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Documentary 'I am Dying'

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5507
Joined: Jan 2013

Not too sure if its a good idea to have watched it or not. A documentary of a young woman in the last few weeks of her struggle with Breast Cancer.

It is heart-wrenching, of course, but sometimes I think it is important to be aware of what might happen.

We very rarely address death here, until one of our own passes. But I don't doubt that it is on our minds more than we care to admit. 

Yesterday, I read the obituary of a local man who passed from Cancer this week. He wrote his own obituary and it was very entertaining. A good idea, though I'm not too sure if I could do that myself. 

Are we planning for the worst while hoping for the best? 

Sue - Trubrit

Posts: 105
Joined: Sep 2014

I haven't seen that documentary, though I did just find it on the schedule for the 20th and flagged it.  Thanks for that.

I'm sure it's not uncommon to think about and plan for death, I sure have.  

I've both planned for the worst while hoping for the best and just wished I was done.  I've sure felt like I was dying before treatment killed off large tumors.  I'm happily back in the prior mindset now and continue to scratch things off of my imaginary list while also spending time living and experiencing.

I have a sealed envelope with info on how the bills are paid and parting words for my wife since she refuses to discuss things she needs to know when I'm gone.  That would be giving up on my long term survival.  So while I'm feeling good, I put energy here and there into documentation and planning (like succession planning in a job).  If I go downhill fast again I don't want my focus to be on these types of things.

Having watched my parents spend so much time sifting through loved ones clutter, I also don't want to leave that kind of burden.  I've gone through boxes of paperwork, scanning and shredding and recycling.  I've donated clothes I'll never wear again, shipped off things to kids and old friends that they might enjoy and made my footprint small.  I laughed at my old mindset of buying and collecting and saving so many things.  I had a head start a couple years ago when we moved.  I wondered what compelled me to purchase so many movies on DVD that I rarely watched again and marveled at how much stuff I had accumulated over the years and how much money I had wasted.  Though thinking back, I did enjoy it.

Anyway, I think it's a good thing to realize ones time is not infinite and that the end may be closer than planned.  It can be a wake up call to figure out what is personally important and to throw some focus in that direction.  Maybe alter the bucket list from pages to a couple things and have no regrets.  Some people live life with a good balance already, but many still think someday.... Only for that day to never come.

Posts: 1282
Joined: Apr 2012

The only way we can get to heaven is to die.  Thus death is not to be feared,but rather to be embraced.  Since loosing my wife last year, I find my bucket list not important any more. I wonder what purpose my life goes on for. Would enjoy joining my wife!  But try to enjoy life!

Posts: 105
Joined: Sep 2014

I'm sorry that you struggle to find purpose, yet I understand.  I lost my 20 year old son last year which was the point that I lost much of my will to go on.  I do still have my wife, stepchildren and parents.  This keeps me going.  If I didn't have anyone left I really don't think I'd continue treatment.  I whole heartedly hope you find something to keep you enjoying life.  

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I don't want to spoil this for anyone but we all die* in the end...cancer or no cancer.

I'm not trying to make "fun" of anyone's cancer or how horrible this disease can be but I've seen many people worry so much about dying that they stop living...

* it's in the fine print on our birth certificates

Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

True.  My nosy dramatic aunt asked me at my moms funeral if my mom knew she was going to die.  Her timing and question annoyed me and I said....of course she knew, you do know that you are going to die too, right?  Left her speechless :)

NewHere's picture
Posts: 1340
Joined: Feb 2015

I am not sure if I am up for watching it, though probably will at some point.  The bravery and strength exhibited here and on items that you describe is amazing.  I often wonder if things go bad for me if I would be able to handle it so well.  Though I guess I probably thought the same thing about cancer in general before I got diagnosed.  In the back of my mind I have a bit of a barrier of "This is now too much, time to take my leave." which is tougher than the idea of death itself.  

