hold for me.

Posts: 660
Joined: Mar 2012

I read your post a few times before knowing how to respond, I to have walked thru some of the world you described. Im still waiting to see the Doctors that will tell me what my future holds from a Cancer stand point. I feel sometimes the same as you, scared, unsure if this challange is worth the fight, but I blogged that question and was lifted by the responses. For today I have chosen to take it one day at a time, not sure how I might respond a month from now... So maybe this note does not contain much more than Blah,Blah, Blah but I guess I just wanted to say hello, hang in there, and as far as not having a lot of people to talk to, I can just tell you this website will take care of that, they have been there for me and we will be there for you. Hope you see this.....

patricke's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: Aug 2006

I may be odd, but I have never been fearful when I was diagnosed. Thoughts of an early check out never entered my mind when I was diagnosed 11 years ago; or last year when diagnosed with an invasion at the entrance to my trachea, rather, I thought that I would hit the ground running and do what needed to be done to get on with my life. I must admit, however, that during the course of "doing what needed to be done," surgery and radiation the first time around, and just surgery the second, there were times when I was feeling a whole lot more than lousy, that the thought did cross my mind. But, then I thought that I can do this for just this moment, and make it through. I also thought that I have too much to live for to leave the building early, so I bucked up, bit the bullet, and moved on. I believe that life is a wonderful gift, and I'm not going to waste it by dwelling in a sea of negativity; I may do a periodic brief touch down in the negative sea (and really, who doesn't), but I don't stay there, I power up the positive enerty and take off. So, yeah, I agree, a positive attitude, sense of humor (warped, unwarped, or the combo platter), a great treatment team, and time all do wonders when it comes to healing, and getting thru it...


kingcole42005's picture
Posts: 178
Joined: Oct 2010

When I was in the middle of treatment, getting the radiation. I was so doped up and cooked that I was just tired of it. So, so tired. I just wanted to sleep and not wake up sometimes. Once I stopped the treatment and meds of course things got a bit better. I have my moments, this has been a rough road for all of us. It still is for some. A couple of years ago, my brother in law committed suicide. He was a bit down and had some bad things happen, nothing a little time wouldn't heal. I will never forget the screams of his 10 year old daughter, being told her daddy was gone. I couldn't do that to my family.

Posts: 90
Joined: Jul 2011

This is a tough one. I had a teacher tell me once that you cannot judge a person for comitting suicide, because you cannot possibly know what they are going through. And people dealing with cancer treatment and its aftermath are going through some hard core trials and tribulations that certainly qualify for negative or maybe even suicidal thoughts.
One of my sisters committed suicide, and I absolutely did not know what she was going through.
I must admit before treatment started, it did cross my mind. Probably because I went to some bad cites and read terrible stories about what some patients were going through. I guess it was the "quality of life issue". I wish I had discovered this cite instead.
In my opinion, you have to think positive and considering suicide is not thinking positive. Again, only my opinion. Hope I have not offended anyone.
I agree with Kingcole. I don't think I could do that to my family.

Mark S.

Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2004

It's been eight year. I'm glad i just kept sipping my soup and crying.

LeoS2323's picture
Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2012

Im not scared of what I will have to go through to beat this, so never - not for a moment.

Cancer doesn't scare me. Treatment, pain don't scare me.

Not giving away my daughter on her wedding day, or taking my son to football - not being there to do those things are what scare me, but they also drive me on more than anything. Because I will do those things, I'm not going to be a photo in an album to them, I'm going to be Dad.

Suicide would mean I would definitely not do those things about which I dream - its the furthest thing from my mind. Every day, every minute we have is so precious - I will only cherish every single moment that much more for getting through this.

Tonsil Dad's picture
Tonsil Dad
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2011

I concur with Leo.

God bless
Tonsil Dad,


Posts: 307
Joined: Mar 2012

I would never think about suicide but if my kids were older i would have definately considered not taking radiation for a very small chance that it is not gone. Right now i cannot take that chance!

ronneymoss's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2014

I thought about it.  Mainly during the recovery phase when I stopped taking pain medications.  It seemed like ground hog day.  Lots of pain as you pass out...wake up to a lot of pain.  Too many of my buddies killed themselves during my life so I have thought about it.  I believe in God.  I don't think he would "let me off the hook" if I killed myself.  In other words, if I was in pain before there must be a lesson to learn.  If I did not learn the lesson I am doomed to repeat it. 



Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2015

But I think its just because of my age. Being 18 I dont really have the adult mindset I feel but everyday gets better I just try to remind myself that.

wmc's picture
Posts: 1798
Joined: Jan 2014

Welcome to the group, and also sorry you need to be here. It's tough at any age, but your youth will help overcome this. Knowing that the survival rate is really high and very good should help. It is a rough road to have to go down, but many have been down it and it is worth it. They [doctors] say that Head & Neck cancer treetment is the second worse to go through, but has a very high survivor rate. You just have to know you will beat this and have a full life and so many of your dreams will all come true. There are some bad days so you just take one day at a time, and hour by hoyr when needed. Before long you notice it has gotten so much better, and you are above ground. There is so much to look forward to you can't imagine. Prom, 10 year class reunions are really good to see how everyone changes, the Jocks, and cheerleaders change most. We have ours every five years and i've been to most all of them. This last one was different as very few new I had cancer and lost my larynx and breath out my neck. It was one of the best ones I have ever had. You will see life different than most others. You will appreciate it more than most people do, and see it better and what it really means. 
I only had surgery and had a neck dissection on both sides and removed 86 lymph glands to be safe, and when they took my larnyx that got all of the tumor. Had to learn how to swallow, eat, and talk allover but it was so worth it. Just know it gets so much better and before long you will get to see that. It happens slow and on its own timeframe, but it will happen. Best of luck to you, and Never Give Up.


Posts: 35
Joined: Jun 2015

My mom doesn't seem to have thoughts of suicide but she has expressed on many occasions that she was tempted to refuse treatments. In fact I'm quite sure if I hadnt of decided to come home and care for my grandma and for her and the household, she actually might have refused treatment stating it was just too hard. And it is definitely hard. 

It's tough now where we are at. My mom has 3 weeks left (out of 7) and she's tired. She's starting to really feel the burning that is occuring. She was lucky for the first few weeks and was numb but even that doesn't protect against the pain of the burn of the radiation. Chemo is still sucking the energy out of her. Her hair is thinning fast, she's not hungry and she gags when she tries to swallow anything including the pills that make her feel better. Even with my mom going through that, it doesn't stop my grandma from having an infected tooth that I have to figure out how to get care for, for my grandma having chronic UTIs that I need help taking her to the doctors for and for mom going to PT, speech therapy and just regular treatment. I can't even imagine how I"ll ever go back to work at this point and we have decided since mom is trying for compassionate allowance, that in all likelihood she won't be going back to work.

At times it just seems too much but as tempted as not having treatment would have been, we just keep aiming to give her things to live for and planning the future. She was tempted to give up after the first surgery took the upper right hand jaw from her mouth. She repeats today that if she had known it was going to ruin her ability to chew on that side making her tired of chewing even while she was healthy and making it so she has to eat soft foods for the rest of her life, she said she might have just refused treatment but instead she's hanging on and being a trooper. I don't think you know how strong you are until you are faced with something like cancer. I know from my prospective at being a caregiver, this is tough to watch. I can't imagine what people are dealing with going through it. I know my mom is so tired. Even sitting next to her a few minutes to spend time with her, it makes me feel so drained because that is what she is feeling, so drained. Just remember if you are tired, the cancer is tired too. That's what I keep reminding her. I remind you when she is so tired and looking like she can't take anymore that that is what the cancer is feeling. While she can drink a boost plus and have a tiny bit of energy or go take a nap and feel a tiny bit better or even watch her grandchildren on skype for a laugh as the youngest is sticking crayons in his ear laughing because his mom told him not to, that it might make her feel better but her cancer doesn't get those good feelings so it's feeling that much worse. I said a sick cell of cancer is a dead one as that means her antibodies which the doctor keeps saying are strong, can kill it. Just remember cancer isn't a death sentence. People who were given specific times, have made it through and beaten the odds. The important part is to fight and not give up. 

On a totally side note, I deal with depression a lot. I have been in counseling throughout my life time for it. Just remember no matter what life throws at you, you can beat it. You can stand up to it and win. Suicide seems like the answer but it's not. I have lost two friends to suicide and honestly it's the worst feeling in the word to know that they died unncessary. I spent many times in counseling wondering if there was some words, or something I could have said to make them feel better or to get them the help they seemed to have needed. Maybe if I had only listened more, fought less, or something. Knowing that is how the ones who are left behind feel, suicide would never be an answer for me. You can beat cancer. You can beat the odds and you can be a survivor. Nwasen please know you are in my thoughts and prayers as are anyone else feeling like suicide is the answer. 

jcortney's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: Sep 2012


You see I'm terminal.  Mine has come back in the same area as the original (worst possible case) and in the lungs.  Treatment is gaining on it somewhat but the only possibility of a cure is PD-1 / PD-1L drug and they are only 25% effective.  So again yes, when things get bad enough my wife and I have decided we will make the trip out west where assisted is legal.

Don't know when that will be, could be this year, next or perhaps even a few more but when I can't eat or talk anymore, it will be time to go.  I tear up every time I think about it but I refuse to be a burden.

Just one guy's position.


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