I am working through things on the what if side, just because it is there now a bit more.  Wills, organzing photos and documents for people, cleaning up more and tossing things (so i hope ;)) with an eye on what I really need and what is worthwhile to others.  Boiling down to photos, research on the family tree (one of my hobbies) and things to leave to family members.  Most of the things I enjoy can be stored on hard drives for the most part, other than some material items such as cameras, musical instruments and things of that sort.  

But I try not to let it get to me and have been living.  Jokes with nurses and docs and others, going to baseball games often, trying to get up and about to do things, except on the really tired days where it really is too much.  Seems to be the 3-4 days after disconnect.  During connection I believe I have a bit of a steoids high/hyper thing going on Cool  My poor wife, hyper days and listening to my jokes during chemo is not easy ;)

Thinking about working on a obituary also.  There was one in my area about a month ago that I found and it was a happy and fun obituary (well, you know what I mean.)   If something happens to me, I would much prefer that people laugh a bit.

I am probably procrastinating a bit on some of this, thinking when I am done with chemo and back to 100% I will really get on it.  But hopefully I kick myself into gear a bit more beforehand.  Going away to a beach soomewhere a month or two after I am done with chemo sounds more appealing then doing those administrative things :)

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5507
Joined: Jan 2013

It was a short documentary, half an hour. It basically covered the last few weeks of this young woman's life, with some of her previous video blogs. One thing that stuck out to me was, even at the end, when the brain mets were messing with her in a big way, you could tell that she still hoped, that she would pull through. Well, at least that is what it looked like to me. 

I've often thought of those last weeks, how hard it can be. Obviously I would want it to be quick, like our Lisa's. But allas, we have to take what comes our way. 

I can't say I have things in order. I guess I know everything goes to my husband, and then the boys. I would like to write my own obit, and I know how I want my funeral to go. 

But, like the young lady in the documentary, I just can't believe its going to happen to me. Not yet awhile, in any case. 

Sue - trubrit


Posts: 506
Joined: Apr 2013

I think it's on again Saturday morning, 6/20 on National Geographic Channel.  I will watch it.  My husband did try to take care of as much as we could think about the last few months of his life.  While I have had much to deal with the past 7 months, I am thankful for what he did do.  I currently have little debt (a few car payments left) and am waiting for my state tax refund, which will be sizable.  Being on "the other side" of this disease, my only advice to all of you is to go do things you want to do or enjoy before you are feeling bad from treatment or the disease progression.

In the end, we all die, right?


Easyflip's picture
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2013

no one gets out of here alive? Do they? I have most affairs in order and my wife and children will be taken care of financially so that gives me comfort. I think I want to have a say in my memorial and I think I'll write my obituary someday. I want it to be happy and funny, not sad. My daughter is moving home from college and I've already told her we are hugging 3 times a day and having at least 1 meaningful conversation a day.  She gave me that 'you're acting crazy again Dad' look and said okay lol! For now I'm just living it up while I still feel pretty good. Whenever I go, my goal is to be right with myself, my loved ones and the universe. I don't want it to hurt either. I hope the drugs are good enough so when the time comes it's dignified and peaceful. I might even do assisted suicide, it's winding its way through the system now in California. I'm thinking candles, my dog, well wishes and then...who knows? My gut feeling is that it's going to be good, maybe we cyber friends will all meet on the other side, wouldn't that be great?


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5507
Joined: Jan 2013

I've pondered that, as well.  It is not legal here, but it is in Oregon, and I have friends up there. Not that I would plonk myself in their house and die, that, of course would not be good.

The lady who died in Oregon last year, rented a home, I believe. Well, whatever, it's something to think about. 

Sue - Trubrit


annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

Having seen a couple of really ugly deaths, I do think it should be an option for everyone.  Of course, I've also seen death that was mostly peaceful, including when my sister died of cancer.  I'm just hoping that when my time comes it will fall into the latter category.

I do like the idea of writing my own obituary...

"AnnAlexandria, spy, stripper, and super model".

Or something like that.

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